Movie on Toowoomba sex abuse scandal starts filming
THE biggest cast assembled for an Ipswich shot movie will be filming in town over the next few weeks.
Production began in the past week on Don't Tell, which will star Jack Thompson, Rachel Griffiths, Aden Young, Jacqueline Mckenzie, Martin Sacks, Gyton Grantley, Susie Porter and Robert Taylor to name a few.
Don't Tell is based on the 2001 child sex abuse case of an 11-year-old girl at Toowoomba Preparatory School involving the Anglican Church and how child abuse claims are handled.
It is the story of a survivor, Lyndal, and the last trial by jury of its kind, the catalyst behind the revolutionary Blue Card Childcare System and the role it played in bringing about the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse still in the news today.
The crew started filming at Haigslea last Friday and will move to the former Ipswich Court house on Limestone St over the next four weeks.
The former court house, now deserted as the building's new owners carry out renovation works, has the sign "Toowoomba Court House" above the entrance ready for the shoot.
Producer Scott Corfield scouted the locations and has been based at the old court house building with the crew for pre-production for the past four weeks.
"Travelling to actual locations, Toowoomba every day, just becomes too expensive so basing yourself in Ipswich is easier to shoot in terms of accommodation and travel," Corfield said.
"I never really thought of Ipswich as the base for this film. When I came out here and started to do some research, there are these fabulous locations. There are pockets with everything we needed."
Locations will include the court house, Ipswich homes, Willowbank caravan park and Haigslea.
"One of the key things with this film is distance because we have such a big crew. Ipswich seemed to have locations all within a few minutes from the centre of town," Corfield said.
"There is a really good mix, you've got older buildings, newer buildings, and an empty court house.
"That was the first thing that got me hooked, a court house where we can have full access to for the duration of the shoot because we are in here for a good week or more.
"To build this for a week's work is enormous expense. We basically walked in here and everything was ready to go. We put in a bench top and a crest and we're off and running."
Corfield said the film had received a good initial response, especially with the announcement of Jack Thompson and Rachel Griffiths signing on for the project.
"Our story is more topical and relevant than controversial. It is based on a true story, a lot of the case was publicised and reported and what goes out in general press at the time, you don't get to see the effect the abuse and the denial from the church and the school has on a young girl that is growing up, her family and her community."
"The interest from the general public to the national press has been quite strong, one because of the cast and two because the story is incredibly relevant now that we have a Royal Commission happening into child abuse."
The film is expected to come out as a full feature cinema release in 2017.