500 Miles takes off with help from Ipswich

5th January 2015 6:00 AM
Actor Pete Valley caught up with Cr David Pahlke recently to discuss the success of 500 Miles that was filmed in Rosewood and surrounding region. Photo: Contributed SCREEN SUCCESS: Actor Pete Valley caught up with Cr David Pahlke recently to discuss the success of 500 Miles that was filmed in Rosewood and surrounding area. Contributed

THE film 500 Miles, shot mostly in Rosewood, is set to be released on DVD and lead actor Pete Valley has paid tribute to the input of the Ipswich community in making the movie a success.

The movie will be released nationally on DVD on Wednesday and Valley, who plays the male lead, said the Ipswich community was forthcoming with its time and providing access to locations that made shooting the film a pleasure.

The Rosewood Hotel was made available for key scenes by owner Cr David Pahlke and Valley said that open-hearted approach was common.

"A lady leant us her house that we filmed at. She was overseas when we filmed but she was like, 'Yeah, just come over. A friend of mine will be there to unlock the house'," Valley said.

"We were all camped out there for three or four days and she just opened her house to us.

"If we were trying to do a $1 million film it would have cost us a lot to have access to the same quality of scenery and locations.

"But Ipswich has really helped out because of the community being available to help out with things and give their time.

"It was a low budget film, and while we can't compete with studios, people watch it and think it was a good film we put together."

The film has done well at film festivals and has screened in Ipswich but is yet to reach a wider audience through a nation-wide cinema release. That exposure is set to change this week.

"When the DVD release happens on January 7, and the worldwide release on January 20 on digital platforms, then a lot more people are going to see it than we could have ever hoped for," Valley said.

"They will be able to connect to what is a true resemblance to a modern Australian story.

"There have been screenings in cinemas but not like with a big blockbuster when it is shown for five weeks all over the country.

"At the Cincinnati Film Festival it won best narrative feature, which is code for best feature film. It showed at the Palm Beach Film Festival (in the US) as well."

Valley has exciting new films on the horizon with 500 Miles no doubt a stepping stone to many bigger and better things.

He said he wouldn't be surprised if one of those films was shot in the Ipswich region due to the way the area embraces film makers.

Cr Pahlke, who is a big promoter of local films, caught up with Valley recently

"Pete Valley lives in Melbourne and I had coffee with him the other day," Cr Pahlke said.

"I had a poster of the film with all the signatures of the actors on it except for his. We spent a couple of hours together and it was really interesting to talk to him. He has made another movie that is to be released. You are going to hear a lot more of this guy."