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Fresh Pastures for Iconic TV Series Filmed in the Tweed

An important piece of local and television history will return to the screen, thanks to lobbying from the Tweed Regional Museum and passionate community members.
The museum has been collaborating with the ABC to secure the re-release of a local classic – the iconic and nationally significant 1969 ABC TV mini series; Pastures of the Blue Crane. This finally happened last month.
This beloved Australian classic, adapted from the novel by local author, Hesba Brinsmead, starred Jeanie Drynan and Harry Lawrence.
The coming of age story was filmed locally in the Tweed and showcases the landscapes around Murwillumbah, Terranora, Tweed Heads and Coolangatta in the 1960s. It dealt with complex subjects such as controversial housing developments along the coastline, sexism, and casual racism, which led it to be included as part of the secondary school curriculum at the time.
Museum Curator Erika Taylor said the journey to secure the re-release began during research for last year’s museum exhibition, Tweed on Film.
“Many of the rights had lapsed, and the series sat in the ABC archives for many decades unable to be seen by the public,” Ms Taylor said.
“We were very disappointed not to be able to include footage in the exhibition and many visitors also remembered the series and were eager to see it again.”
As a result the Museum led a campaign, assisted by the local community, to work with the ABC lawyers to contact the rights holders and re-negotiate the complex web of copyright.
“Our passionate local community rallied hard to have this piece of history available to everyone and helped us find the copyright holders of the footage,” Ms Taylor said.
“We’re delighted to celebrate the re-release, with a screening of the full series at the Regent Cinema in Murwillumbah on 25 November at 4pm, organised by Friends of the Tweed Regional Museum.”
This is the first opportunity since 1969 that audiences have had to see it on the big screen. The screening will feature all episodes and run for 2.5 hours – with intermission.
When contacted by the Museum, Director of the mini-series, Tom Jeffery, was delighted to hear it had been re-released.
“It’s remarkable that after all these years there’s new interest in Helen Brinsmead’s book and the TV program. Thank you for all your efforts in this regard,” Mr Jeffery said.
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