Geelong Waterfront Film

by Belinda Lyle in Blog


Location. Camera. Action. Filmmaking in Geelong.

With its diverse and impressive natural landscape Geelong is destined for the screen. Urban areas, semi-rural landscapes and beautiful coastline see Geelong and surrounding areas as an ideal area for filmmaking.

The first real focus on our region was Mad Max filmed in 1979 featuring Mel Gibson roaring around the You Yangs and since then the number of films and TV shows shot in and around Geelong has been impressive. Ghost Rider starring Nicholas Cage, Kate Winslet in The Dressmaker and more recently exceptionally crafted feature film ‘Undertow’ directed by Miranda Nation and six-part TV series, ‘Tomorrow When The War Began’ based on the novel by John Marsden. However, to have a viable filmmaking industry in Geelong, we need to ensure more film and TV producers are knocking on our door and a group of Geelong businesses and volunteers are doing something about it.

The Geelong Waterfront Film project, initiated by Mr Patrick Rowan is run by volunteers from Harwood Andrews, Patrick Rowan & Associates, B well connected and other local businesses and interested parties. The project has the support of the Committee for Geelong who has hosted several Film Forums.

The vision is three mutually supportive activities:

  • Staging of a Geelong Waterfront Film Festival
  • A local film making competition to showcase up and coming talent
  • Establishment of the Waterfront Film Foundation offering financial assistance in the form of a grant or investment to those filming in the region.

The Treasurer and the Minister for the Arts has recently approved the addition of the Waterfront Film Foundation to the Register of Cultural Organisations (ROCO), meaning the foundation can now receive tax deductible gifts.

The register aims to strengthen private sector support for the arts and encourages Australians to contribute to the nation’s vibrant cultural life.

“ROCO registration has significant benefits for filmmaking in our region,” says Mr Patrick Rowan.

“It recognises the project is a worthwhile cause and aims to put film making in Geelong on the agenda. “

“One of the things we have found is producers scouting our region often approach us for local financial assistance. When sufficiently funded, grants through the Waterfront Film Foundation will attract industry participants to Geelong.”

Filmmaking not only creates employment for people in the sector, but there is a flow on effect to the region supporting local businesses and creating tourism opportunities.  Becoming a vibrant film hub will also further establish the arts and cultural experience for Geelong residents and visitors. 

“We’re hoping to gain support and collaborate with the local community and businesses. There’s been a lot of work already done in this area, but the Registration of the Waterfront Film Foundation on the Register of Cultural Organisations is a significant step towards recognising Geelong’s potential.”

Mr Rowan also hopes that this will encourage educational and training opportunities for filmmaking in Geelong.

As the Foundation has just been established, it will be some time before financial assistance is available. In the meantime, the Foundation is asking for public support in the form of a tax-deductible donation or joining as a “Friend of Geelong Waterfront Film”.

Interested parties can become a Friend of Geelong Waterfront Film for a one-off $20 fee. Tax deductible donations can be made at


Mr Patrick Rowan is available for comment.

Contact:   Belinda Lyle, B well connected.  Tel: 0409 432 196