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Punters pack Palace for BBFF opening

Ilona Harker and Byron Film Festival director, J’aimee Skippon-Volke. Photo Jeff Dawson.

By Digby Hildreth

Paul Ireland’s gritty re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and the promise of a ritzy party drew 250 film lovers and social butterflies to Palace Cinemas on Friday evening for the Opening Night of the Byron Bay Film Festival  (BBFF).

Mr Ireland introduced several members of the cast, including John Brumpton and Mal Kennard, as well as producer Thea McLeod and crew members to the audience before the screening of the film, which he dedicated to the memory of Damian Hill, his co-writer, who died before filming began.

It is the first year that Palace has hosted the Red Carpet gala event, which BBFF organisers said was the region’s “most glamorous party”.

As well as an expanded space for socialising, the new venue also provided greater programming opportunities throughout the Festival, said its director, J’aimee Skippon-Volke.

For the Closing Night Gala this Saturday, the Festival returns to the Byron Community centre, where it will screen The Cave, the dramatised story of last year’s real-life rescue of the young soccer players from an underground cave in Thailand.

The 10-day Festival finishes on Sunday.


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