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#BringBackJack to Nindigully for 20th anniversary of Paperback Hero

What do you get when you mix a sweeping tale of romance, a rustic Outback pub, a cast of colourful local characters with the red dust and dirt of Outback Queensland? You get the perfect setting for a new blockbuster event for the Balonne Shire – the Nindigully Film & Music Festival.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Australian release of Paperback Hero, which starred Hugh Jackman and Claudia Karvan, the Balonne Shire Council is calling on residents to share their memories of when the “film circus”, as locals called it, came to town. This iconic Australian movie was filmed in Nindigully and the Balonne Shire, together with the equally iconic Nindigully Pub, will celebrate the occasion with a re-premiere of the movie, complete with a red dirt carpet, at the first annual Nindigully Film & Music Festival (4-6 October 2019).

Paperback Hero is based on Hugh Jackman’s character, Jack Willis, who is a paperback novelist and the embodiment of the archetypal Outback character – a tough, loveable larrikin who above all is as loyal to his mates as he is resilient.  This is very much the story of Outback Queensland and the residents of the Balonne Shire. 

Residents and friends of the Shire are asked to help lure Hugh Jackman back to Nindigully by getting involved with the #BringBackJack social media campaign. To join in, post a message to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and let the cast and crew from Paperback Hero know what it would mean to you to #BringBackJack to Nindigully.

Council’s Tourism Committee Chair Cr Robyn Fuhrmeister has also called on residents to find any Paperback Hero memorabilia they may have which could be used as part of an exhibition for the duration of the festival.

“With 2019 marking the 20th anniversary of Paperback Hero, what better way for Nindigully to celebrate this milestone than with a Film & Music Festival,” she said.

“As much as it will always have a place in the hearts and minds of all Australians, for the locals of Nindigully and the Balonne Shire Paperback Hero represents the accumulation of our region’s story.

“Old photographs, movie set memorabilia, camera shot lists, filming storyboards, posters, and video of filming are some of the things residents are being asked to donate to create an exhibition a lasting archive of the Balonne’s involvement in this iconic Aussie movie.”

Nindigully Pub owner and event organiser Steve Burns said he and his wife Debbie were excited to be hosting this inaugural film festival.

“We aim to make it a year to remember by building an event of which locals can be proud and which will grow in popularity each year,” he said.

“We’ve got lots planned for the festival including a fancy dress movie trivia night which will include a Jack and Ruby lookalike competition, a re-premier of Paperback Hero on an outdoor screen, followed by fireworks, vintage car display, bush poetry, memorabilia display, country markets and hopefully a performance by Aussie country music star Beccy Cole.

“It will definitely be a festival not to miss!”

Residents who have any memorabilia that could be used in the exhibition, are asked to contact Debbie Burns on 0421 088 372 or nindigullypub@hotmail.com.