Award-winning comedian Damian Callinan featured at NW Film Festival

Audiences attending the North West Film Festival are in for a comical treat when multi award-winning stand-up comic, actor and writer, Damian Callinan, takes the stage at the Inverell Town Hall on Friday, November 16, and Saturday, November 17.

Damian Callinan is best known to audiences for his roles on Skithouse, Before The Game and Backyard Ashes, as well as regular guest appearances on shows such as Spicks and Specks and the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala. His most decorated one man show The Merger, earnt him his third nomination for the prestigious Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It received Screen Australia and Create NSW funding to be made into a feature film and made it world premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival in August 2018.

Callinan wrote the adaptation and stars alongside such acclaimed actors as Kate Mulvany, John Howard, Fayssal Bazzi, Penny Cook, Josh McConville and Nick Cody. Directed by Mark Grentell, the film was shot on location in the Riverina of NSW in late 2017.

Callinan is a touring machine: the towns that have not had one of his show posters adorning their bakery shop window are now few and far between. He has toured the nation extensively with a number of award-winning shows. To ensure Callinan has no spare time he was recently commissioned to write a play called The Hall Committee based on the machinations of a fictional country hall.

The piece is being developed based on conversations from actual country hall committees and will premiere in the halls of the Riverina in 2019. Callinan will MC the Festival Awards on Friday evening from 7pm. He will also present his feature film, The Merger on Saturday at 4pm. The Merger tells the story of a struggling country football club that recruits newly arrived refugees to fill its playing roster.

On Saturday evening legendary director and special guest of the Festival, Bruce Beresford, will talk about his extraordinary career. Beresford will also introduce the screening of Mao’s Last Dancer. Tickets are limited and bookings are essential through Eventbrite. All events are free and open to the general public. The North West Film Festival is a festival for rural communities across the New England North West.

It provides the unique opportunity for young people and our communities to tell their stories, to showcase their work, assess the work of their peers, work with industry professionals and celebrate their achievements.

Festival Director, Sandy McNaughton hopes to see the community embrace this unique event and all that it brings.

“The North West Film Festival is a celebration of what can be achieved by people who believe in their rural community and its future. It’s one of those events that really does make a difference to the lives of all those who participate.”