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‘How to Talk Australians’ is heading to the big screen!

16 May 2023

Still From How to Talk Australians web series, courtesy of Positive Ape

Viral 2014 web series How to Talk Australians is being adapted into a feature film, with production underway in Melbourne.

Set in the fictional Delhi College of Linguistics, the comedy series, which has more than 12 million views on YouTube, saw students and aspiring migrants to Australia learn about Australian culture, cuisine and slang – including the correct pronunciation of “arsewipe” and our diet of “rat coffins” (meat pies).

The feature, How to Talk Australians: Highway to Hell, sees students leave the classroom and head Down Under. When their plane is diverted to the country town of Dubbo due to storms, and their tour-leader is detained by customs, the hapless bunch unearth the ‘real’ Australia while never making it to Sydney, Melbourne… or even Brisbane. 

The film reunites the original creative team, including director and writer Tony Rogers, writer Rob Hibbert and producers Jason Byrne and Victoria Schaw from Positive Ape.

Ria Patel and Chum Ehelepola are executive producers, with Patel also starring and joined by Rohan Ganju, Robert Santiago and Vikrant Narrain as cast leads. Also starring in supporting roles are Shane Jacobson, Stephen Curry and Rick Davies.

Heads of department include editor Tim Parrington, DOP Joey Knox, production designer Charlie O’Brian, and hair and makeup designer Lou McLaren. Das Patterson is art director and Jack Davies production manager.

Umbrella Entertainment handling ANZ distribution.

“We are so fortunate to have such talent to work with and bring this all to life,” said Rogers.

“The film is a lot more than a very funny road movie, it is a powerful observation of this great nation. The light and the shade, the joy and the darkness.”

Byrne said the script and team would undoubtedly elevate the web series concept to new heights, while Schaw added: “I really am in my happy place with the most exciting ensemble cast. We are making comedy magic and a significant film with themes that will talk to what Australia as a nation is. Its joy, humour and never fading ability to laugh at oneself. It’s a gentle reminder in today’s world, that it’s ok to sit back and have a good laugh.”

Ari Harrison, general manager of Umbrella said it was delighted to bring the “hysterical world” of How to Talk Australians: Highway to Hell to Australian audiences.

“Led by an extremely talented creative team, Highway to Hell promises to be an extraordinary contribution to the Australian comedy landscape,” he said.

This article was originally published in on Inside Film, read more here