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Cameras Flock to Far North Queensland with Indie Thriller, 13 Summers, Slated for Late 2023 Release

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Tom Linkins
Updated Thu 02 Feb 2023

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Film crews once again returned to beautiful Far North Queensland in early 2023 to start production on a new psychological thriller slated for release in the back end of the year. This time cameras set up shop in the unique beauty and dramatic rural backdrop of coastal Hervey Bay.

13 Summers, an independently produced thriller, stars Neighbours alum and Aussie tabloid royalty, Bec Hewitt in one of the lead roles. Also joining the lead cast is Nathan Philips (Wolf Creek, Snakes on a Plane, Neighbours), Hannah Levien (Siren, Reginald the Vampire), Jeremy Stanford (Jack Irish, Silversun, Relic) Georgie Parker (Home and Away, All Saints), and Ben Turland (Neighbours, Home and Away, Riptide) as the mysterious and lusty British backpacker.

The plot follows Ben and Vee (Philips and Levien) as they arrive at an isolated beach house for their yearly getaway with their besties, Kate and Patrick (Hewitt and Stanford). On arrival, Kate and Patrick are nowhere to be seen. Instead, they find a cagey British backpacker (Turland) in their place. With their marriage already on the rocks, things escalate as the mysterious backpacker lures Vee into his web of lust and deceit. Several twists, turns and dead bodies later, Kate and Patrick finally arrive to a stinking hot mess the couples must come together and untwist, all the while evading the watchful eye of local cop, Debbie (Parker).

Originally, 13 Summers was to be shot on the sunshine coast, until they scouted out locations further north where the Fraser Coast Council offered partial sponsorship and connected the crew and cast to the local business community. Screen Queensland’s chief creative officer, Dr Belinda Burns, thinks the relocation to a more regional setting was for the best, and recognises an overall move toward regional towns within the Australian film industry. ‘First and foremost, they’re so unique and they’re so beautiful,’ Dr Burns said in an interview with ABC, ‘You look at Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast — it’s just stunning on screen.’

And she’s right. As made evident by Stan’s thrilling murder mystery, Black Snow, released earlier this year, Queensland’s rugged and rural coastline makes for darkly beautiful backdrop for even darker dramas to unravel on. Jeremy Stanford, who also serves as a writer and producer on 13 Summers, says they have two more projects in the works they hope to shoot in Hervey Bay in the future.

Visit Hervey Bay and K'gari (Fraser Island)

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Come north and see the wonders of Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast for yourself! Cruise into a shimmering mirage of brilliant reds, oranges and pinks on a sunset cruise, kayak through placid waters alongside turtles, dolphins and rays, and score an intimate encounter with the whales that migrate through the region in the winter months.

13 Summers will join the ranks of Black Snow and blockbusters Ticket to Paradise and Fool’s Gold as stunning on screen representations of Far North Queenslands boundless beauty. Keep your eyes peeled for a late 2023 release.

Start planning your getaway to the endless summer and stretching beaches of Hervey Bay and K'gari today, and chat with our sensational travel experts to get the hottest tips and deals.

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