Memories and Mementos
7 Films Shot in Ipswich
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn more and more films, including big budget masterpieces, are being shot at Ipswich. The city’s mix of old and new, urban and rural, is proving to be a major drawcard for all sorts of film productions.
An ever-growing list of Hollywood heavyweights have called Ipswich their temporary home, including Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman!
The Railway Man
Jonathan Teplitzky’s war film, The Railway Man, brought A-listers Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine and Stellan Skarsgard to Ipswich in 2013. The film shot a number of scenes in Ipswich, including torture sequences at The Workshops Rail Museum (established in the historic railway yards site at North Ipswich). Colin Firth plays a former British army officer and POW. His character discovers the Japanese interpreter who tortured him during the war is still alive and he and his wife, played by Nicole Kidman, set out to find and confront him.
The film won a number of awards including Best Adapted Screenplay at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Awards.
We Were Tomorrow
We Were Tomorrow is a young adult, multi-period television series filmed at a number of locations throughout Ipswich. Production utilised Woodlands of Marburg, The Rosewood Railway, The Workshops Rail Museum, an old church in Marburg and the Grandchester sawmill. The series follows twin siblings who navigate three lifetimes across three periods in history to escape and save a dystopian world. Ipswich’s heritage charm was the perfect backdrop for the 1920’s period scenes.
The film crew purchased a number of props and wardrobe items from Ipswich businesses during filming as a way to return profit to the city.
Don’t Tell is an Australian feature film released earlier this year, filmed entirely in Queensland. It tells the story of a young Queensland woman who, with the help of a local lawyer, takes on the Church that long denied her experience of sexual abuse at a Toowoomba private school. The widely acclaimed film is based on actual events from the late nineties and early 2000’s that changed Australia’s child protection laws.
A large number of scenes were shot inside the old 1970’s courthouse on the corner of East and Limestone Streets, as well as other parts of the Ipswich CBD. Renowned Aussie actor Rachel Griffiths stars in Don’t Tell alongside an all Australian cast.
This 2014 Australian crime drama was filmed at the Borallon Correctional Centre, about 15 minutes from Ipswich. Rise was written by former nurse Mack Lindon and is based on his own false conviction of rape and subsequent time in prison. Borallon Correctional Centre was decommissioned in early 2012 but reopened in 2016 as the Borallon Training and Correction Centre. Rise won an award for Best Composer and was nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Director.
Inspector Gadget 2
Inspector Gadget 2 is a feature film action comedy released in 2003. It is the sequel to the 1999 hit and stars French Stewart from 3rd Rock From the Sun, the film was directed by Alex Zanim. The car chase scene was filmed on Middle Road in Purga.
French/Australian indie drama The Tree was shot in Rosewood and follows the lives of Dawn and her four children after the unexpected death of Dawn’s husband. The film closed the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and received an impressive seven minute standing ovation. The particular tree used in the movie is a Teriotville Tree from the small town of the same name, about 30 minutes south of Ipswich.
The Tree is an adaptation of the novel Our Father Who Art in the Tree by Australian writer Judy Pascoe and received a string of international awards upon its release.
‘I Love Pop Music’ by Ben Lee
John Street in Rosewood features as the primary location in Ben Lee’s music video for I Love Pop Music. Lee is an Australian indie pop musician well-known for his song, Catch My Disease. I Love Pop Music was the first single off his Rebirth of Venus album in 2009 and features politically and philosophically charged lyrics set to the boppiest of tunes. The Rosewood Pub also gets a decent amount of screentime, as well as a friendly bunch of beer-sipping Ipswich locals.
These films are just a handful of many big budget and local productions to feature the charming heritage city of Ipswich. If you find yourself in the area, take a drive one afternoon and check out some of these historical locations for yourself.