SELF-declared proud Ballarat girl Michelle Payne says it is something special to have not just her story, but her hometown showcased on the big screen.
Ride Like A Girl, directed by Rachel Griffiths, will make its regional debut in Ballarat on Sunday ahead of a national release later this month. Payne walked the purple carpet for the world premiere last Sunday for the highly-anticipated telling of her rise to become the first female Melbourne Cup winning jockey.
In an action-packed week for the movie's premiere - Sydney on Monday then Queensland and Perth before Ballarat - Payne could hardly wait to bring her story home.
"It's nice to show off this beautiful city, including the Loreto chapel and the school - I'm a very proud Loreto girl - and I've definitely grown up in front of the (Dowling Forest) race course," Payne told The Courier. "A lot of girlfriends from Loreto went to the Melbourne premiere but I know so many Ballarat people going on Saturday as well."
Payne said it was particularly special to watch the film with her family on Sunday. She was confident they would love what was ultimately their story too. Brother Stevie, who was the strapper for Payne's Melbourne Cup win, stole the show - Payne said her family was so excited to see him, playing himself, on the big screen.
Perseverance, determination and resilience have been key themes in all recounts of Payne's 2015 cup win and these were themes she was particularly proud to have carried through the film.
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