On set stills of WA director Ben Young (right) and 'Where All Light Tends to Go' cast members Billy Bob Thornton, Robin Wright, Hopper Penn, and Emma Booth.

WA director Ben Young will bring his US feature Where All Light Tends to Go, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Robin Wright, and Hopper Penn, back to his home state for post-production, having wrapped filming in Atlanta, Georgia.

Set in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, the screen adaption of David Joy’s novel follows eighteen-year-old Jacob McNeely (Penn), who is torn between appeasing his meth-dealing kingpin father and leaving the mountains forever with the girl he loves.

The screenplay was written by Robert Knott, who also serves as a producer, alongside Griff Furst for Curmudgeon Films, Josh Kesselman for Thruline, Wright, and Jamie Hilton for See Pictures. Universal Pictures will release the film worldwide and Screen Media in the United States.

Despite its US setting, there is a distinctly West Australian flavour to the project, thanks to the Perth-based Hilton, director of photography Michael McDermott and WA actress Emma Booth, who stars as Josie.

Screenwest is now also involved, providing support for the film’s sound and picture post-production, including grade, VFX, online, score composition, sound design, foley, final mix, and delivery.

Joining the creative team are West Australian editor Merlin Eden, composer Adam Spark of Birds of Tokyo fame, and sound designer and mixer Ric Curtin, as well as a raft of editorial, sound, musicians, VFX, and post-production crew.

Young said that while post-production crew in Perth was as talented as anywhere he’d worked, most hadn’t had the opportunity to work on projects with well-known movie stars.

“Thanks to Screenwest for their support and to my producers for trusting us to take this far away and to finish it here with my friends and collaborators,” he said.

“There are a lot of people now on board who helped me make my first film, and it’s a great feeling to know I get to help them make their first international picture. Most importantly, they are the best people for the film.”

Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall described the project as a “coup for the state” and for local post-production screen businesses, such as Siamese, Sandbox, and Curtin Productions.

Where All Light Tends to Go will be a fantastic opportunity for many Western Australian artists and technicians to showcase their talents to an international audience,” she said.

Hilton said it was a “great privilege” to be working alongside Young on a film with the likes of Wright and Thornton.

“This is a career milestone for many of us, and a wonderful outcome for the State’s post-production sector,” he said.

Where All Light Tends to Go is expected for release in 2023.

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