Since the days of swashbuckling Errol Flynn in the 1930s there has been a long list of Australian stars through the likes of Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman and Geoffrey Rush to Margot Robbie. There have also been distinguished director/producers of the calibre of Peter Weir, George Miller, Fred Schepisi, Bruce Beresford and Baz Luhrman. A number of them began their careers working with low budgets.

It is a lead that highly creative award-winning writer/director Iain Fulton has followed with his latest production Blackwater, which was launched at BCC Cinemas Toowoomba Strand on July 27 after being two-and-a-half years in the making. Running for about 60 minutes Blackwater which is described by Iain as a “unique dramatic American western” was shot on green screen with actors being placed into worlds created by 3D models.

“The story is about Blackwater, a small fictional mining town in Dakota Territory in the 1880s which is taken over by a group of bandits,” says Iain, who took five months to write the script. “These days everyone is making films set in the modern era and I wanted to create something different. The end result is that Blackwater is a very exciting, dark, tense, dramatic and emotional western like none other seen before.”

The film, which had important support from the Highfields Pioneer Village, is “right in your face” from the opening scene. The bandits – led by Johnny Norris as Ace Dalton – demand service from barkeep Chester Green, played by Ric Carlsson, who is a member of one of Queensland’s most famous film families. A consummate professional with exquisite diction and timing John Regan, as The Sheriff, tries to placate the group but is doomed to a tragic end even though he outwits the bandits. The glamorous Vanessa Joy Bristow, who has a lot of screen time, is most convincing as The Sheriff’s daughter and as the show ends she can be imagined cleaning up the town as the new Sheriff.

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