Blue Mountains children's adventure film on hold

A children's fantasy adventure film shot in the Blue Mountains was to be released in May, but is still on hold due to the coronavirus.

Joanne Samuel from Katoomba, best known for playing Mel Gibson's screen wife in the 1979 hit Mad Max, has made her directorial debut with The Legend of the Five.

It was filmed in the Upper Mountains in October and November 2018, and would have been in cinemas in May, but the lockdown has put everything on hold.

"Despite restrictions easing, it is too early to work on a release date as cinemas are still not opened," Ms Samuel said.

"Despite what happens with COVID-19, the first release of the film will be in cinemas, and will not be going straight to online. It will go online after it hits cinemas.

"We just have to bide our time and see what happens," she said.

The movie follows a group of misfit teenagers who find an ancient relic during a school trip, and become caught up in a magical world with elemental powers beyond their belief, and the responsibility of stopping an age-old evil from destroying the world.

Scenes were shot in the national park at Katoomba and Wentworth Falls, the Cathedral of Ferns in Mt Wilson, and at the Katoomba Antique Centre and The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst.

The film features Blue Mountains residents Tiriel Mora, Beth Champion and Georgia Adamson, and young people from Ms Samuel's 3 Sisters Youth Theatre were extras.

Ms Samuel says the film is aimed at eight to 14 year olds, and she's shown it to a few audiences who have loved it. She says children's adventure fantasy is her genre.

"I love working with the kids in youth theatre. It's what I know well," she said.

The film is Ms Samuel's directional debut, and she says it was a huge learning curve.

"I learned a lot about myself. To trust my instincts and clearly communicate," she said.

"As a woman in the film industry it's tough. You have to stick to your guns and follow through with good, strong communication."

The actors and crew worked long hours during shooting, through rain, fog and sunshine.

"We didn't stop. We didn't have the luxury of Winnebagos," Ms Samuel said.

"It was a question of how much rain is too much rain?"

Especially when there were actors wearing prosthetics and large amounts of make-up that had taken four hours to apply.

"It was hard work but I loved every minute of it," Ms Samuel said.

Melbourne-based film company Blackmagic Design gave the film a "Hollywood finish", using techniques to give the film a soft, warm quality.

Ms Samuel says she'd love to direct another film, but is focused on seeing this one to cinemas first.

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