Dialog Box

Community | Education | Environment | Human Rights | Rural | Social Justice
The Bentley Effect


$67,307 Raised of
Dear Friend,

By arriving here you probably already realise the importance of seeing this film reach its audience. We now have a great feature documentary in the can - and we are inspiring lots of fresh conversation and meaningful action. But ... its no good having a great film that no one knows about!

So, we are seeking to raise funds for impact distribution and outreach and also to help cover upfront costs for an upcoming DVD releas (around mid March 2018). The Bentley Effect is already being seen as an important piece of Australian cinema history - sincere thanks for being a part oif it all.


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, landowners, mums, dads, activists, scientists – organised themselves to rally against the unconventional gas invasion. 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 850 riot police, ordered in to break up the protest. What happened next set an historic precedent.

Filmed over five years, The Bentley Effect documents the highs and lows of the battle to keep a unique part of Australia gasfield-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 non-violent ‘Eureka Stockade’ of our time and chronicles one of the fastest growing social movements we have ever witnessed.

Gasland showed us the problem – The Bentley Effect points us to the solution and poses the question “what is truly valuable?’.


How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?

“The Bentley Effect is about the fight we all face for a safe, clean future. It is therefore a story that simply must be told.”  Brendan Shoebridge, Director.

With the world in the grip of fossil fuel madness, it is clear humanity has reached a crucial junction. As we race toward a number of tipping points, our lives are changing in ways we’ve never seen, to a degree we are not prepared for, and at speeds we’ve never experienced. We have drifted off the edge of our cultural map and are now forced to question - what is truly important to us? 

So how will humanity respond through this intense process? If our future is indeed set to become a fight for survival then what this film shows us is that community and altruism are the keys to our resilience. The Bentley Effect will throw new light on these issues by using the powerful social movement against unconventional gas and invasive mining as its vehicle. 

With financial aid this project can be far-reaching and highly successful. For anyone who values community, democratic process and environmental responsibility, this is a philanthropic project worth supporting.

Aims & Objectives

What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?

When our best food bowls, our water security (including Sydney’s water catchment area) and our iconic national treasures such as Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef are under threat from large multinational resource companies it is clear that an in-depth conversation in the public arena is well overdue. The Bentley Effect aims to be a fresh new conversation starter. After following the build up to the Bentley Blockade from its early beginnings in 2011, we are now privileged with the ability to tell an incredible story of love and courage. With many viewers already in overwhelm, our goal is to inform and entertain in order to spread awareness of this all important issue. The project's impact will be measured by viewer numbers, global reach, online activity, conversations in supermarket aisles, ticket/DVD sales, online engagement and subsequent debate. 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.

What is your education and outreach strategy?

If ever there was a time for bold and creative action, this is it !

It is vitally important that we share our success stories and showcase these historic moments. Getting this tale to a 'big screen' audience will inspire and educate audiences across the globe. It is the next best thing to being on a real life blockade
and is best experienced in groups. But as Dr Gavin Mudd says, democracy only works if you are informed AND participate. No good doing one without the other! So how do you choose to participate? What will be your legacy? Lets educate and inspire meaningful action.

Through endless submission writing and passionate campaigning, the Government’s ‘repressive tolerance’ tactics seemed to backfire and instead turned Northern Rivers 'protectors' into one of the best informed group of campaigners in recent history. As a result, after following the movement over its 4-5 year development, we have amassed a wealth of information and have a complete history of speeches, interviews and research that will be available via a web-based archive. So once we have delivered a compelling feature documentary we then have a perfect platform to share this information and elevate the conversation around invasive mining and sustainable futures to where it needs to be. With adequate funding this project could deliver a comprehensive online portal that will showcase expert presentations, short films, online tuition, training DVDs, study guides and teachers notes. It would serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for interested audiences worldwide and enable the public to get up to speed with the latest information very quickly. And time is short ...

Brendan Shoebridge
Brendan Shoebridge / Anne Delaney
Total budget
85 Minutes