Makers of the Backyard Ashes are back in Wagga filming for new feature film, The Merger

The team behind Wagga’s hugely popular Backyard Ashes film are back in the region are are on the hunt for local talent to star in the next feature: The Merger.

The Merger tells the story of the struggling Bodgy Creek Roosters AFL team; they have no money, not enough players and the fate of their clubrooms have been condemned due to a disastrous asbestos scare.

The film has been more than four years in the making and producer Anne Robinson said it has been good being back in her “second home” putting the story together.

“We’ve got a crew of about 65 and it’s still quite a lean and mean budget,” she said.

“The Wagga community was heavily involved in Backyard Ashes and really got behind the film, and we’ve attracted some amazing cast members.

“We’ve got Damian Callinan, John Howard who has appeared in All Saints and Kate Mulvany who starred in The Great Gatsby.”

The film will be based in Ganmain where former AFL player Troy Carrington, to be played by Damian Callinan, attempts to secure a grant to employ refugees to rebuild their doomed club rooms.

The plan initially splits and baffles the community, but as Anne explains, “if they can swing a hammer, they can kick a footy”.

“There’s not enough players on the team and a lot of people are moving back to the city, she said.

“An old coach comes back into town and forms a little friendship with a child who has lost his father. He hatches a plan and realise there’s a bunch of refugees in town – so the saying, if they can swing a hammer, they can kick a footy.

“It’s a very topical story and it’s about how the two communities merge together. The more time we spent here, the more we realised it was fitting to film because of the amound of refugees that have been relocated to Wagga over the years.”

The production team still need cast members and inerested anyone aged 16-or-above of can contact themergerextras@gmail.com. Businesses can also contact sponsormerger@gmail.com to lend support.

“Out of hundreds of jobs I’ve produced, this is one of the most important ones where I feel good about the story. I’m not just making entertainment – there is an important message to tell in this film, and it’s a universal problem happening all over the world,” Anne said.