Film-maker Russell Kilbey said he was in no way prepared for the incredible response to his documentary The Man from Coxs River.
The self-financed, self-distributed feature documentary is showing to sell-out crowds across the country.
Bathurst audiences will have their chance to see it tomorrow from 1.15pm at Metro 5 Cinemas.
It should be of particular interest to residents of this area because they should be very familiar with the Cox’s River.
Mr Kilbey, who is also the director, and producer Amy Scully will be on hand to answer questions from the audience, turning the screening into a special event.
“It’s a really good story. It’s funny, intense, and a powerful connection to place,” Mr Kilbey said.
“The Burragorang is a mythical place no-one can go to any more.
“We were the first film crew in the past 50 years to be allowed in. People have heard stories about it, but have never been able to go there.
“It is a very Australian story and people are hungry for that kind of thing.”
The film follows the travails of a Blue Mountains family, the Carlons.
For 40 years the family took tourists horse riding along the Coxs River until the area was declared a wilderness, marking the end of their family business.
After a long history of difficult relations between National Parks and the Carlons, National Parks ranger Chris Banffy has a problem he thinks Luke Carlon might be able to solve.
A mob of brumbies inhabit the Burragorang valley, a water catchment area sealed off to the general public for more than 50 years.
Classed as feral pests, National Parks’ head office needs Chris to remove the animals from Sydney’s water supply without any of the outcry that has marred some previous control operations which involved the use of shooters in helicopters.
Unlike any other horse relocation program in Australia, the only access to the trap-yards is either by helicopter or horseback.
If Luke takes the job he will have to find the horses and get them in the trap, then he’ll have to break them in enough to lead them out.
The Man from Coxs River was completed in November 2013 after nearly five years of hazardous and gruelling filming in the Blue Mountains National Park. Mr Kilbey said the film crew lived with the stockmen for up to a week at a time in the wilderness, filming among snakes, 40 degree heat, boggy river crossings and, of course, wild brumbies. Most of the filming was done off horseback using bike courier bags to cart the cameras.
“We had made documentaries before, but this story found us,” Mr Kilbey said.
“People love the Australian bush, and they love horses, which are truly magical animals. I think that is part of the film’s appeal.”