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Mosman locals Beth and Ivan Hodge host their annual wedding anniversary celebration at Balmoral with a full brass band, making them well-known and much-loved locals. Well, it seems Hollywood also loves their story… with news that a feature film will be made about their lives!

There aren’t many Mosman couples who celebrate their anniversary each year with a brass band and a party that the whole community is invited to. Now a feature film will be developed about their enduring love story.

Originally from New Zealand, Beth and Ivan spent their honeymoon driving from London to Calcutta in a VW beetle called ‘Love Bug’. And in 1996 the couple, who moved to Balmoral in the 1960s, embarked on that same journey in that same car, this time ending in Mumbai.

That story has become the inspiration for The Road Less Travelled, the first Australian script to emerge from Imagine Entertainment’s inaugural global content accelerator in Hollywood.

Beth and Ivan met Faraway Films Entertainment’s Steve Turnbull and Lynda Heys at a film screening in 2015. The duo optioned Beth and Ivan’s life rights and then spent two years interviewing the Hodges and their family and sifting through their archival material including photos, diaries and audio tape. Beth even gave them access to secret diaries she had never shown to Ivan.

Beth Hodge in Iran in 1961 (Photo: if.com.au)

Now with production and finance  teams in place, the Hodges and their family can finally celebrate what they have been keeping confidential for the past three years. Says Ivan, “It’s been difficult keeping this secret – we have twelve grandchildren, and if we had told them they’d be expecting to see it in cinemas next week. It’s a long process, but were absolutely thrilled with the outcome.”

The Hodges believe their story attracted so much attention because it’s a truly nice story, with no violence or adult themes. Though Ivan jokes that the Hollywood version may have some sex and nudity involved!

There’s no word yet on which actors may be cast in the roles of Beth and Ivan, but we do know that the film is being aimed at a global audience (not just an Australian and New Zealand one). So the possibilities are endless!

Beth and Ivan are excited about the possibilities of attending the film shoot and, of course, the premiere screenings around the world. It’s keeping them motivated to stay fit and well, after Ivan has experienced some bad health recently. And Mosman won’t be left out of the Hollywood experience. It is Ivan’s dream to host a screening out of Bathers Pavilion – perhaps from a barge in the water – to include the community who have embraced the couple for so many years.

We couldn’t think of a nicer couple for this to happen to, and wish them all the best as their Hollywood adventure continues!

Credits:
https://www.if.com.au/lynda-heys-to-take-the-road-less-travelled/

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