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Beneath Hill 60

Australian theatrical poster
Directed by Jeremy Sims
Produced by Ross J. Thomas (executive)
Bill Leimbach
David Roach
Written by David Roach
Starring Brendan Cowell
Gyton Grantley
Aden Young
Jacqueline Mackenzie
Anthony Hayes
Steve Le Marquand
Music by Cezary Skubiszewski
Cinematography Toby Oliver
Editing by Dany Cooper
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) 15 April 2010
Country Australia
Language English
Budget AU$8,140,500[1]

Beneath Hill 60 is a 2010 Australian war film, directed by Jeremy Sims and written by David Roach.

Set during World War I, the film tells the story of the 1st Australian Tunnelling Division’s effort to mine beneath a German bunker and detonate an explosive charge to aid the advance of British troops.[2] The screenplay is based on an account of the ordeal written by Captain Oliver Woodward,[3] who is portrayed by Brendan Cowell in the film.

Beneath Hill 60 is to be released in Australia on 15 April 2010. In July 2009 it was reported that there were plans to have the film showcased at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.[4]



Ross J. Thomas, a mining engineer and historian, met with producer Bill Leimbach and quickly convinced him that the story of Captain Oliver Woodward and the 1st Australian Tunnelling Division was "a story crying out to be told". Thomas knew descendants of Captain Oliver Woodward living in Melbourne, who agreed to have Woodward's diaries adapted into a screenplay. Leimbach recruited David Roach to write the film. Extensive research went into developing the characters and their environment, with Canberra's Australian War Memorial Archives providing research material.[5]

The majority of the war scenes were written to take place inside the tunnels so a tense environment could be achieved while facilitating the film's tight budget.[3] While searching for an director, Leimbach viewed Jeremy Sims's 2006 film Last Train to Freo. Impressed with the intensity of the film's claustrophobic action, Leimbach approached Sims, who agreed to direct Beneath Hill 60 after reading an early treatment.[5]

Actor Hugo Weaving showed interest in participating in the film and was offered the role of Oliver Woodward, but ultimately declined due to his claustrophobia.[6] The role went to Brendan Cowell in a decision driven by the actor's experience and numerous accolades.[5]

Working titles for the film included The Silence[7] and The Silence Beneath.[7][3] Leimbach explained that the film was titled Beneath Hill 60 to maximise recognition for the international audience and felt that it was a more suitable title for a war film.[7]

Principal photography for Beneath Hill 60 began in late July 2009[3][4] and lasted around 40 days.[8] The film was shot in Townsville, Queensland and its surrounding areas. Locations were used to represent both Australia and the Western Front, while the tunnels were constructed as sets indoors; digging actual tunnels to film in would have proved "logistically impossible" and posed a high level of risk to the cast and crew.[1] Actor Hugh Jackman gave the production team part of a set from a World War I scene in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which Jackman had starred in and produced.[7]


Despite initial plans to have the film released on Anzac Day (25 April),[9] the film's release date has been set for 15 April 2010.[10][11][12]

See also


  1. ^ a b "BENEATH HILL 60 - a WWI feature film". Beneath Hill 60 official website. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  2. ^ "BENEATH HILL 60 Background". Beneath Hill 60 official website. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Australian feature film - BENEATH HILL 60". Beneath Hill 60 official website. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  4. ^ a b Paula Tapiolas (17 July 2009). "Beneath Hill 60 behind the scenes". ABC North Queensland. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  5. ^ a b c "Making of ...". Beneath Hill 60 official website. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  6. ^ Isis Symes (31 July 2009). "Searching Townsville for a likely Hill 60". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  7. ^ a b c d Isis Symes (23 July 2008). "War movie to be filmed in Townsville". Townsville Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  8. ^ "Armistice! - Production in Townsville is finished for Beneath Hill 60". 21 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  9. ^ "Sound Mix and Music". 6 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  10. ^ "Sound Mix complete". 7 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  11. ^ "Trailer: What's Beneath Hill 60's explosive secret?". 18 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  12. ^ "Beneath Hill 60". Retrieved 2010-03-18. 

External links



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