THE DISH SCREENING | Roy Billing sends his best wishes

NOTE: THIS SCREENING HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO HIGH WINDS. IT WILL GO AHEAD ON A SATURDAY EARLY IN SEPTEMBER TO BE ADVISED.

Actor RoyBilling sends his personal best wishes to everyone coming to the outdoor screening of The Dish next month (date to be announced) at Liverpool Regional Museum, in conjunction with the One Small Step exhibition currently at the museum.

He plays the mayor of Parkes in the film and he says it's still one of his favourite roles -- and The Dish is still one of his favourite films. See his message in full below.

The movie spotlight will shine at the regional museum with a free and timely open-air screening of the hit Australian movie.

It was just two weeks ago that 50 years had passed since man reached the moon and NeilArmstrong took that one small step, etc.

The Dish was made in Australia at several locations but primarily at the New South Wales country town of Parkes in the Central West. It's based on a true story and following its release in late 2000 was the top Australian film of that year and overall grossed nearly $18 million in ticket sales.

The film stars the well-known New Zealand actor SamNeill as Cliff Buxton. Neill has made his mark at the highest level in this region and at an international level in films including Jurassic Park, The Hunt For Red October, The Piano and Jurassic Park 111.

Fellow New Zealander and equally prolific Roy Billing, who plays Parkes mayor Robert McIntyre, is especially known for Rabbit-Proof Fence and TV's Rake, Jack Irish and Packed to the Rafters.

Hello everyone. I played the mayor of Parkes, Bob McIntyre, in The Dish which we filmed back in 1999. It's still one of my favourite roles and The Dish is still one of my favourite films. It's based around the story of how Australia was involved in the 1969 landing. Satellite dishes at Honeysuckle Creek and Parkes were used to pick up the TV signals from the first moon landing and beam them to the world. The film covers events at the Parkes radio telescope and, while it's a fictional film, much of it's based on actual events. Thanks for coming to see the film tonight. I hope you have as much fun watching it as we did making it. Cheers

ROY BILLING, unofficial mayor of Parkes

Other Australian locations in the movie include Forbes, 32 kilometres south of Parkes, for its old historic buildings plus the former Parliament House in Canberra and Crawford Studios in Melbourne.

The producers took a few liberties with the story, including an iconic game of cricket played on the dish which never happened in reality and Prime Minister JohnGorton visiting the HoneysuckleCreek tracking station (near Canberra) and not Parkes as depicted in the film.

Honeysuckle Creek was actually the first location to relay the landing to earth. Those famous words "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" and vision came from there.

Despite high winds at Parkes (110 km/h) which risked major damage to the dish and injury to on-site personnel, this site persevered and actually broadcast the longest and the clearest pictures.

The free screening of The Dish is part of the Liverpool Regional Museum's commemoration of the historic moon landing by the crew of Apollo 11 in July, 1969, just over 50 years ago.

The gates will open at 5.30pm, the film starts at 6.30pm. Running time is 1 hour 40 minutes. Seating will be provided and food and beverages available to buy. This is a secure event, with security. There's limited on-site parking, with extra parking on Congressional Drive and nearby streets.

Rug up on the night with a blanket -- Liverpool is known for chilly nights at this time of the year!

  • Giant Leap exhibition: At Casula Powerhouse until September 7, Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 4pm. Details: 8711 7123.

02/08/19: First televised steps on moon weren't beamed from Parkes after all

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