11 September 2017
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BULLI filmmaker Rhiannon Bannenberg dreams of one day turning her hometown and the Illawarra into a film mecca.

Speaking after her feature film Rip Tide had a VIP red carpet premiere at Shellharbour’s Event Cinemas on Sunday, Bannenberg quipped she dreamed of turning “Wollongong into Hollygong”.

Judging by Rip Tide, which was filmed completely in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands, Bannenberg has already started something beautiful.

Rip Tide, a coming-of-age family drama starring Debby Ryan of Disney fame, made its world debut at Sydney Film Festival in June to rave reviews.

At Sunday’s special screening a line of people stretched the entire length of the cinema and judging by the audience attention and reaction, the Illawarra’s own feature film will be well received in cinemas.

Much of the scenery features local spots like The Farm at Killalea and Kiama.The film’s cinematography showcases the beauty of this region perfectly.

Parents will know some of the Australian actors too, like Marcus Graham from Blue Heelers and Aaron Jeffery from McLeod’s Daughters.


The beautiful movie Rip Tide is great for girls over eight years of age, because it’s all about following your dreams and is very inspiring.

People in the Illawarra might recognise some of the locations, like one of my favourite places The Farm at Killalea State Park.

The places included in the film were really beautiful. The surfing scenes were amazing, because you felt like you were in the water with the characters.

The story is about a beautiful young model (Debby Ryan) in New York whose mum doesn’t listen to her. When she tells the designer how his outfit could be better, he tells her off and she runs out crying.

Just as she falls over, it is filmed and posted all over the internet. To escape, she goes to Australia to live with her aunt. During her stay, she finds out what she most wants to do in life.

The star of the movie Debby Ryan is from Disney Channel’s TV show Jessie, which I love too but her character in this movie is much different.

At the premiere in Shellharbour there was a packed cinema and it received loud applause at the end.

All young girls should watch the film when it opens on Thursday, because it is a beautiful, emotional and funny movie. My mum cried. Lots.

I really enjoyed watching it and so will you.

Rip Tide is G rated and will open at cinemas from September 14

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