Coober Pedy News
       No. 64                                          3 September  2004

Archived copy

 Letters to Editor 

           Another Film Shot in Coober Pedy



Fiona Searson


POBBY AND DINGAN, a UK/Australian co-production, to be directed by Peter Cattaneo, and starring Vince Colosimo and Jacqueline McKenzie, commenced principal photography on location in Adelaide and Coober Pedy, on August 19th 2004, for an 8-week shoot. The film is supported by BBC Films and the UK Film Council’s Premiere Fund, in association with the South Australian Film Corporation.

POBBY AND DINGAN are in fact invisible. They live in an opal town in Australia, and are friends with KELLYANNE, the nine year old daughter of an opal miner (Vince Colosimo). The film is a funny, uplifting and touching story of the bizarre and inexplicable disappearance of Pobby and Dingan, Kellyanne’s imaginary friends, and the impact this has on her family and the whole town. The story is told through the eyes of Kellyanne’s eleven year old brother ASHMOL.

Produced by Lizie Gower, Nick Morris and Emile Sherman from a screenplay by Peter Cattaneo, Ben Rice and Phil Trail, POBBY AND DINGAN is based on Ben Rice’s novella of the same name, which has been published in many languages and won the Somerset Maughan Award in 2001. The New York Times said of the book: "'Pobby And Dingan' is an enormously touching, imaginative and unexpected novel that just glows in your hands. What’s so extraordinary about Rice’s novel is how unpredictable it is, how effortlessly it mingles whimsy and gravitas, how its plot races ahead long after you figured it would run out of gas." The Observer called it "an important milestone in the literature of Australia. A masterpiece."

POBBY AND DINGAN’s behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Robert Humphreys ("Somersault"), costume designer Ruth de la Lande ("Rabbit Proof Fence") and editor Jim Clark ("The Killing Fields"). Executive Producers are Angus Finney, Robert Jones, David Thompson, Ben Rice and Finola Dwyer.

Worldwide sales are being handled by UK’s Renaissance Films, with BBC holding UK rights. POBBY AND DINGAN is an Academy Films and Sherman Pictures Production. The film will be distributed in Australia by Icon Films.


NSW Variety Bash 2004

By Geoff Sykes, Coordinator, Lions Club of Coober Pedy.

On Wednesday the 11th August over 500 tired, weary, thirsty and hungry "Bashers" arrived on our doorstep. We were ready for them.

The Town Oval was a picture. Nice freshly cut green grass, huge marquees around the parameter, all with flashing coloured fairy lights, heaps of outdoor tables and chairs and most importantly, 4 fire bins ablaze.

The staff in the food tent were busy with last minute preparations, the bar was ready to open, the band was warming up on stage, the pyrotechnics (fireworks blokes) were ready to go, the side show operators were warming up their rides for the kids. Most importantly, the weatherman gave us what we ordered; it was a beautiful day in Outback Coober Pedy.

There are heaps of things I could go on talking about, but instead I’ll just let you view the accompanying photographs to see the fun that was had.

On Thursday morning the Bashers were served up a yummy breakfast by the school students and then headed off to Oodnadatta. This is when they got a big surprise. The road was blocked, by a bunch of "cavemen’ demanding $20-00 "Departure Tax" from each vehicle. Those who paid up, and most did, received a souvenir Receipt and Freddo frog for each passenger. Those who didn’t had to visit the RBT Station – no-one took a chance on that one – or get past the CFS water cannon, a few got wet, some got very wet! 

There were many people involved in putting this event on and we received marvellous support from the businesses and organisations and others we approached (we didn’t have time to approach everybody, but if some of you would like to make a donation to Lions it will be put good use – for the kids of our Town). There are many people to thank. There are those who gave cash and those who gave goods for our "Mystery Raffle", there are those who gave a hand with the many tasks to do and those who gave "In Kind" support. On behalf of Paul Kay (assistant coordinator), the Lions Club of Coober Pedy and myself, I say "Thank You All". 

Although we drew quite a few prizes for our "Mystery Raffle" and had lots of happy winners, we unfortunately ran out of time and had to suspend the drawing. We had 49 prizes, valued at over $3,700.00, to draw, it simply become a bigger event than we ever imagined. We have to address this issue and will advise all concerned in due course.

The "Competition", the prize being a Trip to Oodnadatta in a Bash vehicle and a joy flight home, was won by Kerry Nemes – congratulations Kerry.

Once again "Thank You" to all our Donors and Sponsors. 


"The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do."

— Galileo Galilei ,