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Burns Point: The blessings of filming a movie in Ballina

DRAMA: Actors Ron Kelly, John McNeill and Brad McMurray on a scene of Burns Point, filmed near Ballina.
DRAMA: Actors Ron Kelly, John McNeill and Brad McMurray on a scene of Burns Point, filmed near Ballina. Lyndal Moody

AFTER a young woman is murdered by her jealous boyfriend, her brother Jeremy expects the family to get swift justice.

But the killer's father is a powerful and corrupt policeman who rigs the evidence to wreck the prosecution case.

A jury sets the son free, but days later his broken body is found on a dark street and Jeremy is running for his life.

Burns point is a feature film written and produced by Ballina's Chris Blackburn, and directed by his son, Tim Blackburn.

Born in England, Chris Blackburn has lived in Ballina for the last nine years, after a career in Sydney as a newspaper journalist, TV reporter for Channel 9 in Brisbane and as the executive producer of Big Brother, a gig that was shot on the Gold Coast and allowed him to settle in the Northern Rivers.

Now ready to screen, the film is one of the local projects part of the 10th Byron Bay International Film Festival.

Chris Blackburn said the project went from a family affair to a community affair.

"I had been writing several film scripts for many years, and my son Tim followed me into the TV business, and he got into the final of short film festival Tropfest in Sydney and in New York, so I invited him to pull our talents together and do this full length feature film."

Blackburn said filming around Ballina was a blessing.

"One of my neighbours is in the business of moving whole houses and he stores them nearby, so we had this village of empty wooden houses in a clearing in the middle of a canefield. My neighbour agreed immediately," he said.

"One day we were near Wardell and Tim asked me for the black car for the next scene. I told him I hadn't organised it.

"There were three houses in the canefield, one of them had a black car parked outside. I went there and asked the owner if I could use his car for the movie, he agreed and gave me the keys on the spot.

Actor John O'Neill waiting for the cameras to roll on the set of Burns Point.
Actor John O'Neill waiting for the cameras to roll on the set of Burns Point.

"It was the same with Ballina council and the local police. They were very supportive and easy to work with. This film was a real community effort."

The film will be screening at the Byron Bay International Film Festival, October 14 to 20. For details visit bff.com.au.

Premiere

  • The premiere of Burns Point will be held at Ballina Fair Cinemas on Thursday, October 27, from 6pm. Film from 7pm.
  • There will be a Q&A with cast and crew after the screening.
  • For details visit burnspointmovie.com

Topics:  ballina, burns point, movie, whatson


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