Saddle up for The Man from Coxs River at Mt Vic Flicks

Saddle up for a pioneering tale. 

Mt Vic Flicks was the setting for the Blue Mountains opening of The Man from Coxs River film on December 11, a documentary almost five years in the making that is now destined for the film festival circuit. 

The movie tells the story of the wild horses from the Burragorang valley and the expensive and difficult attempts by a Megalong Valley horseman Luke Carlon to muster them to safety while threats of aerial culls hang over the wild horses ‘heads.

It’s also a documentary about reconciliation. For years the National Parks Service and the pioneering Carlon family have been arch enemies, since National Parks ordered them to stop taking tourists on horses through the valley. When Katoomba-based Parks ranger Chris Banffy makes the call to Luke Carlon to find the wild horses in impossible country, the movie’s premise is set up. Unlike any other horse relocation program in Australia the only access to the trap-yards is either by helicopter or horseback.Will Carlon successfully trap the doomed brumbies and lead them to safety?

In the film, horseman Carlon spends four months on and off feeding the wild horses and trying to gain their trust, eventually trapping them and trying to break them in before the long and dangerous job begins of bringing the wily animals out with them biting and kicking all the way.

Director Russell Kilbey, who spent months on and off horseback with a camera, said the movie was “made with a lot of love”.

“Hopefully it hits the spot,” he told the packed Mt Victoria audience.

The award winning director heard about the story through a work colleague — “Luke’s sister”— and was attracted by the idea of the “Wild Dog Mountains, dangerous brumbies and eating lots of bacon around a campfire”. 

Mr Kilbey answered questions from the audience after the screening. Most related to the re-homing of the brumbies with Mr Kilbey and the movie’s star, Luke Carlon, pointing out that almost all had settled in well with their new owners and some were now being ridden by the children of the team involved in their relocation.The film will be available on DVD next year.

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