SUCCESS: Steve le Marquand and Claire Van der Boom in CQ film Broke, named in Guardian Australia's Top 10 Australian films of 2016
SUCCESS: Steve le Marquand and Claire Van der Boom in CQ film Broke, named in Guardian Australia's Top 10 Australian films of 2016

Guardian Australia names CQ film as one of 2016's best

The Guardian Australia's list of the 10 best films produced in Australia this year has just been released and includes yet another gong for central Queensland-produced, Broke.

The low budget, little-Aussie-battler of a film reached heights far beyond the most hopeful predictions when it collected a swag of awards from 30 international film festivals.

With a total production cost of just $150,000, Broke was one of only two films released this year to recoup it's budget.

The other was the year's most popular film, Red Dog.

Broke tells the story of ageing rail worker, Cec and former footy hero, now washed up gambling addict, Ben Kelly,or BK.

Cec finds Kelly passed out late one evening and decides to take him in.

BK's journey to find his once-famous courage, in order to overcome his demons proved a winner for screenwriter and director, Heath Davis, producer Luke Graham, critics and audiences.

Although Steve le Marquand's performance as BK is being touted as one of the best this year, it was his co-star Claire Van der Boom who collected the Outstanding Lead Actress award at the Manchester Film Festival.

"We're very proud of that little film," Luke Graham said.

"The international market loved it."

Graham says the working-class film was conceived to it's location, which he discovered while visiting his parents in Central Queensland and discovered a 'fantastic location'.

Broke was filmed over six weeks, entirely on location in Gladstone and Rockhampton and premiered in Gladstone in April this year.

The majority of the crew were from central Queensland; none of whom had any experience in the film industry.

"When you don't have millions of dollars, you have to choose the right location," Graham said.

"The potential for the film industry in central Queensland is amazing.

"The heavy industry in Gladstone is very visual and this is a community that makes things happen.

"Realistically, if we'd had to pay for things we had through that support, the budget would have been half a million dollars.

"Choosing this location was perfect."

Broke is just the beginning for the fledgling central Queensland film industry.

Graham's production company, Scope Red is currently finalising the cast on it's next feature film, to be filmed around Byfield, north of Yeppoon and on the islands off Gladstone.

"It's completely different visually, but again it's all here," said Graham.

"Some of the scenes are set in the north-west of the United States, around Seattle, but they'll all be filmed in Byfield."

The psychological horror film will again feature big name Australian actors but with opportunities for central Queenslanders to be involved.

Production of the yet-to-be- named film is set to start in May next year, a time of year when Graham says the central Queensland light is really nice.

Again the budget is small and this time there will be American co-production, but it will remain a central Queensland product, with high hopes of achieving the same success as Broke.

You can watch Broke on Channel One on December 24 at 9pm.

International Awards

- Best Narrative Feature, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival

- Best Drama, Kiwi International Film Festival

- Best of Show Indiefest Film Awards, Los Angeles

- Award of Excellence, Indiefest Film Awards

- Outstanding Lead Actress, Manchester Film Festival

- Best Actor Cardiff Independent Film Festival

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