Will new Red Dog film put Dunolly on map?

Will the tiny township of Dunolly make a cameo in the new Australian feature film on the life of Red Dog?

Producer Nelson Woss has confirmed shooting on the latest Red Dog movie The Koko Story will start next year.

It will feature the early life of Koko who went on to become the star of the hit Australian movie Red Dog.

The kelpie was bred in Dunolly by Len and Carol Hobday.

He was an Australian champion in the show ring when animal trainer Luke Hura found him.

The Hobdays were at a dog show in 2009 when they were approached by Luke, on the prowl for the perfect pooch to star in a new Aussie film.

Obituary: Vale Dunolly-bred Red Dog

Feature: A Dunolly dogs' tale

As the star of the hit film Red Dog, Koko appeared at awards ceremonies and on TV shows, before dying just before Christmas last year.

Now Koko is to get his own film.

Producer Nelson Woss, who took the charismatic canine around the country to promote Red Dog, then brought him home as a family pet, plans to shoot The Koko Story next year.

It will dramatise how he became arguably the country's most famous dog since the one on the tucker box outside Gundagai.

In Kriv Stenders' warm-hearted drama of 2011, Koko played a freewheeling dog who united a Pilbara mining community in the 1970s.

Based on a novel about a real dog who roamed the West Australian outback, Red Dog was a surprise hit that won best film at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

Woss said the new film would have a similar feel to Red Dog and would show how Koko affected people's lives.

''It's a feature film that tells an inspirational story,'' he said.

''It's a terrific Rocky-esque story about a dog that no one knew he had any potential until he was cast in this role. He pulled off this incredible performance, then, when no one was really sure whether the movie was good or not, he was the one who took it on the road.''

Woss said he saw how Koko brought people together as he toured the country.

Koko's fame included winning best dog in a foreign film at the Golden Collar Awards in Los Angeles and being painted with Woss for the Archibald Prize, with Adam Cullen's portrait receiving a special commendation.

He has a medical centre named after him at Perth's Dogs' Refuge Home and a continuing presence on social media.

After his film career ended, Woss had Koko as a pet until his death from congestive heart disease.

''He became my best mate,'' he said.

''He was my constant companion during a really tough time.''

A search has started for a dog to star in The Koko Story.

It will be written and directed by Daniel Bunker, best known for the documentary The Double Sunrise Flights.

''The big themes of Red Dog that made it so successful were love and community,'' he said. ''That's very much the same with this story as well.''

with THE AGE

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