Wednesday, April 27, 2022

THE BIG KITTY comes to Ballarat


On Monday April 24, artists/filmmakers Tom Alberts and Lisa Barmby visited Ballarat for a very special event: a one-off showing at Cinema Eureka of their prize-winning film, THE BIG KITTY. The indie film has previously screened at numerous international festivals, including the Paris, Saint-Tropez, Rochefort and Cannes Film Festivals. The Ballarat screening followed hot on the heels of THE BIG KITTY’s Australian Premiere at Melbourne’s Classic Cinema, a sold out session that necessitated a second screening. 

Before setting off for Cinema Eureka, Lisa and Tom joined Shane Jones and I for afternoon tea in the upstairs cinema room of our house.

On the wall behind Lisa and I is a photo of some of the BIG KITTY CAST and crew, taken during the filming of one of its penultimate scenes:

Upon arrival at Eureka Cinema, we were delighted to find this welcoming sign by the front gate:

Cinema Eureka is a private cinema owned by Bryan Putt and Megan Finlayson. They’ve been keen to screen the film for a couple of years, and it was marvellous that the event coincided with Tom and Lisa’s all too brief visit to Australia. They return to Paris in a few days.

Ballarat Times journalist Fiona Watson photographs the filmmakers: 

Above and below: Bryan, Tom and Lisa:

Lisa interviewed by Fiona Watson: 

Pictured below: Cinema Eureka co-owner, Megan Finlayson:

Cinema Eureka is a sixteen seater, purpose-built to the side of Bryan and Megan’s house. Prior to the screening, Bryan welcomed the specially invited audience. Pictured below, L-R: Spencer Harrison, Tim Jones, Bryan Putt, Shane Jones, Tom, Lisa, Tim Gresham and Erin M. McCuskey.

Below, L-R: Tom, Lisa, Gaye Britt and Tim Gresham, who has a small, but memorable role in the film:

Below: Lily Mae Martin, Christine Hickson and Erin M. McCuskey:

Spencer Harrison, Tim Jones and Shane Jones:

Carole Wilson, Peter Cooper, Lily Mae Martin and Christine Hickson:

Spencer, Tim, Loris Button, Carole and Peter:

Tom and Lisa introduced the film and held a Q&A immediately after the screening:

Among the audience members was Annie Drum (foreground):

Megan thanks Tom and Lisa and announces post-screening beverages:

Gaye and Tim, Shane and I joined Tom and Lisa for a celebratory meal in the dining room of their hotel, Craig’s Royal:

Afterwards Lisa and Tom invited us all for drinks in their hotel room:

It was a night to remember. Warmest thanks to Bryan and Megan for organising the event to perfection and to Lisa and Tom for taking time out from their hectic schedule to make the trip to Ballarat. We wish them further success with THE BIG KITTY and a Bon Voyage to Paris!

For further reading on THE BIG KITTY, read the article by artist/writer Steve Cox for FILMINK HERE.