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Meet Film-Maker/Author Shirley Barrett

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Before proceeding, must point out: Eastern Regional Library membership's required. Pssst. Hey, pssst...don't tell anybody, but can always just join - oh, if an albino in a trench-coat approaches you 'bout this, tell 'im "She sells sea shells". Okay, now we've circumvented that, down to bigness: Shirley Barrett. If you're a fan of Aussie flicks, have an interest/passion in filmmaking, just curious, Barrett's your gal. With a resume boasting features and TV series, extreme wealth of knowledge.

Shirley Barrett
Set of "South Solitary", c/o Shirley Barrett

For this clever creative, kickstarted in the eighties. In '88, whilst at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), awarded AFI's Best Short Fiction for her short "Cherith". Three years later, directorial debut in "Boys from the Bush". Followed by "A Country Practice", and "Heart Break High". In '94, writing/directing "Love Serenade" (winner of 'Camera D'Or', Cannes Film Festival). Pssst, here's the film (don't tell trench-coat guy).

Despite falling victim to Australia's struggling film industry, this film furthered her career - which, IMO, matters ie. Australia's small film market, definite obstacle. Not suggesting we sell out to Hollywood. Just asserting we evaluate on a longer-term basis. To translate my ramblings: difficult as it is to profit from one particular film, not so to forge a successful career here in Australia.

For instance, Love Serenade sparked the interest of American entrepreneur, David Geffen. Tentacles in various endeavours, subsequently producing her second feature film "Walk the Talk". Shirley's 3rd/4th notches, "Before the Rain" and "South Solitary". Most recently involved in: "Love My Way", "Offspring", "Wild Boys", "Packed to the Rafters", "House Husbands", "Mr & Mrs Murder", "Love Child", "A Place to Call Home", amongst others.

Shirley Barrett
(From top left, to lower right) "Love Serenade", "Walk the Talk", "South Solitary", "Love My Way", "Offspring", "Wild Boys", c/o Shirley Barrett

To see Shirley, you'll need to visit REALM. If not yet aware, REALM's the new library at Eastland. Whether it stands for something, why it's not just "Ringwood Library" - unsolved. Which brings me to my next point. Whilst this modern, multilevel facility's a vast improvement, I got issues:

1) Parking - You'll need to catch a space in Eastland's carpark - which is far from generous.

2) Hard to find - Resembling an office, negligible signage, need to know it's location - very well. To try help: abuts Maroondah Highway (100 metres from Warrandyte Rd intersection), opposite Ringwood Train Station. If trekking through the shopping centre, head south, ascend as many escalators as possible.

3) Hard to access - Both externally, plus internally. The stairs (to the first level, where it is), ain't particularly nice. Whilst more a hindrance for seniors, those with mobility issues, plus toddlers (and their parents), it's steps are slender, staircase steep. However, there's a lift - located along the back wall.

Don't let these put you off. Facility itself is highly impressive, and all-in-all, a great hub. These (potential) shortcomings, far outweighed by the value of this unique experience.

REALM, Ringwood Library
c/o Maroondah City Council

To book (Scroll down page, to event, click "book"). If you make it there, have a great time!
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Why? Inspiration
When: Tuesday 19th January, at 6pm
Phone: Ph.9800 6430
Where: REALM, Ringwood Town Square, 179 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood
Cost: Free
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