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Oil Free Wellington hosts THE BENTLEY EFFECT

Oil Free Wellington hosts director of award winning film THE BENTLEY EFFECT as part of New Zealand tour

“A post-election fillip for grassroots groups”

For immediate Release

Oil Free Wellington is excited to host Brendan Shoebridge, the Director of award-winning Australian film The Bentley Effect. The film will be screened at community space 19 Tory St at 6.30pm, Friday 6th October as part of a nation-wide tour that began this week.

Post-election, the film screening is very timely. “We may not know who the new government will be, but we do know that both major parties would not rule out new oil and gas. It’s up to us. The story of a community coming together to stop the expansion of coal seam gas is just what we need, “ says Oil Free Wellington spokesperson Michelle Ducat.

The Bentley Effect is a poignant, personal and powerful feature documentary chronicling the rise of the social movement against unconventional gas mining in the Northern Rivers region of Australia – and it will be hitting local theatres this month on its first New Zealand screening tour.

Six years in the making, the film tells the story of our community’s heroic stand and shows how strategic direct action and peaceful protest can overcome corporate malfeasance and political might.

This award winning feature documentary is a sweeping tale following the journey of

protectors from when they first hear news of coal seam gas through to the protests at

Glenugie, Doubtful Creek and culminating in the Bentley Blockade. As the tagline – In dark times courage is born… sometimes in a cow paddock – suggests, the film is dotted with moments of humour to lighten more poignant and powerful moments as the film’s main characters journey through the highs and lows of the battle to save an iconic part of the country from the rampaging gas juggernaut – a true life David and Goliath tale.

When asked about the experience of making the film, Shoebridge says: “It is also an

extremely complex issue and this film had to work on so many levels. But above all it had to be entertaining and move the whole conversation around invasive mining forward. We have arrived at such a crunch moment in history and people are craving stories of hope and courage. And I have to say I’ve been thrilled and humbled by the audience responses so far. It’s been amazing.”

After a recent screening, Naomi Hodgson, Campaign Manager for The Wilderness Society said “The Bentley Effect is one of the most inspiring, entertaining and well produced documentaries about a social change movement that I have ever seen. Not only does it provide extremely informative and accurate information regarding the risks and impacts of the unconventional gas industry, but it is deeply engaging for a diverse audience from its opening scene, right to the end. Our screening in Newcastle, NSW, was packed out. There was laughter and tears, boos and cheers throughout the film and rapturous applause at the End.”

Brendan Shoebridge’s film has won a number of international film awards including Best Documentary at the Planet Barcelona Film Festival and the Moondance International Film Festival, BBIFF’s Byron Film Award, the Activist Award at Earth Day Film Festival, the Audience Award at Something Somewhere Film Festival and Awards of Excellence and Special Mentions at this years Impact Doc Awards and the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.

“This film is really about community and what a united community can achieve. I feel

thrilled and honoured to be heading over the ditch to share this true life ‘Lord of the Rings’ tale. New Zealand’s unique and precious beauty holds a special place in everyone’s hearts and I’m hoping the film will inspire local audiences to keep it safe and pure.”

The Bentley Effect is touring nationally from September 24th to November 12th. The Wellington screening will be at 19 Tory St,6.30pm Friday 6th October. Following

the screening, local audiences will have the opportunity to stay for a Q&A session with the film’s Director and key characters from the film.

Please check the film’s website www.thebentleyeffect.com for screening details and further information.


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