He Loves Me Not: Cameras roll in October
Prepare to immerse yourself in a world of love and beauty on K’gari as Fraser Coast Films embarks on the production of a new romantic comedy set to start production in early October (2023).
Titled He Loves Me Not, the film promises to enchant audiences not only with the talent of Australian actress Rhiannon Fish but also with the breathtaking scenery of K’gari itself, which serves not just as a backdrop but also as a “character” in the movie.
Fish is best known for her role in the Australian television series Neighbours and Home and Away.
Director and co-producer Tam Sainsbury said the decision to cast Rhiannon Fish as the lead in He Loves Me Not was not taken lightly.
Sainsbury praised Fish’s acting prowess and her rise as a rom-com lead, which includes her involvement with Hallmark, a major player in the rom-com genre in the United States.
“I’ve known her as an actress from back in a Home and Away days,” Sainsbury said.
“She’s really good; really beautiful. I’ve seen the journey she’s been on and know she’s becoming well-known as a rom-com lead. She’s the perfect choice; she fits the character perfectly.”
Writer and co-producer Jeremy Stanford emphasised the international appeal of Fish.
“She’s great for the character, but we also know that to have an actor with an international star that’s rising will help sell the film around the world,” Stanford said.
Love, dreams, and surprises on K’gari
He Loves Me Not explores the story of an American actress working and living on K’gari at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
Her dream is to secure enough money to attend a prestigious acting course in Los Angeles. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when a dating show comes to the island, offering her a wild card entry.
She seizes the opportunity, hoping to win the cash prize, but along the way, she falls in love with the film’s male lead.
K’gari: more than a backdrop
K’gari, the film’s distinctive setting, isn’t merely a backdrop but a vital “character” intricately woven into the story’s fabric, Stanford said.
“K’gari is beautiful. We want to portray the beauty elements of K’gari because the show is about falling in love. All of those beautiful feelings you have (watching the film), come from K’gari as well.
“The essence we want to capture with this film is that of beauty. But also, we want to tell some of the Indigenous story as well.
“So, it’s not just us coming to the island and saying, this is beautiful!
“K’gari has a much deeper history than that, so we wanted to add some of those elements as well. It really feels like K’gari’s not just a backdrop, but it’s a character in the film.”
Beyond showcasing K’gari’s natural splendor, the creators aim to ensure sure the island’s depth and significance are portrayed authentically on screen.
Film delves into love, growth, and reality show realities
He Loves Me Not isn’t just another love story; it also delves into themes of personal growth, self-discovery, and moral integrity.
The protagonist, a strong-willed woman, embarks on a journey of self-love and growth while navigating the complexities of romance.
Her willingness to right a wrong, even if it means sacrificing her own happiness, adds depth to her character and the film’s overall message.
The film also sheds light on the darker side of reality shows, a topic close to the creators’ hearts.
Sainsbury and Stanford expressed their dislike for such programs, which have affected the film industry by diverting resources from traditional drama.
In He Loves Me Not, they integrate a critique of reality TV’s impact on careers and artistic expression, reflecting their genuine concerns about the industry.
Production for He Loves Me Not is scheduled to run from October 9 to 28, 2023, with over two weeks of filming on K’gari and nearly a week in Hervey Bay. It will have a production crew of about 30 people, including a cast of 10.
He Loves Me Not sparks sponsorship opportunities
Local sponsorship and involvement will play vital roles in Fraser Coast Films’ productions, with several local businesses already offering to support the project.
Executive Producer Glen Winney said several businesses had already come on board as sponsors and more were welcome to take part through product placement and other avenues.
“Fraser Coast Films aims to build a sustainable filmmaking ecosystem in the Fraser Coast region for future projects,” Winney said.
“For those interested in becoming part of this cinematic journey, Fraser Coast Films has a website where people can register to be extras in the movie, provide background support, or even become sponsors.”
For more information, visit https://frasercoastfilms.com.au/
Fraser Coast Films is dedicated not only to bringing He Loves Me Not to life but also to nurturing the local film industry, making it a win-win for the community and film enthusiasts alike.
With a compelling cast, a stunning natural backdrop, and a heartfelt narrative, He Loves Me Not promises to be a romantic comedy that captures the beauty and essence of K’gari Island while delivering a message of love, growth, and self-discovery.
As production gears up, it’s an exciting time for both filmmakers and the community to come together and create something special on the shores of the Fraser Coast’s K’gari and Hervey Bay.
He Loves Me Not is the second production for Fraser Coast Films; the first – 13 Summers – is expected to reach our screens later this year.
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Feature Photo: Writer and co-producer Jeremy Stanford and Director and co-producer Tam Sainsbury, by Jocelyn Watts.
Published 21 September 2023.
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