By Kirra Grimes
AWARD-WINNING Bena-based filmmaker Thomas Baricevic has chosen the town of Nyora as the setting for his next project, and he’s on the hunt for locals to fill the lead roles.
The short film, ‘Cowboy’, will tell the fictional story of Kay, a teenage boy living on a struggling farm, torn between obligations to his family and dreams of pursuing a music career.
Thomas has just about finished the script, and now, to make his vision come to life, he needs to find the right person to play Kay and supporting cast members including Kay’s mum and best friend.
Applicants for the part of Kay should be around 15 years old and be able to sing and play a musical instrument.
Kay’s mother is a farmer in her 40s.
For the part of Dee, Kay’s best friend, Thomas is looking for an Indigenous boy, also around 15 years of age.
Finding the right rural locations to shoot the film will also be key to telling its coming of age story.
Thomas already has plans to feature the Nyora railway station and Lang Lang Rodeo in significant scenes, but he’s still in the process of scouting the farmhouse that Kay and his mother will call home, and he’s keen to hear from any locals that might be able to help.
Cowboy will be the first of Thomas’ films to feature South Gippsland’s landscapes, with most of his previous projects, including last year’s $50,000 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship winner ‘The Coin’, shot in inner city Melbourne.
After initially planning to shoot Cowboy in rural New South Wales, Thomas was drawn to Nyora not only because of its proximity to his home in Bena, but because of its unique “time-forgot charm”, he said.
“I started writing Cowboy in Deniliquin, while I was on assignment for another project,” he said.
“I’d been talking to kids about growing up in the country and dealing with the question of ‘should I stay or should I go?’, ‘should I work on the land or are there other options?’ and I was originally going to shoot it up there, but then I thought, why not do it down here?
“Nyora had a certain melancholy feeling to it that I thought could work.”
With some big building projects on the horizon for the town, including a 700-lot residential subdivision, Thomas is keen to take advantage of that feeling before it gets “too developed”.
He’d like to shoot Cowboy within the next few months, while the landscape is still dry, with the filming portion of the project expected to take four to five days.
If you’d like to get involved, contact Thomas via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see examples of Thomas’ previous works, head to vimeo.com/jacksonblackfilms.