Film gala a big hit

Questions, questions: Director Aaron Wilson, editor Cindy Clarkson, co-writer Christos Tsiolkas and actors Fabio Motta, Silvia Colloca and Mark Leonard Winter at the Cobram Q&A session. Photo by Contributed

Cobram had a taste of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood when the stars and crew of upcoming film Little Tornadoes attended an opening gala in the town.

About 160 people were at Cobram Community Cinema for a special red carpet arrival and Q&A session with some of the stars and crew of the locally-filmed movie before its May 12 cinematic release.

Movie writer, director and producer Aaron Wilson was keen to hold the gala in Cobram as the film explored new and different angles on a uniquely Australian story.

He said the event also brought something new to Cobram and appealed to a wide range of stories and experiences found in the community.

“It was quite a special and flashy, glamorous event ... there were stars coming to town and that hadn’t really been done in Cobram before,” he said.

“A lot of locals were saying just after COVID-19, the event was great and they’d love to do more of these things.

“It promotes discussion, it promotes coming together, then when we come together we’re stronger and it helps promote and foster growth.”

Wilson, who grew up in Tocumwal, said had he been able to engage with similar events as a young man when he was a student, he would have gotten involved with the arts as a career earlier on.

“You’re empowering people to say ‘oh, I can create here”. There might be a call to come back here and tell the stories of our own world,“ he said.

“Had I had that awareness or high school or that empowerment and nurturing to look deeper into a creative world, I would’ve dived into it.”

Wilson said a number of schools had booked sessions to watch the film at the cinema and the council had expressed interest in stimulating young minds.

The film is set in the 1970s and explores the effect of themes and movements that were topical at the time, including post-war trauma, immigration and adaption.

“There was this rhythm in the film. They like the fact that is was authentic and spoke about Australia in a way they hadn’t seen before,” he said.

“It spoke to the heart of their own personal experiences.”

The gala also had the support of various local businesses, as well as help from Cobram Community Cinema, Moira and Berrigan shire councils, Cobram Secondary College students and community members who helped support and sponsor the event.

Wilson will take the Little Tornadoes Q&A tour across Victoria, NSW, the ACT, South Australia and the Northern Territory until late June.

Various cast and crew will join him along the way, including award-winning cinematographer Stefan Duscio at a special session in Cobram on May 24.

The film can be seen in Australian cinemas from May 12.