Filming has commenced in Brisbane on Swimming for Gold, starring Peyton List as Claire Carpenter, a young elite swimmer sent to Australia to coach a boys swim team.
It’s a familiar formula for producer Steve Jaggi, following his previous efforts Rip Tide (starring former Disney star Debby Ryan as a supermodel sent to Australia) and Back of the Net (starring Disney star Sofia Wylie as a science nerd sent to Australia), both of which have been embraced internationally.
“We’re thrilled to be shooting our latest feature here in Brisbane,” says Jaggi whose previous films were made in the Illawarra region of NSW. “We’ve been welcomed by the local industry with open arms and hope this is the first of many productions we film here.”
Swimming for Gold will serve as the directorial debut for Hayley MacFarlane, whose main credits include reality TV shows such as Love Island and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
“I instantly felt connected to this story of young athletes training competitively at the top of their game,” says MacFarlane. “With intelligent female characters and compassionate male roles, Swimming for Gold is an uplifting story that will inspire courage and friendship in viewers both young and old. Having directed projects around the world, I’m delighted to be shooting my first feature back on home soil in beautiful Brisbane.”
Although no supporting cast has been announced, appropriately enough, Swimming for Gold will feature cameos from a number of actual swimming personalities, including Susie O’Neill, Ariarne Titmus and Ellie Cole.
According to outgoing Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira, the project will bring in over $2 million into the local economy and employ more than 65 local crew throughout the 4-week shoot.v“This feature film will also provide key training opportunities through industry attachments in hair and makeup as well as assistant director roles demonstrating how our investments continue to grow the local capability and upskill the next wave of screen industry crew.
“It’s also a clear demonstration of our commitment to gender parity in the screen industry giving the talented Hayley MacFarlane her first feature film directing credit, a step closer to redressing the imbalance of women in this key creative role which currently sits at a mere 16 per cent for Australian feature films.”
And the final word to the star herself: “I’ve visited Australia with my family, and I’m really excited to return but this time to work alongside a new cast with such an exciting script! My character Claire goes on a journey of self-discovery throughout the film, to overcome her fears. I’m looking forward to sharing this heart-warming and inspiring story with young audiences.”
Swimming for Gold will be released in cinemas in 2020.