OPENING: Hugo Weaving in  Measure for Measure,  which is opening the 2019 Byron Bay Film Festival.
OPENING: Hugo Weaving in Measure for Measure, which is opening the 2019 Byron Bay Film Festival. Contributed

Weaving magic at Byron Fim Festival

HUGO Weaving, William Shakespeare and Pawno director Paul Ireland will conspire to bring a full measure of drama, style and cultural heft to the Red Carpet Opening Night of the Byron Bay Film Festival next month.

The audience will be wowed by Ireland's re-imaging of Measure for Measure, brought up to date and set in Melbourne's gritty underbelly, where ice, vice and inter-racial rivalries make for a tense urban landscape.

Weaving's Duke, as invincible Capo, must make himself scarce for a while, the modern twist being the move is provoked by a racist outrage by one of his lieutenant's ice-addled customers.

Measure for Measure (or M4M) was a natural choice for Opening Night film, said festival director J'aimee Skippon-Volke.

"We support Australian filmmakers and this has everything: established stars and new faces on the rise; glossy cinematography; the glittering Melbourne cityscape in the background; topical interest, and a resolution that is a satisfying balance of joy and pain. Shakespeare would recognise the dichotomies and applaud.

"It's a perfect film to get everyone in the mood, both for the party afterwards and the 10 days of festival following.”

BBFF runs from October 18-27. Details and tickets available at BBFF.com.au