The Light Between Oceans

Thelightbetweenoceans Firstlook Pic03
A tragic love story filmed against the backdrop of one of Marlborough’s most iconic and breathtaking landscapes turned into a true love affair for the movie’s lead actors.

The international production The Light Between Oceans, the adaptation of M. L. Stedman’s best-selling novel, was filmed in 2014 at Cape Campbell on Marlborough’s East Coast as well as in Otago and Tasmania.

Actor Michael Fassbender as Tom Sherbourne, a veteran working as a lighthouse keeper on the western coast of Australia after World War I, meets and marries Isabel Graysmark (actor Alicia Vikander). Their lives are forever changed when they find a baby washed ashore in a rowboat on the island. 

Fassbender and Vikander found love together on the set of the movie and now have a son.

Cape Campbell is one of the film's most distinctive locations. The lighthouse sits on a headland high above white cliffs rising from the southern end of Clifford Bay south of Blenheim.

The production team looked at more than 300 lighthouses in New Zealand and Australia, finally finding the 72-foot-tall Cape Campbell Lighthouse which has been a feature on the Marlborough coast since 1870. 

The location came complete with charming cottages and a garden, and provided the isolated and windswept feel needed for the story as well as excellent connections for local accommodation, transport and services in nearby Blenheim.

“The Marlborough community all pulled together to support The Light Between Oceans’ crew and production. There was so much pride and a highly collaborative process. The film truly marked Marlborough’s first steps towards actively supporting the screen sector and establishing a Regional Film Office," says Screen Marlborough Manager, Dorien Vermaas.

Why Marlborough? 

“This is a project which demanded location — we knew early in the process we wanted to look in New Zealand. There is a richness of culture, a richness of architecture and a richness of landscape. We are very lucky.”

Jeffery Clifford – Producer
NZ Film Commission 

The Light Between Oceans Porch
"I just looked out and saw this huge lighthouse, which is pretty extraordinary, and the film crew was up on the top, so I started to climb up to the top. And they had timed it so the second I came up there, the sun just popped up over the horizon. It was probably the most extraordinary sunrise I had ever seen. It's not me acting, really, in the film when I see it."

Alicia Vikander – Actor
Source: NZ Film Commission 

Cape Campbell, Marlborough
Screen Marlborough
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