29 August 2022

Far South Film Festival announces winners from exceptional regional showcase

| Albert McKnight
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An audience enjoys a Far South Film screening at the Picture Show Man Cinema in Merimbula. Photo: Sats Kramer.

The winners of the Bega Valley-based 2022 Far South Film Festival have been announced, after audiences were treated to the showing of 14 exceptional films from around the country.

The festival has been held for the third time, showcasing regional and rural filmmakers, and kicked off with a launch party earlier this month.

“It was lovely to all be back in the cinema again and having an in-person event for the first time, because for the first two years of the festival we got lockdowns twice!” festival director Lis Shelley said.

Entries came in from around Australia and this year five from South East NSW made it in.

Ms Shelley said part of the reason why it was important to tell regional stories in films was because regional audiences could see and relate to what they saw.

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“People comment, ‘Oh, I know that place, I’ve been there’. It’s the connection people can have with the films,” she said.

She said the quality of entries this year was “really good” and spanned from documentary, comedy and drama to experimental music video.

“It’s quite a range of genres because we didn’t have a particular theme for the festival, we left it up to the filmmakers to see what they wanted to put in,” she said.

A still from The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Married. Photo: Supplied.

She said the festival planned on keeping its regional focus.

“COVID meant we went online so anyone in Australia could watch the films from where they were,” she said.

“It meant people in regional areas got to see films made in their region from their region.”

This year’s major winner was titled The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Married and featured an ensemble of people with a disability in its creation.

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“It is a wonderful, inclusive and diverse production,” Ms Shelley said.

“As soon as we watched it we were all smiling from ear to ear.

“It is such a joyous story.”

Ms Shelley said the festival would return in 2023 and encouraged filmmakers to start thinking about their entries now.

A still from Home Stretch, taken on Wallaga Lake Bridge. Photo: Supplied.

Winners of the 2022 Far South Film Festival:

Far South Film Best Film Award: The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Married by Karen Jackson and ARC Disability Services Ensemble from Cairns, Queensland.

Far South Film + Screenworks Youth Encouragement Award: Breakdown by Flynn Guillermo Kamino from Victoria Valley, Tasmania.

The Author JD Shaw Best Youth Film Award: Inferno by Samuel Rodwell from Orange, NSW.

The Funhouse Studio Diversity Award: The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting Married by Karen Jackson and The ARC Disability Services Ensemble from Cairns, Queensland.

The Nullarbor Consulting Award for Best Screenplay: The Rise by Angus Goozée from Byron Bay, NSW.

StageFlight Award for Best Director: Dating Violet by Holly Trenaman from Coledale, NSW.

Stageflight + Screenworks Membership Award for Best Performance: Morgan Richards from Byron Bay, NSW for his role as Hector in The Rise.

Best Use of a Regional Location Award: Home Stretch by creative director Lindy Hume and directors Andrew Robinson, Cheryl Davison, David Hewitt, Samwise Seidel, Lee Pemberton, Louise Morris and Kyle Wilson from Bega Valley, NSW.

For those who could not make it to the launch party, the festival continues online until 31 August, with all films, recordings of the panel discussions, Q&As, filmmaker interviews, awards ceremony and other entertaining extras available to watch here.

Ticket holders can vote for the People’s Choice Award until voting closes on 31 August.

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