BENDIGO filmmaker Greg McLean will unveil two new films nationally in the coming months.
The first, adventure thriller Jungle, premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival and will screen as part of the festival’s roadshow at Eaglehawk’s Star Cinema this weekend.
McLean, who grew up in Emu Creek near Bendigo, said Wolf Creek 2 and before that Rogue (2007), were the last films he had feature at Star Cinema.
“At the launch of the Melbourne International Film Festival we had a phenomenal screening,” he said.
“It such a prestigious event, so when you put the effort into making a movie and it is well received and liked, it’s great.”
Jungle stars Daniel Radcliffe and is based on the true story of Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg who, along with two friends, was lost in the Amazon for days during the 1980s.
“(Ghinsberg’s book) It was sent to me by a producer. I read it and fell in love with it. It’s a powerful, interesting story and something that is different and a challenge,” he said.
“I was interested in telling a true-life story. With the author (Ghinsberg) on set and acting as an adviser, it made it more accurate and focused on what actually happened.
“There was more of a responsibility to it get right and, at the same time, make a good movie.”
McLean said Daniel Radcliffe was drawn to the movie for the challenge.
“He was suggested as a person to think of for the lead role and has been doing amazing performances in some interesting movies,” McLean said. “Daniel was drawn to the challenge and really carries the whole movie as the central character.”
One of the other challenges McLean faced was shooting the entire film outdoors in Colombia and Queensland.
“In filmmaking you tend to try and control everything but with this entirely outdoors and on water, you give away an aspect of control,” he said.
“You’re trying to collaborate with nature and be flexible because you personally can’t control the elements.”
Jungle will be released in the US, Europe and Britain in October with a national release in Australia not long after.
McLean’s other release, thriller The Belko Experiment, was released in the US in March but will hit Australian Screens in September.
“That was also shot in Colombia and is a completely different film,” he said.
“It’s a horror-thriller that basically explores the idea of what people will do in an impossible situation.”
Jungle screens at Star Cinema on Friday, September 8, at 8pm as part of the MIFF Travelling Showcase.