Hippy histories retold at Stuarts Point

Producers Peter Geddes and Pete Gailey.

FEATURE length documentary ‘Bellingen – The Promised Land’ was independently screened at Stuarts Point Community Hall on the evening of 12 January 2024.

Based on a well-crafted mix of old home movie footage and still shots from the 70s, and more recent interviews and research, the film was produced by retired journalist Peter Geddes and veteran editor Pete Gailey.

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With an introductory set of live music performance, delivered by Bellingen musician Mark Oliver (who is also featured in the film), the ample audience settled in for the film and also enjoying a variety of snacks and beverages, and an information stall operated by the Forestry Ecology Alliance, whose subject matter strongly aligned with themes outlined in the film.

First screened for public viewing in late 2020 at the Bellingen Memorial Hall, the production team were overwhelmed with demand for extra sessions, resulting in a total of eleven screenings.

Since then, the documentary has enjoyed continued support.

The film’s creators, both now long-term inhabitants of the region, captured the tempestuous past of the now lively town, with Peter Geddes and his young family first settling in the main street of the waning Bellingen village in the early 1970s to open ‘The Good Food Shop’, a grocery store with a wholesome, fresh attitude.

“The film has had a wonderful response from Bellingen audiences and now we are screening it in smaller halls in the surrounding districts,” Producer Pete Gailey commented.


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