A FILM shot in the southern Riverina on a shoestring will resonate with Border audiences as it homes in on the power of family and community.
Tocumwal born-and-bred director Aaron Wilson said his second feature-length film, Little Tornadoes, depicted a period of great social change in the early 1970s.
Growing up on a farm between Tocumwal and Barooga, Wilson said there was an influx of Italian migrants to the district and feminism had a resurgence.
"I was not yet born but it was a period of great social change that echoed through into my childhood," he said.
"Germaine Greer's book The Female Eunuch was on my Mum's bookshelf.
"Little Tornadoes is a family drama at the forefront set against the backdrop of great social change.
"It showed then, just like now (during the global pandemic), we have to adapt or be left behind."
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Wilson said the film was mostly shot over a fortnight in 2009 around Tocumwal, Cobram, Koonoomoo and Boomanoomana with the Red One camera on a minuscule budget.
He said bushfires ravaged the region and the mercury nudged 43 and 44 degrees.
"The fires gave the film an almost dream-like quality," Wilson said.
"But I went back over three or four years and filmed other scenes myself like kids at play or kids under the sprinkler.
"The first harvest we filmed Dad said was not a good year for the crops, so we had to film another harvest!"
Wilson said few changes had to be made to the Tocumwal streetscape.
"People don't update as much and there is a nice authenticity to country towns," he said.
"The film has really come off because it was a community project!"
Starring Mark Leonard Winter, Robert Menzies and Silvia Colloca, Little Tornadoes is the second part of a trilogy that deals with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was shot back-to-back with Canopy (2013); Canopy was set in 1941, Little Tornadoes in 1971 and the last part in 2021.
Wilson planned to feature the Murray region in his future TV and film work.
He said the US film industry was focusing on the interior like never before in series like Yellowstone.
"I want to explore the Murray more; it's incredibly beautiful cinematographically. I also want to energise the youth to see the beauty in the region and the power of telling our own stories."
Cobram Cinema will host a premiere on Saturday night while Regent Cinemas Albury will host an advanced screening on Sunday at 12.45pm followed by a Q&A with Wilson and Colloca. It will be released nationally on May 12.
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