SWEET VICTORY FOR FILM LOVERS
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.