Byron Bay Film Festival 2011

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A touch of Hollywood glamour graced Byron Bay this weekend as the Byron Bay Film Festival once again rolled out the red carpet in the foyer of the Community Centre for its opening night extravaganza.

The Community Centre was transformed for Friday night’s opening party as local media producers wined, dined and mingled with international directors, producers and actors, including Australia’s own acting stalwart, Jack Thompson and his brother, film critic Peter Thompson. So impressed was Thompson by the Festival and the hospitality of its organisers and the town that he has discussed returning to next years’ festival to run a Master Class with his brother Peter. There was barely a dry-eye in the audience after Saturday afternoon’s presentation of ‘The Telegram Man’,

Thompson’s first short film which he stars in alongside Gary Sweet and Sigrid Thornton, set in rural New South Wales during World War II. The presence of the charming icon of Australian cinema attracted what was to be the first of numerous full capacity audiences over the weekend. In its 6th year, the festival is going from strength to strength, something which was evident over the weekend with many sold out sessions and prospective audiences having to be turned away at the door.

The screenings will continue for the rest of the week with a large number of sessions on offer showcasing a variety of genre films such as surf films, documentaries, short films, environmental films and dramatic features including the Best Dramatic Feature & Best Film Nominee ‘Nauta’, screening on Thursday night with the films Italian filmmakers present. With Sunday the final night of the festival, it will begin to wind down on Saturday night with a red carpet Gala Party which will include the Byron premiere of Australian romantic comedy ‘The Wedding Party’ with the filmmakers also in attendance. The nights’ festivities will also include the presentation of numerous awards, including the big one, for Best Film. With tickets selling fast, festival organisers recommend interested audiences buy tickets in advance or online to avoid disappointment at the box office. Session times and ticket information can be viewed online at www.bbff.com.au.

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