Geelong creative powerhouse group Back to Back Theatre has its sights set on the big screen thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government, as work continues to gather pace on Geelong’s arts precinct.
Premier Daniel Andrews today visited Geelong to announce a $100,000 grant to help the award-winning Back to Back Theatre develop a script for a feature film based on the company’s internationally-acclaimed theatre production Ganesh Versus the Third Reich.
In an Australian first, Back to Back’s ensemble of actors with intellectual disabilities will not only star in the film, they will also co-author the script. The production is planned to be filmed in Geelong in collaboration with some of Australia’s best screen talents.
Since premiering in 2011, Ganesh Versus the Third Reich has been performed in 35 cities worldwide, taking the team of Geelong actors to cities including New York, Berlin, Paris, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh and Athens.
In addition to the Ganesh project and several international ventures, the team is working to expand their TV pilot Oddlands into a full television series, with their latest production, The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes, also set to premiere in Sydney next month before heading back to Geelong and Melbourne.
While at the arts precinct, the Premier also inspected construction on the $166.5 million redevelopment of the Geelong Arts Centre as works continue on the Ryrie Street project – a project giving local groups like Back to Back and other theatre groups the cutting-edge facilities to thrive in.
Stage 2 works have involved more than 700 tradies working 120,000 hours of work, 1300 cubic metres of concrete and over 600 tonnes of steel. These works to be completed this year, include a striking new entrance, four new studios and a creative industries floor providing workspace for creatives, students and the community.
The final stage of the Arts Centre’s redevelopment will begin next year with a 500-seat drama theatre, a new 250-seat courtyard theatre, a new black box theatre, an outdoor atrium and a better dining area giving Geelong the world-class arts precinct they need to attract visitors and boost jobs. This project will be completed in 2023.
Back to Back Theatre was founded in Geelong in 1987 to create an all-abilities theatre group ensuring people with a disability get the opportunities they want to get involved in the creative arts.
Greater Geelong’s creative industries contribute $2.1 billion to the local economy, supporting over 9,000 jobs.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“Whether it’s building a world-class arts centre, delivering the best major events calendar or backing award winning groups such as Back To Back, we’re supporting Geelong’s thriving tourism sector grow and create jobs.”
“Good jobs, entertainment, arts and sports all combine to make a city a great place to live, and only Labor is delivering that for Geelong.”
As noted by Member for Geelong Chris Couzens
“Back to Back Theatre is one of Victoria’s – and Australia’s – greatest exports with their all-abilities work wowing audiences around the globe. We’re proud to back them take their acclaimed work to even more people.”
As noted by Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“Delivering a world-class art centre for Geelong is a win for the whole region – whether you live in Geelong, the Surf Coast or Bellarine Peninsula, you’ll no longer have to travel to Melbourne to see the very best acts.”
As noted by Member for Lara John Eren
“Whether it’s finishing what we started at Kardinia Park, delivering a Convention Centre for Geelong or backing our vibrant creative arts – we’re putting Geelong on the map and creating the jobs locals need.”
As noted by Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman
“People from around the world come to Geelong and the Surf Coast for its pristine natural environment, beautiful beaches and major events. We’re backing our area to boost visitors and create even more local jobs.”
As noted by Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney
“We’re giving community groups and students across Geelong access to the world-class performing arts centre they need to grow and prosper. We’re also backing Back to Back take their work to even more people.”