News

Film Production in Corowa

By Rhys Williams

An award winning Melbourne Production Company has completed filming at a property in Corowa for an upcoming short film that reflects the harsh conditions for Aussie farmers.

Toprock Productions has concluded the filming of their movie ‘Zarephath’ which was shot at an unoccupied house on the corner of Burnewang and Redlands Road.

As a key theme the movie emphasises the desolate environment Aussie farmer’s work under, told through an interpretation of a biblical story which director Taysha McFarland decided Corowa would be the ideal setting for.

“It is a really isolated property which is hard to find closer to Melbourne and we also wanted a location that captured the dry and barren landscape of Australia’s regional areas,” Ms McFarland said.

“One of the important topics we’re touching on in the film is the drought conditions for Aussie framers which is major reason we came to Corowa to shoot.”

The film is a modern interpretation of an Old Testament story that chronicles Elijah’s journey through the drought stricken wilderness to find food. Close to starvation, Elijah is instructed by God to go to Zaraphith to find a widow that will feed him. 

Contrary to the bible, the film tells the story from the widow’s perspective rather than Elijah’s.

After spending most of her career as an actress Ms McFarland decided to transition behind the camera when she had kids. 

She began writing scripts in her spare time which soon got the attention of friends in the industry that encouraged her to make them into movies.

She established Toprock Productions in 2017 and films of hers have since gone on to win awards for Best Film and Audience’s Choice at festivals across the country.

For Zaraphith, Ms McFarland was able to bring established actress and singer Cindy Pritchard on board as the executive producer.

Ms Pritchard has had a professional acting and singing career that has spanned 35 years which has seen her perform alongside Hugh Jackman in The Beauty and the Beast play, perform regularly on Good Morning Australia and most recently produce and act in feature film Book Week, which is streaming on Stan.

“Film is something quite new for me but it’s been something I’ve wanted to get into for a long time.

“I read the script for Zarephath and thought it harnessed an important message – that there’s always the possibility of finding hope and resilience in the face of great adversity,” she said.

“I love being a part of this. It’s nice to be a part of the crew for a change rather than being in front of the camera.”

Zarephath will be released at the end of the year and both Cindy and Tayla said that they’d like to have a pre-screening in Corowa before it hits the film festival circuit.

For updates follow zarephath_film on Instagram.