News

Filmfest’s future focus

AT THE FESTIVAL: A still from the film Otelo Surfing which was shot in Durban and made by the same person who directed Surfing Soweto, Sara Blecher. It tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing and is set in 1989, against a backdrop of brewing conflict between two political groups. When 16-year-old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it's clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa. Photo Contributed
AT THE FESTIVAL: A still from the film Otelo Surfing which was shot in Durban and made by the same person who directed Surfing Soweto, Sara Blecher. It tells the story of a group of township kids who discover the joy of surfing and is set in 1989, against a backdrop of brewing conflict between two political groups. When 16-year-old Otelo Buthelezi takes to the water for the first time, it's clear that he was born to surf. But then tragedy strikes. On the day that Nelson Mandela is released from prison, Otelo is forced to choose between surfing success and justice. This is a beautifully made, insightful and entertaining film that captures a turbulent time in the history of South Africa. Photo Contributed Contributed

WHEN the planet defied Mayan predictions and failed to implode in December last year - a sort of Apocalypse: Just Not Now - it gave Byron Bay Film Festival director J'aimee Skippon-Volke an idea for the direction of this year's cine-fest.

"In 2012, everyone was focused on what might be the end. But in a post-2012 world, we can see that we're still here, we're all okay and it's time to focus on solutions," Ms Skippon-Volke said.

"That's what this year's film selection is starting to reflect - a world where we work together towards a brighter future." Reflecting the potential for that future are two films from different quarters: the Spanish Quem Se Importa (Who Cares?) about social entrepreneurism, and Elemental, about indigenous activists in Canada fighting the tarfields development there.

They are just a taste of what is on the program being printed this week, which Ms Skippon-Volke said would champion the local culture and values.

Those values were centred around the environment, surfing, tolerance and respect, she said. But the theme - Open Your Aperture - was also a challenge to the community, she said, in that it was a call to maintain that openness of mind and resist the complacency that can come with living in a beautiful region.

Adding their heft to the festival, and making it more attractive to those working in the industry, are Don McAlpine, perhaps Australia's most famous cinematographer, who will be conducting a masterclass in the subject.

Mr McAlpine has credits for a string of best-selling films, from X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Moulin Rouge, back to The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, with Predator and Parenthood along the way.

Also present - and on a meet-the-buyers panel - will be Charles Scuerhoff, who is in charge of acquiring international films for the Public Broadcasting Service in the US.

If you have a project, you can come and pitch it, said Ms Skippon-Volke.

Among other workshops will be one themed Everyone Can Be a Film-maker the weekend following the festival.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Tasty new life elixir

BREWING UP: Bone broth advocate Angela Deckker of Soulfull Broths.

Angela Deckker sells home made bone broth at Mullum Farmers Markets

Community housing support Mullumbimby development

ABOVE: There are plans for a development in Stuart St, Mullumbimby

Support for controversial Mullumbimby development

Police: Have you seen Jak?

Have you seen Jak McLean?

Police are seeking assistance from the public to locate Jak McLean

Latest deals and offers

'Aggressive' great white shark knocks man off board

A-THREE metre Great White shark has been spotted off Casuarina Beach early this morning.

Tasty new life elixir

BREWING UP: Bone broth advocate Angela Deckker of Soulfull Broths.

Angela Deckker sells home made bone broth at Mullum Farmers Markets

Community housing support Mullumbimby development

ABOVE: There are plans for a development in Stuart St, Mullumbimby

Support for controversial Mullumbimby development

Police: Have you seen Jak?

Have you seen Jak McLean?

Police are seeking assistance from the public to locate Jak McLean

Centrelink crackdown as taskforce tackles "welfare fraud"

Across the country the team has found 135 cases of potential fraud

Why the shark barrier at Lighthouse Beach has stalled

Lighthouse Beach at Ballina closed after a shark attack.
Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star

Work on the controversial shark barrier has halted - here's why

Run helps shine a light on cancer

ABOVE: Byron Lighthouse Run supports Crackin' Cancer and the North Coast Cancer Institute.

This year the Byron Lighthouse Run is turning 10

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started