11 September 2019

Festival of Open Minds extends to Friday night film screening

| Ian Campbell
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The Festival of Open Minds has been inspired by a regional community that values shared conversation, personal reflection, the wisdom of experience, and FUN!

A dynamic program of speakers has been assembled for Saturday, September 1 at the Bega Civic Centre, a TEDx style event that will have people talking.

Inspired by the building momentum around the event, Iain Dawson, Director of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery has injected added spunk and depth with a special filming screening the night before – Friday, August 31.

BVRG presents the first regional screening of the controversial 2018 film ‘Terror Nullius‘.

Iain Dawson says, “Join us as we host the launch event of the Festival of Open Minds. Terror Nullius is a blistering, badly behaved sample-based film that confronts the horror of our contemporary moment.”

“We are so excited to present this film in Bega, the first time it has screened outside of major film festivals and metropolitan venues,” he says.

Running at 55-minutes, Terror Nullius is the work of Australian-born, New York-based video artists Dominique and Dan Angeloro, AKA Soda_Jerk.

ABC movie man Jason Di Rosso says the film is, “A radical critique of Australian masculinity, refugee policy and our treatment of the Indigenous Australians.”

“Right from the get go, Terror Nullius does not announce itself as subtle political rhetoric,” Di Rosso says.

“As beautifully made as it is, there’s a caustic, irreverent tone running through it that wouldn’t be out of place in a student newspaper.”

Di Rosso explains, “Terror Nullius is an audio-visual collage that uses highly sophisticated techniques to splice together images and sounds from Australian film and television history, often with a palpable anger and even a streak of malicious humour.”

“A scene from Mad Max II is repurposed to see Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson get whacked with lethal force by boomerangs, for example.”

Iain Dawson hopes the Bega screening will present the news and issues of now in a way only art can, “This is a chance for regional audiences to become part of the conversation and the film fits perfectly with The Festival of Open Minds,” he says.

The BVRG presents, Terror Nullius,in Bega on Friday, August 1 as part of the Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Soda_Jerk.

The BVRG presents, Terror Nullius, in Bega on Friday, August 31 as part of the Festival of Open Minds. Photo: Soda_Jerk.

Terror Nullius is not suitable for children. Parental guidance is recommended. It contains adult themes, sexual content and strong violence. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visitors are advised that the film may contain images and voices of people who have died.

Tickets for the film screening are FREE and include a Friday drink and nibbles. Terror Nullius screens from 6 pm, Friday, August 31 at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre.

The Festival of Open Minds takes full flight the following day around the broad theme of ‘change’. A stellar line-up of speakers from near and far will inspire thought and conversation; people experiencing change, people advocating for change, and people who have led change. Change across a range of interests and experiences.

Catherine McGregor, Hugh Mackay, Linda Burney, Gabbie Stroud.

Catherine McGregor, Hugh Mackay, Linda Burney, Gabbie Stroud.

Speakers in order of appearance:

  • Catherine McGregor AM – A military officer for nearly four decades, Catherine is coming to Bega to share her poignant and very personal story of gender transition. Catherine has also served as a speechwriter and adviser to some of Australia’s most senior political leaders including Bob Carr, Kim Beazley, Tony Abbott, and Barry O’Farrell. Catherine appears by arrangement with Claxton Speakers International.
  • Dr Leeanda Wilton – one of Australia’s leading IVF scientists, Leannda has played a pivotal role in the research and development of reproductive technologies, she has witnessed first-hand the astonishing developments and faced the many ethical and social challenges brought about by IVF.
  • Robbie Bundle – Robbie hales from Yuin and Bidjura Country, he is a singer-songwriter and musician who has been writing and performing music for more than 35 years.
  • Jo Saccomani – The founder of Two Sheds Workshop in Bega, where the motto is ‘Build yourself.’ Having been a qualified carpenter and running her own building business for over 30 years, as a Churchill Fellow, Jo has her sights set on challenging the status quo and increasing the number of women in trades.
  • Linda Burney MP – Linda is the first Aboriginal woman to serve in the House of Representatives. She was also the first Aboriginal person to serve in the New South Wales Parliament. Change is always on her agenda.
  • Cash Brown – With over 20 years experience in the cultural sector, Cash Brown is committed and passionate about cultural organisations and their impact on Australian society, Cash comes with a regional perspective on the need to value and support collecting institutions.
  • Hugh Mackay AO – Australia’s most respected and experienced social researcher, Hugh believes something is wrong with our nation and in the lives of its citizens. He is coming to Bega to explain what and why, but more importantly how he thinks we can change.
  • Narooma High School Robo Rebels – Robotics teachers and students are at the Festival to introduce you to their creations including “Aoki”, who was designed and constructed by the Robo Rebels and competed recently in Sydney at the South Pacific Regional Championships.
  • Zachary Sequoia – Zak has worked within the digital technology industry since the mid-1990’s starting in San Francisco, he has worked for some of the world’s most well known digital brands on three different continents. Zachary has been part of the drive behind the Bega Valley Innovation Hub and will give us a taste of it’s potential.
  • Gabbie Stroud – In her powerful memoir ‘Teacher’, Gabbie explains how she came to teaching, what makes a great teacher, what our kids need from their teachers, and what it was that finally broke her. A brilliant and heart-breaking story that cuts to the heart of a vital matter of national importance.
  • Jo Dodds – Vimy Ridge resident and Bega Valley Shire Councilor, Jo Dodds strongly believes climate change is at play in her community, she points to recent local bushfires as evidence. Earlier this year Jo was a speaker on the ‘Fossil Free Acceleration Tour’, which took in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, and Newcastle.

Everyday SouEasters will also have the opportunity to present their ideas and share their experience of change through the Change Bites program; highlighting bite-size stories of change.

Eight people from across the region will have three minutes to address one of three themes:

  1. The day my life changed and how I responded;
  2. My pitch for change;
  3. Change – I just can’t take it anymore!

The Festival of Open Minds pulls together national and local ideas with the aim of strengthening regional communities and providing an opportunity normally only available via a tollway or airport check-in lounge.

Jo Dobbs, Zachary Sequoia, Dr Leeanda Wilton.

Jo Dobbs, Zachary Sequoia, Dr Leeanda Wilton.

Ticket sales have been strong, a growing crowd that will no doubt add to the atmosphere, promise and power of the day.

Tickets are $30, high schoolers (12 to 19 years) are free, bookings can be made via South Coast Tickets.

This first of its kind event takes place in the stunning natural landscape of the Bega Valley, country that naturally relaxes and open minds. For those traveling from outside the region, the invitation is there to create a long weekend around the Festival by staying in Bega, Tathra, Bermagui, Merimbula, or Eden.

To claim your tickets for the Festival of Open Minds click HERE.

To claim your tickets for the Terror Nullius click HERE.

Thank you to Bega Valley Shire Council, University of Wollongong – Bega Campus, Tathra Beach House Apartments, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Candelo Books, and RiotACT for your support.

Robbie Bundle, Jo Saccomani, Cash Brown.

Robbie Bundle, Jo Saccomani, Cash Brown.

#Sussan Ley MP has had to cancel her appearance at the Festival in light of the increasing demands the drought is placing on her electorate. Sussan will now be in the field visiting farmers in Western Victoria on September 1. She sends her best wishes to everyone taking part in the Festival of Open Minds and hopes to visit South East NSW soon.

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