The filmmakers are Bill Bennett and Jennifer Cluff, one of Australia’s most experienced and respected producing teams, having made 17 feature films and numerous documentaries over a forty year period. Bill has received Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Film and Best Director, he’s had two films in Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival, four films in Toronto, and had three major international retrospectives.

Bill first walked the Camino de Santiago in 2013, then wrote a book about his experiences - The Way, My Way - which became a best seller. He’s since walked four more Caminos.

Jennifer Cluff is not only a producer but an actress, having starred in the classic ABC series Seven Little Australians. She’s since worked in theatre, television and film. She’s also a dramaturge and script editor, working on screenplays and novels for major publishing houses. She´s walked four Caminos.

Writer & Director – Bill Bennett / Actor & Producer – Jennifer Cluff

Film – Development Image


The film had a long development history. Veteran film distributor Richard Becker, now retired, read Bill’s book several years ago and it had a profound impact on him. He was adamant that it would make a terrific film. Bill was unconvinced. He didn’t want to make a film about himself. But Richard finally talked Bill around and over a seven year period, Bill wrote more than forty drafts. At one stage it was going to be a big budget star-driven production, but for various reasons, that never happened. Bill was always dubious about making the film this way – his natural inclination was to work much smaller, without having to cater for the needs of stars and a big production “circus.”

He finally decided that the best way to make the film, and be authentic to the spirit of the Camino, was to have a tiny footprint and work with a small crew, a few dedicated actors, and film with the real pilgrims whom he walked with ten years earlier.

Late in 2022, with the project floundering and looking like it would never get made, Bill decided it was time to put his full focus and attention/intention on it, and get the film made in 2023. He knew he had to shoot in the first half of the year, for reasons of light and weather and crowds – the closer to summer, the harsher the light, the hotter it would be, and more pilgrims would be walking the Camino.

Miraculously, Bill was able to raise sufficient private investment to allow filming to commence in mid May 2023, ten years almost to the day that he walked his first Camino.

Film – Production Image


Bill and Jennifer brought on Annie Kinnane as Line Producer, Dave Suttor for Unit/Transport, and a small but highly experienced crew of exceptional people who were prepared to shoot the film in the unconventional way that Bill was envisioning.

Bill knew that this film would be a “light-dependant” shoot. He wanted to place a priority on available light, shooting at the extreme ends of the day – and he was thankful that First Assistant Director Rachel Artis Evans came out of retirement to board the production. They’d last worked together on the Eric Bana comedy, The Nugget, which Bill wrote, produced and directed. 

Completing his essential on-set crew were Director of Photography Calum Stewart, who brought an artist’s eye and a craftsman’s exactitude to the visuals; drone maestro Scott Last, and sound recordist Nick Emond who, along with his boomie Gerry Nucifora, had the challenging job of getting clean dialogues on the Camino. They were more than up to the challenge.  Rounding off the on-set crew was Tiffany Chuck, who did Art Department, Wardrobe, and everything else in between.

The production spent five weeks filming along the entirety of the Camino. Bill was obsessive about getting every geographical aspect of filming the Camino correct – there could be no sequences out of order. There could be no faking of locations because they looked beautiful or were logistically more convenient. He knew that eventually the film would have to withstand the critical scrutiny of Camino diehards, so every detail had to be authentic.

At the end of June the production returned to Australia for one final week of shooting – then Bill gave his trusted editor Rishi Shukla two further weeks of picture cutting for him to deliver his assembly. (Rishi had commenced on location in Spain at the start of the shoot.) Then followed six intense months for Bill in the editing room with Rishi, with Jennifer coming in periodically to give her witheringly insightful notes.

During that time Bill and Jennifer did several audience test screenings with Camino pilgrims, but also those who knew nothing about the Camino. With this audience feedback, and feedback also from Camino legend Johnnie Walker, they did revisions and by Christmas 2023, they locked off the cut at 95 mins, without front and end credits.

Then followed several months of painstaking work by Oscar nominated (for “Elvis”) Sound Designer Wayne Pashley and his crew at Big Bang Sound, and an original music score by brilliant composer Jackson Milas, from Sonar Music.  And to put a cherry on top, Bill and Jennifer decided to use Camino podcaster and acclaimed musician Dan Mullins’s classic Camino anthem, Somewhere Along the Way, over the end credits of the movie.


The usual suspects

On set with the usual suspects

Misty Fence

On location

Film – Completion Image


Bill always had Chris Haywood in mind to play himself in the movie, for several reasons. Bill had worked with Chris on quite a few movies in the past, including A Street to Die in 1985, which Bill wrote, produced and directed. Jennifer Cluff starred opposite Chris in that movie, playing his wife. Chris won an AFI award for his performance. Chris was also a major supporting actor in Bill’s multi-award winning film Kiss or Kill. So Bill knew Chris and Chris knew Bill, and they trusted one another – which is crucial in a movie such as The Way, My Way.

Bill also knew that in working with the real pilgrims that he’d walked with ten years earlier, there was going to be quite a bit of improvisation. Bill knew that Chris was masterful at this way of working. As well though, he knew that Chris revelled in the type of filmmaking that this production was going to be – small crew, moving fast, everyone chipping in.  Above all though, Bill knew Chris to be an exceptional actor

Given Jennifer Cluff´s extensive career as an actress, it was a lock that she would play Bill´s wife. Some might think that was easy to do – she´d just be playing herself, right? Not so. It required consummate skill as an actress for Jennifer to elicit on cue the sub-text and emotions required for the various scenes.

With those two lead roles cast, Bill brought on veteran casting agent Greg Apps to cast some of the other roles. Pia Thunderbolt impressed Bill with an outstanding audition for the role of Cristina – and Laura Lakshmi similarly impressed with a terrific audition for Rosa. The real pilgrim Rosa could not join the production because she’d recently given birth to a bub.

Bill had kept in touch with the pilgrims that he’d walked with ten years earlier – Balazs and Laszlo from Hungary, and Ivan and Giovanna from Italy. They´d remained dear friends, and they agreed to join the production and play themselves in the movie.

Of the twenty speaking roles in the film, only four are played by professional actors – the rest are the real pilgrims.

For the full casting list, please click here.

Film – Casting Image


The film will be fully complete by late April, in preparation for its national cinema release across Australia and New Zealand from 19th May.

The highly innovative Maslow Entertainment has come on board not only for Australian and New Zealand distribution, but Maslow CEO Marc Wooldridge, formerly Managing Director of 20th Century Fox Australia, will be selling the film into foreign territories.

Maslow will be working very closely with all the various Camino influencers and communities around the country to ensure that the film is well promoted and supported. This includes the enthusiastic endorsement from The Australian Friends of the Camino, and from the Camino legend Johnnie Walker, who is quoted as saying that The Way, My Way is the most authentic film ever to be made about the Camino.

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