If the recent success of the Australian Film Festival is anything to go by, cinefiles are hungry for high quality, home grown films.
Tripling in number at the box office, an estimated 5000 film lovers, visited the Randwick Ritz from March 7 – 17 to catch a flick at the Australian Film Festival.
A great final week for the festival with cinema’s filling to maximum capacity, crowds lined up over the weekend for screenings of Jack McCoy’s surfing film A Deeper Shade of Blue on Friday 16 March and the world premiere of Redd Inc. on Saturday 17 March.
Festival Director Barry Watterson is thrilled with the outcome. “The 3rd Australian Film Festival has shown a significant increase in audiences for our screenings, workshops and panels.”
“The amazing support for Australian films during the festival has confirmed our belief that if you provide the opportunity for Australian audiences to see Australian films, they will turn up.” He says.
The Randwick Ritz was buzzing with the Australian Film Festival opening of AFF hit action feature Swerve starring Vince Colosimo, Emma Booth (Underbelly), David Lyons.
Over the full 11 days, audiences gathered to watch screenings of brand new and existing Aussie flicks including Jonathan Teplitsky’s Burning Man, Lincoln Fenner’s New York International Film Festival award winning documentary More4Me and Alex Munt’s pop culture film LBF.
1500 family members enjoyed the beachfront screening of Red Dog on Saturday March 10 at Clovelly beach.
One of the festival highlights came after the Spot Food Festival, held in conjunction with Randwick City Council on sunshine- filled Sunday March 11. Aussie acting legends Barry Otto and Deborah Mailman were inducted into the Australian Film Walk of Fame to a crowd of 20,000 onlookers after a fabulous day of food, music and film.
The evening of March 10 saw the 500 patrons take their seats for the Australian Short Film Festival in which 10 films were shortlisted and screened from over 300 entries.
Depicting a powerful battle of a Cypriot family fleeing from Turkish forces during the 1970s war, The Palace was awarded first place. Second place and the Audience’s Choice Award was given to short film set in a year 4 classroom, Julian. Third place was awarded to animated road movie about a battle of wills over a cigarette, Nullarbor.
Special 40th anniversary screenings of series Number 96 was much loved on March 13 at Star Cinema on George Street, Sydney and the introduction of Green Screen climate change flicks took short film in a new direction.
The festival also hosted a selection of educational programs including the OneShot Film Workshop at Sydney Film School, the FutureFilm Screenplay Competition and a director’s panel discussion featuring Gillian Armstrong, Rowan Woods, Kriv Stenders and Samantha Lang to celebrate the Australian Directors Guild’s 30th birthday.
Watterson says “We are excited and grateful for the audience response in 2012. We look forward to supporting film and filmmakers during the rest of the year, a wonderful year for Australian film and a fabulous Australian Film Festival in 2013.”
For more info head to http://www.australianfilmfestival.com.au/