Dubbo Photo News - - Front Page - By NATALIE HOLMES

A NEWS re­port in Dubbo Photo News in Fe­bru­ary and the ded­i­ca­tion of Dubbo’s film com­mu­nity have led to a pos­i­tive out­come for lo­cal movie-go­ers, with Aus­tralian-made “Sweet Coun­try” to be screened at the end of this month. They will also be treated to a Q&A ses­sion with the film’s di­rec­tor War­wick Thornton who will be present on the night.

Dubbo screen­writer and film maker Kel­lie Jen­nar knew how im­por­tant it was to share the film with a lo­cal au­di­ence and was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing the movie to town – as re­ported in Dubbo Photo News on Fe­bru­ary 15, the head of­fice of Read­ing Cin­e­mas de­clined the lim­ited re­lease.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited,” Kel­lie said of the up­com­ing screen­ing. “It was a bit of or­gan­is­ing but it was all worth­while. We had to have a lot of con­ver­sa­tions.”

Kel­lie wasn’t alone in her quest for the Sweet Coun­try screen­ing and worked with other lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als and groups to make it hap­pen.

“Jes­sica Moore played a huge sup­port­ing role. She’s a huge War­wick Thornton fan,” she said.

The pair were also sup­ported by lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions who share their pas­sion for mak­ing and view­ing qual­ity pro­duc­tions.

“Dubbo Film So­ci­ety and Dubbo Film mak­ers have also been in­volved.”

Kel­lie said that the mak­ers of Sweet Coun­try, Bunya Pro­duc­tions, em­braced the idea once they heard of Dubbo’s dilemma.

“This spe­cial film event would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of Greer Simp­kins and David Jowsey from Bunya Pro­duc­tions.

“They are ex­cited it is hap­pen­ing. And when War­wick heard about it, he wanted to just get in the car and drive down. But we will be fly­ing him here,” she con­firmed.

“The pro­duc­ers have been so sup­port­ive – do­ing what­ever they could to make it hap­pen.”

So far, feed­back about the film screen­ing has been ‘100 per cent pos­i­tive’.

“It was def­i­nitely a sur­prise get­ting the film here and get­ting War­wick to come. Ev­ery­one is so ex­cited. And ev­ery­one wants to come to­gether.”

Bring­ing “Sweet Coun­try” to Dubbo has af­firmed Kel­lie’s be­lief in the sup­port of the cul­tural com­mu­nity.

“It’s so much more than I hoped for. I wanted to see the film and have the com­mu­nity of Dubbo see the film. Now it will be a cel­e­bra­tion and we will have the op­por­tu­nity to hear from a world-renowned film-maker.”

She said it re­flects the spirit of the re­gion.

“The com­mu­nity has an in­no­va­tive and re­silient spirit. When we come to­gether, it shows what can hap­pen.

“Be­ing from a ru­ral area, you don’t have to let it limit your hopes and dreams. War­wick comes from Alice Springs – just be­cause you’re born or live in a ru­ral town, it doesn’t have to limit your pos­si­bil­i­ties.”

In­spired by real events, “Sweet Coun­try” is a pe­riod western set in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory out­back in 1929. It will be screened at Dubbo Re­gional Theatre and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre at 6pm on Fri­day, April 27, and fol­lowed by a Q&A with War­wick Thornton. Tick­ets are avail­able from www. sweet­coun­try.eventbrite.com.au and are al­ready “fly­ing out the door”, ac­cord­ing to Kel­lie.

Dubbo Film So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Steve Clay­ton de­scribed the screen­ing “as a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the city’s arts cal­en­dar and an op­por­tu­nity to re­flect on the power of cin­ema in how we shape our per­cep­tions of so­ci­ety and its val­ues”.

“We would love to see the DRTCC filled to ca­pac­ity on April 27 where film go­ers can be part of this spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tion of an Aus­tralian award-win­ning film.”

Above: Di­rec­tor War­wick Thornton with Sam Neill as Fred Smith on the set of “Sweet Coun­try”. Fol­low­ing a wave of pub­lic sup­port, the film will now be shown in Dubbo on April 27. Top: How Dubbo Photo News first re­ported the dilemma on Fe­bru­ary 15.

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