Birthright cast members Michael Hurst, Maria Angelico, Linda Cropper, Travis Jeffery, with writer-director Zoe Pepper. Picture: Emma Vickery

Cameras roll in Darlington

A Darlington home is being used for Zoe Pepper’s debut feature film, Birthright, which kicked off production last week with an impressive ensemble cast.
February 8, 2024
Peter W Lewis

FILMING has commenced in a Darlington home of yet another screen production in the Perth Hills following recent filming in Gidgegannup for Runt,  largely filmed in York.

The Darlington home is being used for Zoe Pepper’s debut feature film, Birthright, which kicked off production last week with an impressive ensemble cast.

The dark comedy stars Travis Jeffery (Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, Unbroken, Gallipoli) and Maria Angelico (The Newsreader, Strife, Sisters) as Cory and Jasmine, a professional couple in their 30s who are eight months pregnant.

When Cory loses his job, they are forced to move back in with his retiree parents played by Linda Cropper (Offspring, Upgrade) and Michael Hurst (Hercules, Spartacus), until they get back on their feet. As their stay extends, Cory fixates on his parents’ wealth and decides the only way to achieve the success he always imagined, is to do something unimaginable.

Set in a single location, filming will continue over the next four weeks, and will include an all-star lineup of Western Australian crew including director of photography Michael McDermott ACS (Hounds of Love), production designer Ocea Sellar (Mystic Pines) and costume designer Texx Montana (He Ain’t Heavy).

Director Zoe Pepper said she was incredibly grateful to have such a talented team backing her vision and working so hard to bring this story to life.

“The cast and crew are doing an amazing job. It’s quite surreal to see this world I’ve concocted come to life. I’m equal parts terrified and excited to kick off filming.”

Birthright was the 2022 recipient of Screenwest’s highly coveted West Coast Visions initiative, which is designed to uncover, inspire and develop talented and motivated WA filmmakers with distinctive visions to produce their debut feature film in WA.

Through this initiative, Birthright secured $750,000 production funding from Screenwest and went on to secure Screen Australia production funding and Madman Entertainment as ANZ distributor.

Screenwest chief executive officer Rikki Lea Bestall said kicking off 2024 with a West Coast Visions film heading into production was a great start to what is already shaping up to be a bumper year.

“Seeing Birthright come to life is very exciting and Screenwest is so pleased to be supporting Zoe in her debut. A quintessentially Australian story about boomers versus millennials – I can’t wait.”

Filming is scheduled to wrap on March 1, 2024, and is the first major production to begin filming in WA this year, but will soon be joined by a new feature from WA director Zak Hilditch, featuring Daisy Ridley of Star Wars fame.

It continues a record period of screen production in the state, which last year included Sam Neill’s arrival for Season 2 of The Twelve, largely filmed in York, along with Runt, and Nicolas Cage’s film The Surfer shot in the south west.

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