Ron Kelly, John McNeill and Brad McMurray in a scene from Burns Point.
Ron Kelly, John McNeill and Brad McMurray in a scene from Burns Point.

Murder and jealousy hit Saraton's screens

IF you've ever caught the Burns Point ferry at Ballina you might be interested to know it's going to have a starring role in a new Australian feature film set to screen at Grafton's Saraton Theatre this weekend.

The film Burns Point features many of Ballina's recognisable landmarks and familiar territory including its canefields, streets, river, bowling alley and of course the famous Big Prawn.

The plot is rather sinister. 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.

Writer and producer Chris Blackburn said he choose Ballina as the setting as it had everything he was looking for to tell his story.

"First off the Northern Rivers of NSW is spectacular country; rivers, beaches, mountains, cane fields," he said.

"So it had everything. Because Burns Point is a low budget film (in movie making terms) it needed to be shot in a small geographical area.

"Then on a walk near my house I spotted a cluster of empty wooden houses hidden in a clearing in amongst cane fields. I thought that's a perfect place for our hero to hide out after his arranged hit all goes wrong.

"Also, filming in country Australia is amazing. Everyone just wants to help out.

"We needed a black car after the one we organised went down and this guy near the set just said 'here, use mine'. So we did."

 

ON LOCATION: Members of the Burns Point cast and crew take a break during filming on the thriller at Ballina.
ON LOCATION: Members of the Burns Point cast and crew take a break during filming on the thriller at Ballina.

Blackburn said the the Burns Point ferry operates continuously from 5am to midnight each day and couldn't be stopped for filming so the crew and actors had to work around the traffic on board to make it look empty.

Join Chris Blackburn for the 4.30pm screening at the Saraton Theatre on Saturday and Sunday followed by a Q & A.

Meet the writer/producer

Chris Blackburn will be at Grafton's Saraton Theatre for both screenings of Burns Point Ferry on Saturday and Sunday, 4.30pm and will be there for a special Q&A after the screening for film buffs and interested cinemagoers to find out more about the film and processes involved.

Blackburn started his working life as a newspaper reporter. He worked on papers in Sydney in the 1980s, a time when a bunch of rogue police did virtually whatever they wanted.

It's no co-incidence that a central character in Burns Point is an out of control detective who is a law unto himself. After newspapers Chris worked as a TV reporter for Channels Nine and Seven in Brisbane and a producer on 60 Minutes. He has also worked in television observational documentary and was Executive Producer of the last three series of Big Brother. Writing screenplays has long been a sideline to his tv work, and he always had a plan to see one of those scripts on the big screen. "When Tim started doing well with his short films I thought, hey, maybe we can do one together. We did, and we're pretty happy with the result."



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