Back in 2016, the cast of The Nightingale the movie (2018) stayed at Woodbridge during filming. The film is set in colonial Tasmania and this scene was filmed largely in the Derwent Valley. It was shot in the wilderness surrounding nearby Mount Field and in the isolated farmland in the hills behind us.
This is a tale of revenge. A British soldier rapes a young Irish female convict, and kills her husband and baby. She sets out on a quest of revenge to find and kill him, assisted by an aboriginal tracker.
Released at Sundance and the 75th Venice Film Festival, The Nightingale received critical acclaim. Subsequently it won the Best Australian Feature Award at the recent 2019 Melbourne Foreign Film Festival.
The critics praised the brutal honesty of the film and said that the portrayal of 19th century Tasmania was utterly convincing. In colonial Australia violence against women, convicts and aborigines was commonplace, casual and utterly callous.
The Nightingale opens in Australia on 29 August 2019. It scores a 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
While we don’t usually name our guests, this one is already out there in the public arena. Besides, we are more or less taken ‘partial ownership’ of this film.
During the months of filming, The Nightingale production team had Exclusive Use of Woodbridge. Our guests included, among others:
Jenifer Kent, director-writer, of Babadook fame
Sam Caflin, of Hunger Games and Me before You, who is the villain in The Nightingale
and Ainsley Francioni who plays the lead
and Baykali Ganambarr in the role as the aboriginal tracker.
One tends to think of the glamor of film, but seldom of the hard work. While the cast were staying at Woodbridge, we saw the hard work. We saw the early mornings, the long hours and the weeks and weeks away from family.
We are proud to have been a small part of this film.