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.

Refugee 'unfairly' sacked from Byron Bay Superfoods

Company labelled "vindictive" after civil war victim bullied

Fisherman in hospital after hooking a shark off Evans Head

File photo of NSW Ambulance.

Fisherman in his seventies rushed to hospital after shark encounter

Local Partners

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

JUST ahead of the premiere of Game of Thrones season 7, we’ve been given new details about what to expect from the eighth and final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!