A touch of Hollywood glitz and glamour recently took over Reflections Killalea Reserve, with the famous surf breaks of The Farm making their film debut in Rip Tide, released in cinemas last year.
Directed by Illawarra native Rhiannon Bannenberg and filmed over 18 days in 2016, Rip Tide tells the tale of American model Cora (Debby Ryan), who flees New York to live with her Aunt Margot (Genevieve Hegney) following a humiliating fashion faux pas. Though initially unsure of the back to basics beachside community she finds herself in, Cora soon discovers hidden talents, new friendships and even a potential romance with local surfer Tom (Andrew Creer).
We recently had the chance to sit down and chat with star Naomi Sequeira, who plays Cora’s new friend Chicka in the film.
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT RIP TIDE?
The storyline is based on Cora, who finds herself having a crisis with her career, her relationship with her mum and just within herself. She decides to not necessarily escape the New York City chaos but to do something different, which leads her to Australia and her Aunt Margot.
It’s a great coming of age film but there’s also an important subplot for the character of Aunt Margot, a recent widow who lost her husband in a surfing accident.
So, when Cora comes over to find herself she not only bumps into some romance and new friendships, she also helps Aunt Margot through her grieving and Margot helps Cora figure out what she loves to do. It’s a really lovely story and an organic process as they help each other without even realising.
FROM WATCHING THE FILM AND READING A LOT OF ARTICLES ABOUT IT YOUR CHARACTER CHICKA IS CERTAINLY A BIT OF A SCENE STEALER.
I wasn’t expecting that. It’s been a really nice surprise particularly because this is my first film and Chicka was my first comedic role I’ve taken upon. There were different ways I could have played her out but when I spoke to Rhiannon we really wanted to make Chicka seem natural but comical at the same time. I’m very happy with how it turned out.
YEAH, SHE COMES ACROSS AS A SUPER COOL, LAID BACK SURFER GIRL WHICH IS THE OPPOSITE OF CORA’S NEW YORK MODEL PERSONALITY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FILM.
I think that’s what makes the characters quite interesting. There’s such a variety that everyone who sees the film can relate to each character in a different way. It’s a good balance which is lovely to have in a film.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN SHARE ABOUT THE CHARACTER YOU PLAY?
Yeah, well Chicka as you know is a surfer girl as well as being a skater chick. She’s not necessarily the best surfer but she’s the type of girl who will give anything a go whether she fails or not.
THAT SOUNDS LIKE ME WHEN I TRIED TO SURF.
Well it’s better than being afraid. I wouldn’t say she’s afraid of things, she’s up front and honest, and very invigorating as a person. I think she’s the best friend that everyone needs in their life, she’s just such a positive light.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE SHOOTING AT THE FARM?
It was wonderful. It was so relaxing, being in the salt water every day physically made us calm which was great since we were on such a tight schedule. We shot the film in just 18 days which was crazy. It was so nice to know that Killalea has been saved as a public reserve rather than there being buildings or apartments there. It’s such a great surf beach too and incredibly peaceful as well.
One of my favourite things about Killalea is how secluded it is, so once you find it it’s a very special moment because of how natural it is compared to the surrounding area. It’s like a hidden gem, I didn’t know about The Farm so I was like ‘woah, this is cool!’
We were very lucky to have The Farm in our film and to be able to shoot there.
You can also catch Naomi on the silver screen with her film 'Kick Ons' which premiered early this year.. Keep up with Naomi’s acting adventures in Los Angeles on Instagram or on her Facebook page . You can also follow Naomi's music here, with her singles 'Pastries' and 'Forever Mine' now online.