16 August 2021

UPDATE: Regional filmmakers showcase local stories in Far South Film Festival

| Albert McKnight
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Far South Film Festival

The Far South Film Festival returns this August with both cinema and online screenings planned. Photo: Hiromi Matsuoka.

16 August 9:20 am: Due to the recent NSW-wide COVID-19 lockdown, the Far South Film Festival will be held online. Anyone who purchased tickets for the planned cinema screenings can transfer their tickets to the online festival at no extra charge. Visit Far South Coast Film Festival for more information.

14 August, 11:oo am: Across a range of ages and genres, the short films in the Far South Film Festival will reveal the intricacies of life in regional areas.

The festival will showcase the talents and visions of regional film makers from NSW, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

The 15 short films include drama, comedy, sci-fi and documentaries.

“A lot of the big festivals are playgrounds for A-listers, so we wanted a film festival that featured film makers who are truly living in regional areas,” festival director Lis Shelley said.

She said such filmmakers were able to give a different perspective on life.

“A lot of people made assumptions about what country people are like,” she said.

“I think it’s important people understand the stories are coming from the people who actually live there.

“We know, from living in these areas, it is very diverse and interesting … it’s not one dimensional.”

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Ms Shelley said some of the films were about the challenges people faced in the country.

For instance, she said the documentary Local Talent Global Dreams by 17-year-old filmmaker Ryan Twemlow from Berry was about how young people had to travel away from regional areas if they wanted to succeed, even though they loved living there.

She said the youth entries this year “just blew us away” and were “really thought provoking”.

Other films include Yuwinj Dhari-Bulwal, directed by Warren Ngarrae Foster and Hiromi Matsuoka from Wallaga Lake.


There will be 15 short films in the Far South Film Festival. Photo: Raymond Toms.

This documentary explores the impact of James Cook’s voyage up the east coast of Australia 250 years ago from the perspective of the NSW Far South Coast’s First Nations people.

Then there is Becoming Emma Braintree, directed by Joshua Koske from Googong.

The thriller is about Kaylee Desmond, a frontline therapist who performs a unique form of treatment – she dresses as the lost loved one of her clients so that they can say goodbye.

Audiences can also look out for The Girl On The Moon, a sci-fi drama directed by Georgina Jenkins from Canberra.

The year is 2069. Aboriginal Australian girl Luna, the only child ever born on the Moon, yearns to travel to Earth but her weak Moonling body would never survive there. At least that’s what her mother has always told her.

As some audiences may be unable to attend the festival’s cinema screenings in Merimbula, there is a online video-on-demand version of the festival which can be viewed around Australia.

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Two Q&A sessions with guest film makers and the festival awards ceremony presented by popular entertainers Frankie J Holden OAM and Michelle Pettigrove will also be available.

The festival audience will be invited to vote for their favourite film for the People’s Choice Award via an email survey.

The online festival runs from 21 to 31 August, with a 48-hour watch window for each film. Viewers can buy individual films or film bundles and pre-sales are available here.

Tickets to the festival’s cinema screenings in Merimbula, over 20 to 22 August are available here.

If the cinema screenings are unable to go ahead due to COVID-19 restrictions, those who have bought a ticket will have it converted into an online ticket.

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