Press Release for the Byron Bay Film Festival

Celebrating opening weekend of the 2011 Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF), the Saturday afternoon session on March 5th is one of those festival moments that BBFF just know will be a genuine crowd pleaser. Not only are there terrific films on offer, but BBFF has also made sure that a Star and the Director of one of these great films will be on hand! Definitely one of those times to rub shoulders with icons from the Australian film industry

First up of these dramatically engaging films is the Australian short The Telegram Man. Back we go in time to the year 1942. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, but its destructive tentacles spread even further than this. During the long years of World War II, Australia’s small farming communities paid a terrible price. In the rural towns of New South Wales, one family each week discovered that their son or husband or brother or father would not be coming home. In the throws of such grief, one seldom stopped to consider the impact of this on the man who had to deliver this news.

The Telegram Man takes us into the world of Bill Williams; the man whose job it is to deliver the worst kind of news. This role is made all the more effective as veteran actor Jack Thompson embodies the full weight of Bill’s job. Gary Sweet adds his strong presence to the screen as John Lewis, the father of a son who is off at war. With Sigrid Thornton as his wife, Barbara, this dynamic acting trio contribute to a theme that already has considerable impact.

The Telegram Man is a story that compels us to question our values, our fears and our compassion. It focuses on a time when we grew up as a nation; a time when we took responsibility and a time when we learnt the most painful lessons of loss whilst discovering and defining who we are. Although we look through the lens of WWII, the story of The Telegram Man remains as pertinent and beautiful in its compassion, sorrow and love as any moment in contemporary human experience.

This poignant snapshot into a time that forever changed the face of Australian culture may only be a short film, but with its host of good actors and an excellent screenplay, it’s a very big film that will linger in your memory.

Having Jack Thompson and Director/Producer James Khehtie (short film Breathless, and a contributor to Mao's Last Dancer and Little Fish) on hand to provide insights to the making of this film guarantee for an engaging afternoon.

When the houselights dim again for Among Us, the audience will be taken on an unusual journey through the emotional landscape of Swedish couple Ernst and Cecilia. Beautifully realised by film Director & Writer Johan Brisinger, Among Us is a film that illuminates the emotional chaos that evolves when an accident alters Ernst and Cecilia’s predictable and orderly lives. Suddenly facing the possibility that they may lose their only child, Ernst and Cecilia each find their own means of dealing with the situation. A crack appears in their marriage and as this grows into a much larger rift, viewers are left wondering if there can possibly be a resolution without some divine intervention.

Among Us is a sumptuous film on any number of levels. Ernst is played by Michael Nyqvist who is instantly recognisable as a consummate actor with a long list of film credits – including all The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Cecilia is played by the glorious Izabella Scorupco, who also has a long line of credits to her name and has recently appeared in films such as Sunstorm and Cougar Club. She was also a very captivating Bond girl playing opposite Pierce Brosnan in Golden Eye.

Among Us is a touching and suspenseful drama about the power of hope and love, and a flirt with the fantastic.

Visit for all the details and to purchase tickets to this exceptional afternoon of film.

SCREENING DETAILS – Saturday 5 6 March 2011

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