WHAT IF THE KIDS MADE A rail trail film?

19 March, 2022

Imagine if we built a rail trail? Well, adults would give you a sensible answer based on notions of sound economics and worthy social outcomes. …Ho hum. Boring!

So, we asked five Central Victorian young people instead. Then we let them loose on the question with a talented local filmmaker.

Their beautiful, high-energy answer to the community-changing potential of a new trail is playing as a short film at Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal (and soon too we hope at the Paramount Theatre in Maryborough). Please look out for it when you’re in the cinema waiting for the main feature to start. Or check it out on the front page of our website.

The short film stars local young actors Djed, Charlotte, Billy, Dylan and Rennie. They stroll and cycle along parts of the disused trail and celebrate the landscape and how it makes them feel.

“What if we could turn this old line into something more exciting?” Djed asks the audience. “Something more exciting. Something adventurous. Something fun!” she declares. It’s hard not to get swept up by her energy as she and her friends run, ride and almost tumble across the screen, as if in a dance of life, to bring the trail into the ‘now’.

The one- and three-quarter minute film was photographed, directed and edited by local filmmaker Mal Bloedel of Saint Street Productions. Sweeping panoramic landscape footage was shot by local photographer Peter Watts.

We’re grateful for the generosity and patience of the Maldon & District Community Bank which backed our project in 2021. The bank’s been amazing even when the production timelines stretched: first when we were hit by Covid lockdowns, and then when we took a big creative pivot.  It took talent and creativity to complete the film ‘again’.

The film was produced by two CMRT members, Campbells Creek local Sandy Harman and Strangways visual artist Briele Hansen. The pair re-imagined the short film after it was first pitched in a more traditional documentary style. Campbells Creek’s Fiona Dann did the casting and tracked down the five talented young people.

“The five young actors – Djed, Charlotte, Billy, Dylan and Rennie – were a dream to work with,” said Sandy. “We spent a day on location this month at Strangways, filming along the old tracks and nearby locations. It was a great day – everyone was pretty knackered by the end of it, but there were smiles all round. It was totally worth it.”

Sandy said the film brings fun and playfulness to the possibilities of a 55km recreational trail that links Castlemaine and Maryborough and the townships in between.

“The film is a little ripper,” CMRT Marketing Communications Lead John Carruthers said. “It took vision and courage by Fiona, Sandy and Briele to re-imagine the short film and take it in a completely new direction. We’re super grateful to them and the five amazing young actors.”

“For now, we just want people to be swept up in this little, short story. We hope it moves hearts and minds. But come winter, when we start fundraising for the second stage of the trail, we hope the film will help open government coffers too,” John said.