By JOSEPHINE AGOSTINO and ALEXANDRA ECONOMOU
March 22, 2003
THE hype and big budget of The Lord of the Rings are a long way from Adelaide but actor Hugo Weaving wouldn’t have it any other way.
The star of The Matrix and fellow actor Jacqueline McKenzie will spend the next seven weeks filming the love story Peaches in Adelaide, the Hills and the Riverland.
Weaving told The Advertiser last night he preferred to act in low-budget films.
"They are really anomalies to me, the big budget films," he said. "I have been making low-budget films for my whole career and that’s what really turns me on."
Both said they were excited to be here and working together.
"I am so thrilled to be working here," McKenzie said.
"I am a huge fan of Hugo’s work. Coming back to Adelaide is so special."
McKenzie also starred [with Weaving] in Dirtwater Dynasty which also was filmed in Adelaide.
The actors had been in Adelaide for almost a week and were joined by a 60-strong crew, made up mostly of Adelaide talent.
The film’s Adelaide director and producer, Craig Monahan, couldn’t be happier to be working at home for the first time since he moved back from Melbourne and Sydney about five years ago.
"It’s difficult yet I’m proud to be doing it," said Monahan, who won an AFI award for his first film, The Interview, which also starred Weaving.
"The Hills is a beautiful place, the picturesque landscape is equal to anything in Tuscany and France."
Monahan hoped the film would raise awareness of the film industry’s significant contribution to the economy.
"For every dollar spent on a film in Adelaide it equates to three or four dollars coming to town," he explained.
Monahan spent four years raising money for the medium-to-low budget film because he was passionate about the original screenplay by Sydney writer Sue Smith.
"We’ve raised $5.5 million of which $3 million will be spent here," he said.
"The economic benefit generated from this to the state is a minimum of $9 million."
The movie combined three passionate and intertwined love-stories and focused on a teenage girl called Steph.
The film was a product of the South Australian Film Corporation, the Film Finance Corporation of Australia and the Premium Movie Partnership.
Peaches and another feature, Thunderstruck, had received $500,000 of funding from the State Government.