A film documenting the community struggle against coal seam gas mining in the northern rivers will be shown in Lismore on Saturday.
The Bentley Effect, produced and directed by Brendan Shoebridge, was recently named the Best Byron Film at the Byron Bay Film Festival.
The film – which took five and a half years to make – follows the story of the social movement that grew in response to unconventional gas mining and it concludes with the final showdown between ‘protectors’ and the gas industry at Bentley, just outside Lismore.
‘After following the build-up to the Bentley Blockade from its early beginnings in 2011, I have the privilege of telling an incredible story of courage and heroism,’ Shoebridge says in his director’s statement.
‘The northern rivers region of NSW has been a leading light in the battle against invasive mining and after the historic showdown at Bentley we now have a well documented victory for the power of community and a major turning point in the battle for a safe clean future.’
When it was shown at the Byron Bay Film Festival, at the gala closing night film, it received a three-minute standing ovation from the audience.
‘I was completely blown away by the audience reaction to The Bentley Effect’s World Premiere,’ Brendan Shoebridge said.
‘I knew it would be well received but I was quite unprepared for the standing ovation that lasted the entire duration of the credits.
‘I was honoured and humbled by such an emotional response to the film.
‘It is a tremendous relief to know that it has ticked all the many boxes it had to and that it is now ready to screen to a global audience.’
The Lismore screening, which is expected to be sold-out, will be held at the Star Court Theatre on Saturday between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.
The film will then be shown at Nimbin at an event hosted by the Nimbin Environment Centre, with further screenings planned for Kyogle, Ballina, Lennox Heads, Murwillumbah, Grafton and beyond.