Minnamurra (Outback) 1990
Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’; The Shiralee; Filming in the Upper Hunter; Scone’s Civic Theatre: Heather Ashford assisted by Mary Woodlands: Federation Publication No 1 Scone and Upper Historical Society Incorporated, Scone NSW 2337 Australia. 1997. ISBN 0 949187 14 3. © Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society, Incorporated. Designed and printed by Pritchard’s Press Pty. Ltd. 206 Kelly Street, Scone NSW 2337.
Greg Bennett (Photo Alister Jones) & Horses at Belltrees (Photo Michael White): Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society; ‘Moving Images and the Theatre’ (See above)
David Stratton in The Avocado Plantation described this production as “almost Snowy III” in story line and a “mob of horses galloping across country at the climax”.
One local identity who played a big part in the production was Greg Bennett, who tells the story of his involvement:
“In September of 1987 I was approached by John Sexton Productions, to assist with the making of the movie Outback. The film was to be funded by American money and was to include a number of American actors, as well as some Australian actors.
“My initial involvement was to assist in location management; i. e. finding the correct locations to suit specific areas of the script.
“Belltrees was chosen for many of the locations, mainly because the property lent itself well for livestock and staff accommodation.
“The story of the movie, which was later called Minnamurra, involved the gathering together of a large number of Remount horses to be sent by ship to South Africa to help in the war effort during the Boer War. One family was in financial difficulty at the time following the death of the owner of the property. His daughter took it upon herself to deliver the horses ti the wharves of Sydney for shipping to South Africa.
“My second and most important involvement with Minnamurra was to locate 250 horses and to help with their training, feeding and transportation from one set to another.
“Heath Harris, who has been involved in many Australian Horse Movies, was the horse master, and I assisted with the day-to-day care and welfare of 250 horses on the movie set.”
Another local involved with Greg was Steve Van Hemert.
The Producer was John Sexton; director Ina Berry and photography in the charge of Ross Berryman.
The Premier, attended by a large crowd of locals and visitors, was held in the Civic Theatre, Scone in 1990.