Australian Movie Convention takes off for the beach

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The 2009 Australian International Movie Convention is moving away from its home of the last few years, the Royal Pines Golf Course, and setting sail for the beach. Still at the Gold Coast, this year’s event will be held at Conrad Jupiter’s Casino & Convention Centre at Broadbeach, August 23-27. And in another first, all major events will be at that venue.

Gone are the days of bussing to various cinemas for screenings (although I must admit, I did enjoy going to different theatres). This year, all movies will be at the Jupiter’s Theatre, which will be transformed into a 1,000-seat state-of-the-art digital and 3D cinema. Functions, seminars and the trade show will all be at the venue.

Overseas guests are always welcome, and with fares from the U.S. to Australia at their lowest in many years, now is the time to come Down Under. The new venue is a five-minute walk to the beach, or three minutes by monorail, and a major shopping centre is next-door. Accommodations are at Conrad Jupiter’s Hotel, or you have a wide choice of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Broadbeach, perfect for the family.

Check out the website, www.movieconvention.com.au, for the latest news on the agenda, guest speakers and screenings. I am happy to reply to e-mails requesting any other information.

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The 1971 Australia-U.S. film Wake in Fright (Outback in the U.S.) has just been restored after a worldwide search for prints. American prints were mainly of a cut-down, censored version, and no decent local print was available for many years. The restored version premiered at Cannes in May, played the Sydney Film Festival in June, and has now been re-released in local cinemas to wide acclaim and surprisingly good box-office results. Wake in Fright is a tough story of a rookie teacher disintegrating in the harsh Australian outback.

E-mail your Australia/New Zealand news items to David Pearce at insidemovies@hotmail.com.