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Regional Victoria’s rise to stardom in The Dry

Film & TV  15 Jan 2021

Victorian-made feature, The Dry has captivated audiences since its release on New Year’s Day, soaring to #1 at the Australian box office.

The gripping thriller also made an extraordinary and lasting impact on the regional Victorian communities in which it filmed and, while their names may not be on the poster alongside Eric Bana, they were an integral part of the production’s success.


Of its 37 filming days, 34 of these were in Victoria’s rural Wimmera and Mallee regions as the filmmakers were committed to capturing authentic Australian life in the towns and countryside that inspired Jane Harper’s best-selling novel.

Wimmera business owner Dale Maggs was involved in the film right from the start, welcoming Eric and director Robert Connolly into Emma’s Café in Minyip when they made their first trip to the western Victorian town to scout locations.

Home to iconic Australian TV series The Flying Doctors, the historic location of Emma’s Cafe was one of 120 local businesses and service providers utilised by The Dry over four months of filming and post-production in Victoria.

Produced by Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies, Gone Girl), Jodi Matterson (Little Monsters) and Steve Hutensky (The Nightingale), the production also injected close to $8 million into Victoria’s economy and generated 450 employment opportunities, including small speaking parts and extra roles for locals.

Eric, Robert and the other cast and crew got to know the Wimmera region well during the filming of The Dry – in addition to Minyip, the production spent spending several weeks shooting in and around the towns of Murtoa, Hopetoun, Warracknabeal and Beulah.

“The local community has been absolutely incredible and so supportive. We’ve had them playing extras and they’ve been working behind the scenes in construction and all kinds of different areas on the film,” said Eric.

“They’ve been so friendly and so accommodating and we wouldn’t have been able to make the film without their help,” he said.

In the video, you'll meet Dale and locals across the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria who welcomed the production to their towns and were thrilled to take part as actors and extras, community liaisons and hosts to the cast and crew.

The Dry is in cinemas now. For more information and tickets, visit