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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Fracking documentary sells out as film festival gets ready to roll

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Interview with Mell and Zara from the Byron Comedy Fest

After a year under a COVID-19 hiatus, The Byron Comedy Fest is back! Next Thursday sees this fledgling event open the doors to its second weekend presenting all that is fabulous and funny. Set on the Byron beachfront at the Byron Surf Club and styled as a classy bespoke beachside speakeasy, this event is the creative lovechild of besties Zara Noruzi and Mell Coppin.

Deep listening and housing ideas under Mullum’s fig trees for Renew Fest

Around a hundred presenters, musicians, other artists and community activators plus a bumper crowd of punters all came together under the fig trees at the Mullumbimby Showground over the weekend for Renew Fest 2021.

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Local government representatives on the Northern Rivers have expressed doubts over the state government’s new Housing 2041 Strategy.

The red carpet is ready to be rolled out for tonight’s Opening Night Gala for the 9th Byron Bay Film Festival, which along with the documentary Frackman has already sold out.

Celebrities and filmmakers are rolling into Byron Bay with a guest list that includes international screen stars David Wenham, Jack Thompson, Dustin Clare and Camille Keenan, and renowned filmmakers Broderick Fox, Ben Cookson, Evangelis Giovanis and Oden Roberts, the gala opening will add more than a touch of glamour to the Byron Community Centre.

The Red Carpet arrival will be followed by the festival’s first film, Will and Testament, a moving and inspiring documentary on the life of maverick UK politician Tony Benn, who fought tirelessly for the working people throughout a long and colourful career.

Saturday at the festival promises a rich feast. There’s the get-up-and-dance tribute to Stax Studios Take Me to the River, in which legendary Memphis bluesmen make a record with the younger generation of musicians; and later, Message from Mungo – the story of how the discovery of Mungo Lady offered proof of Aboriginal presence in Australia for tens of thousands of years, and led to a clash of cultures.

Topping the night’s bill – and also sold out – is Frackman, in which ordinary bloke Dayne Pratzky takes on the CSG miners.

Sunday morning, things get arty, as Jack Thompson narrates In the Steps of Lawrence, a documentary by and about Garry Shead, and how he came to paint his famous DH Lawrence series.

Then travel around the world, to take in the story of three charismatic buskers and their struggle to survive on the tough streets of Jakarta in Jalanan, and in What the Sea Gives Me, marvel at the wonders of the planet’s oceans and the folk who play and work in them.

Sunday night we have … Sunday, the mature romantic drama starring Dustin Clare, who co-wrote and produced the film, and his off-screen partner, co-writer and co-producer Camille Keenan.

Tickets to the 9th Byron Bay International Film Festival are on sale now at www.bbff.com.au.


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