19.3 C
Byron Shire
October 3, 2022

Welcome To The Machine launches Sunday

Latest News

‘Sad and distressing’: massive numbers of bird deaths in Australian heatwaves reveal a profound loss is looming

Heatwaves linked to climate change have already led to mass deaths of birds and other wildlife around the world. To stem the loss of biodiversity as the climate warms, we need to better understand how birds respond.

Other News

Bioenergy facility funding rejected

Mayor Michael Lyon is downplaying a funding rejection for Council’s much touted Bioenergy Facility proposal by a federal government agency, claiming other funding sources are available.

Short films grace the screen from Oct 21

The Byron Bay International Film Festival is back from October 21 to 30 with a ten-day program of premieres, panels and parties.

Rooftop solar installation safety in the spotlight

Workers installing solar panels on rooftops can expect a visit from SafeWork NSW Inspectors, who are undertaking a six-month state-wide operation to ensure safety in this busy industry.

Party with a conscience

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink – the party with a conscience, is on this weekend at the Billi Pub. DJs...

CSIRO tracking NASA’s asteroid collision test today

The world’s first full-scale planetary defence test is happening today. NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission is designed to strike an asteroid and adjust its course.

Young people rally for a climate-positive budget

On Sunday hundreds of young people took part in a rally in Brisbane with a clear message for Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers: protect our future by ensuring no new funding for fossil fuels in the October budget update.

Scenes from local film-makers Cloudcatcher Media’s latest short film project, Welcome To The Machine.

Feel like a winner?

Local film-makers Cloudcatcher Media will be launching their latest short film Welcome to the Machine on Sunday at the Byron Community Centre, as well as online.

Lofty Fulton with his book, ‘Lofty: My Life In Short’. Photo Helen Trenerry.

Made with the support of Screenworks and Create NSW as part of the Go Viral! initiative, this new short drama deals with the issue of poker machines with a science fiction twist. The logline is: ‘Clara meets a machine who makes her feel like a winner, but with this machine, winning is impossible…’

Welcome to the Machine stars local Shire Choir legend and ex-Bell Shakespeare actor Melia Naughton as Clara, and Australia’s leading voiceover artist Lofty Fulton (the voice of Masterchef, Sky TV, 2GB and many other things) as the Machine.

Both stars will be at the launch, talking about Lofty’s almost suicidal spiral into poker machine addiction some years ago, and how he escaped, as covered in Lofty’s recent memoir published by HarperCollins, Lofty: My Life in Short.

The film is produced by Eve Jeffery and David Lowe, with Louise Hodgson, Ken Crouch and Karenza Ebejer executive producers for Screenworks.

Local actor Melia Naughton will come up against the Machine in the short film. Photo supplied.

Director and co-writer David Lowe says he wanted to dramatise to the life-wrecking effects that lie beneath the raw statistics of poker machines. ‘These machines make you feel like you’re winning when you’re losing, and you don’t have to be stupid, or poor, or anything else to fall prey to that. The machines are designed to be addictive.’

The Northern Rivers has some of the worst pokie-related losses per capita in the state, but also some very positive stories, such as the wonderful transformation of the Byron Beach Hotel’s former pokie den into the Green Room, the Ballina Council’s recent moves to limit pokie damage and the successes of the Buttery’s problem gambling rehab program.

Welcome to the Machine was shot at Byron’s own Mocean Studios. Behind the lens, Cloudcatcher Media were happy to be joined on this project by the very talented Noli Ganda from Byron Film as Director of Photography, with Innes Kesteven making his screen debut with music and sound effects.

The Welcome to the Machine launch event is free, and kicks off at the Cavanbah Room upstairs at the Byron Community Centre, at 6pm on Sunday 4 August. If you can’t make it in person, you can join the Facebook launch and help the film go viral at: https://www.facebook.com/WTTM2019/ .

If you’re not on Facebook, the film will also be on Cloudcatcher Media’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.

Feel like a winner? Do you?


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. So looking forward to being in Byron for the launch of this. As a former pokies addict, this is a project very close to my heart

  2. I remember the general Manager of a local hinterland retreat retreat siphoning our tips to fuel his gambling addiction in Ballina.
    Addiction has far reaching consequences for all those exposed to such behavour.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

CWA push for improved maternity services

The W in CWA stands for Women and the CWA have been standing up for women yet again during their recent webinar and annual Awareness Week campaign.

Chris Minns visits Kingscliff to look at floodplain development risks

The potential future risks and costs of flooding to the community and government if approved, but yet to be built, housing is allowed to go ahead in floodplains was under the spotlight last week in Kingscliff.

The Tweed Artisan Food Festival is almost here

The sixth Tweed Artisan Food Festival will be held at the end of the month – the festival runs for 10 days with 20 curated events showcasing the people, the place and the produce of the Tweed.

$30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants

Eligible Aboriginal community organisations and groups can apply for funding through the new solutions-focused $30 million Aboriginal Community and Place Grants program.