Nindigully Film and Music Festival to celebrate Hugh Jackman and Paperback Hero

Nindigully Pub owners Steve and Debbie Burns welcomed the opportunity to honour this iconic Aussie film.

Nindigully Pub owners Steve and Debbie Burns welcomed the opportunity to honour this iconic Aussie film.

An Australian truck driver writes romance novels. He uses his engaged, tomboyish, crop duster best friend's name, Ruby Vale, as author. What happens next?

You'll have to refresh your memory at the repremiere of Paperback Hero that is being held at the Nindigully Pub on the long weekend.

The Nindigully Pub, the oldest licensed hotel in Queensland, is famous for its pig races and a well-known stop for weary road travellers. But few know it was also the launch pad for one of Australia's famous sons.

Nindigully and the Balonne Shire were featured in Hugh Jackman's first Australian feature film - Paperback Hero. Hugh has sent a message to Nindigully Pub which will be aired in full at the festival.


In this, the 20th year since the movie was launched, and despite severe drought conditions and the hardship the area faces, Nindigully Pub owners Steve and Debbie Burns welcomed the opportunity to honour this iconic Aussie film.

The Gully and the rest of the Balonne Shire is buzzing in anticipation of the inaugural Nindigully Film and Music Festival on October 5-6. The festival was made possible by a $55,000 grant from the state government's Year of the Outback Tourism Program.

A huge weekend has been planned featuring a re-premiere of the film, exhibition of film memorabilia, markets, entertainment for the kids and country music.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

Paperback Hero stars Jeanie Drynan, Angie Milliken and writer/director Antony Bowman will walk the red carpet - unfortunately the main actors Hugh Jackman and Claudia Karvan were not able to make it this time, but Hugh took some time out of his busy Greatest Showman world tour to remember his time in the Gully. This special message will be screened in full at the film re-premiere.

Who knows, we may get them back for the 25th anniversary in 2024!

The iconic boomerangs from the movie's Boomerang Café have been revamped thanks to a $19,900 grant through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

Local St George artist and descendant of Kamilaroi nations, Yuwulaaraary Euahlayi and Bigambul, Barry Rainman Boland has transformed the sculptures in consultation with the original designer and creator Jon Dowding. Stage 2 of the project will include landscaping and informational signage providing details about the boomerangs and their history.

The revitalised boomerangs will be centre of the official opening of the Nindigully Film and Music Festival at 11am on Saturday, October 5.

Vintage cars are also going to be on display throughout the day. There will also be a movie memorabilia pop-up gallery, fireworks, country markets, food stalls, jumping castle and face painter - plenty to keep the whole family busy.

Paperback Hero stars will take to the red carpet at 6pm and there'll be a special message from Hugh Jackman before the film is re-premiered on a huge outdoor screen. So make sure to bring a comfy chair to enjoy the show.

The fun won't stop after the credits roll as Australian country music stars Gina Jeffreys, Luke O'Shea, Benn Gunn, The Vibe and local Adam Kilpatrick will get you kicking the dust up to the early hours! Musicians Jase Lansky and Jeremy Turner will keep the fun going on Sunday - a great way to relax and recover.

There is plenty of room to park-up for the weekend in the surrounding grounds at Nindigully, but please make sure to bring your own water as Balonne Shire, home to Nindigully, has been battling the worst drought conditions in the history of the Murray Darling Basin.

Balonne Shire Mayor Richard Marsh said the Nindigully Film and Music Festival would provide a welcome boost to the region.

"It will not only put Nindigully and our shire on the tourist's must see map, but give our locals a chance to forget about the drought for the weekend," he said. "I'm really looking forward to being part of this event and welcome all to come along and enjoy the festivities on the banks of the Moonie River.

"We hope that this festival will build on this year's success and become part of our Shire's yearly events."

  • You can pre-purchase tickets ($50) online at or pay $60 at the gate. Tickets will cover all the weekend events and entertainment. Children under 16 camp free.