Private Project

The Bentley Effect

How a community became a social movement and defied the gas juggernaut.

When the coal seam gas industry staked a claim on the Northern Rivers shire of Australia, alarm bells rang out. A critical mass of people from all walks of life – farmers, teachers, doctors, mums, dads, activists, scientists – organised themselves to rally against the unconventional gas invasion. But despite the enormous public opposition, the gas industry and the State Government were determined to see their gas plan through.

A series of dramatic blockades ensued, before the final battle lines were drawn in the peaceful farming valley of Bentley. Thousands of people flocked to the site to stare down the threat of an unprecedented 850 strong force of riot police, ordered in to break up the protest.

Filmed over five years, The Bentley Effect documents the highs and lows of the battle to keep a unique part of Australia free gas-field free. This timely story of a community’s heroic stand shows how strategic direct action and peaceful protest from a committed community can overcome industrial might and political short-sightedness. It celebrates the biggest non-violent ‘Eureka Stockade’ moment of our time and chronicles one of the fastest growing social movements we have ever witnessed, posing the question “what is truly valuable?’

  • Brendan Shoebridge
    Fractured Country, 5Gateways
  • Brendan Shoebridge
  • Anne Delaney
    Executive Producer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 21, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    262,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
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  • Byron Bay International Film Festival
    Byron Bay
    October 22, 2016
    World Premiere at the BBIFF Closing Night Gala
    WINNER Best Byron Film Award
  • 2017 Impact Docs Awards
    La Jolla, California
    United States
    Awards Festival
    Winner - Award of Excellence and Special Mention
  • Transitions Film Festival
    March 2, 2017
    Victorian Premiere
    Audience Favourite
  • Barcelona Planet Film Festival
    March 7, 2017
    Online Award Festival
    Winner - Best Documentary Feature Film
  • Something Somewhere Film Festival
    Alice Springs
    April 22, 2017
    Northern Territory Premiere
    Audience Award 2017
  • Earth Day Fim Festival

    United States
    April 26, 2017
    Winner - The Activism Award
  • Moondance International Film Festival

    United States
    Best Documentary
  • Australian Screen Editors "Ellie" Awards 2017

    Best Editing in a Feature Documentary
  • Melbourne Documentary Film Festival
    Finalist and Special Mention (Special Jury Prize, Best Documentary, Best Environmental Documentary, Best Director)
Director Biography - Brendan Shoebridge

After directing and editing “Fractured Country – An Unconventional Invasion” for the Lock the Gate Alliance Brendan was well and truly sent down the unconventional gas rabbit hole.
See the full film here:
In a previous life he worked for big fish such as AAV Digital Pictures, BSkyB (UK), IMG Media and Clemenger BBDO (Melb).
He currently works as a freelance documentary director / cameraman / editor and resides in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. He is a highly sought after independent filmmaker who is passionate about social and environmental issues and actively promotes sustainable living practices.

Documentary Credits

2014 - present "The Bentley Effect" - Producer/Director/Editor/Camera
2013 "The Assange Agenda" - Editor / Additional Camera
2013 "Fractured Country - An Unconventional Invasion" - Director / Camera / Editor
2013 "On Borrowed Time" - Editor (ABC Vers)
2012 "Gods of Wheat Street" - Quality Control
2012 "Pharaoh vs the Egyptians" - Editor
2011 "Out of Mine, Out of Site" - Editor
2011 "When the Dust Settles" - Editor (re-edit)
2010 "5 Gateways" - Director / Camera / Editor
2007 "Ganglands" (BSkyB UK) - Editor

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Director Statement

After following the build up to the Bentley Blockade from its early beginnings in 2011, I have the privilege of telling an incredible story of courage and heroism.

The Northern Rivers region of NSW has been a leading light in the battle against invasive mining and after the historic showdown at Bentley we now have a well documented victory for the power of community and a major turning point in the battle for a safe clean future.

With so much hanging delicately in the balance it is ultimately unity, altruism and our connection to all we hold dear that we see emerging as the key ingredients to this timely story of hope and inspiration.

This is a story that simply had to be celebrated.

Brendan Shoebridge
Director "The Bentley Effect"