Dustin Clare.
Dustin Clare. Nine Network/mcleodsdaughters.ninemsn.com.au

Leaving the ranch for the cane fields

THE cane fields of South Ballina are soon to hit the big screen, alongside TV Week Logie Award winner Dustin Clare.

The short film Cane Cutter, which was shot in and around Ballina and was written and directed by Mr Clare, has been selected to have its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in the US next month.

The spunky actor/director, originally from Ballina and best known for his role as Riley Ward on McLeod's Daughters, said being able to share the stories of Ballina was a dream come true.

“I just wanted to create a story about where I come from,” he said.

“There aren't many stories about the Northern Rivers and the cane industry.

“I love the ocean and the relaxed nature of the place, which is a big part of the film.”

Cane Cutter is an eight- minute, independently-financed short film, which is the first project to be completed by production company Fighting Chance Films.

It is a story of mateship and the lengths to which one will go to protect it.

Mr Clare plays Roo, a cane cutter.

“He's reckless, careless and kind of a free spirit you can't hold down,” he said.

“Palm Springs International ShortFest is a wonderful festival, from the quality of films they select to the marketplace they run.

“You have the opportunity to meet producers and production companies and you can forge relationships with film-makers and directors, which is what I was able to do last year.

“To be invited to screen there with my first film as writer/ director is something I am really excited about.”

This week, Mr Clare is in Melbourne shooting with the cast of the second series of the television show, Satisfaction.

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