Cast and crew from new Australian film The Legend of Ben Hall were in Bendigo on Monday ahead of the film’s national premiere.
The film follows New South Wales bushranger Ben Hall and was shot in Macedon and Kyneton last year.
It features Gisborne actor William Lee as teenage bushranger John Dunn who joined Hall’s gang in 1864.
“I grew up in Bullengarook, which is where we filmed, so it was was like a homecoming for me,” Lee said.
“It felt like I was going back in time because I moved to my hometown, was playing someone younger, and had to ride horses which is what I grew up doing.
“It was a real transformation back to my teenage years.”
Director Matthew Holmes said his love of Australian history and bushranger tales prompted him to make The Legend of Ben Hall.
“Ben Hall is the most fascinating of them all. He has a wonderful human story,” Holmes said.
“He was a conflicted and interesting character. That's why I was drawn to it, apart from all the action and adventure that is involved.”
The Melbourne based production scouted a number of locations in Victoria before choosing Kyneton and the Macedon Ranges.
“All the crew and cast involved were Melbourne based so we had to find locations in around Victoria that suited and looked like New South Wales,” Holmes said.
“For us it was a matter of scouting through this region. Everywhere we go Victoria, like New South Wales, has so much convict and bushranger history.
“The cross over and parallels are vast. We can never stop looking (or finding) great locations.”
Jack Martin took on the role of Ben Hall.
“He was fairly well documented for the time period but not as much as other historical figures,” Martin said.
“There is a lot of what he said in articles, information about who he was from his contemporaries and how he carried himself.
Cast and crew of the film have been touring the country, visiting cinemas for question and answer sessions after screenings.
They were at Eaglehawk’s Star Cinema on Sunday night and Bendigo Cinemas on Monday morning.
“This is why we go through the trouble of making a film to show it to an audience,” Holmes said.
“So to see our posters up and the movie up on the screen is a great buzz. It's fantastic.”
The Legend of Ben Hall opens nationally in selected cinemas on December 1. It screens at Star Cinema until December 12.
For more details head to www.starcinema.org.au or log on to www.thelegendofbenhall.com