The Naked Wanderer in BunGeo

The Naked Wanderer made its world premier at a star-studded red-carpet event at this year’s CinefestOZ in September. But that’s only half the story, says Gabi Mills. The feel-good movie also gave the BunGeo a starring role!

It’s the WA-made film about a man who traverses the WA coastline – mostly in the buff – in a ploy to win back his ex-girlfriend, raising money for charity along the way. The Naked Wanderer enchanted audiences at its premier in Bunbury as part of CinefestOZ’s launch, particularly perhaps because the scenery would be very familiar to many of those in the darkened cinema.

At the premier, Bunbury-based director Alan Lindsay said The Naked Wanderer combined romance, comedy and amazing scenery along the Western Australian coast. “We can’t wait for audiences to see these magnificent landscapes brought to life on the silver screen,” Lindsay said. Since then, the movie has garnered warm reviews and support from local Aussie movie-goers, keen to see a homegrown story with a heart.

Angus McLaren and Natasha Liu Bordizzo led the star-studded cast on the red carpet. Angus, best known for his roles in popular Aussie series Packed to the Rafters and H20: Just Add Water, was keen to extol the virtues of the BunGeo region.

“It was an absolute delight to film along the south west coast. The personnel we got to work with, the scenery, the story, it’s a dream come true. WA is incredible and the locations we got to explore were just the tip of the iceberg.”

His co-star Liu Bordizzo, who stars in the hit Netflix show, The Society, and upcoming animated movie Wish Dragon, was a fan too. She was particularly keen to stock up on Bunbury’s delicious food during filming. “We cooked everyday while filming, using all the amazing farmers markets produce.”

Production of The Naked Wanderer first began in 2017, with British Comedy icon John Cleese shooting his scenes in the UK. Filming continued in 2018 in locations along WA’s south west coast, including Bunbury, Dardanup, Harvey and Capel, before moving up the coast to Lancelin, Sandy Cape and Karratha.

Written by Margaret River-born Callan Durlik, who also plays Cameron in the movie, it was an important moment when he learned that the movie would launch the prestigious film festival.

“Premiering The Naked Wanderer in Bunbury has brought the film full circle, with CinefestOZ and the south west region having played essential roles in getting the feature to the big screen,” said Callan.

Along with the cast, he would regularly head to the coast to let off steam. “Growing up in Margaret River, I never spent a huge amount of time in Bunbury, but coming up here as an adult was amazing. The weather was beautiful, and we swam pretty much every day at the beautiful beaches. The people were so friendly.”

It’s hoped that the film may create the ‘Drift’ effect, a surfing movie filmed in Margaret River which spawned tours for visitors keen to see where scenes were filmed.

Visit thenakedwanderer. com.au for more information and umbrellaentfilms.com.au for screening details.