10.8 C
Byron Shire
July 28, 2021

Film festival builds international profile

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning July 28, 2021

It's amazing what you can still go and see and do. Check it out!

Other News

COVID traveller at Ballina Airport and North Coast sewage test results

A public health alert has been issued after a positive COVID-19 case travelled on the Virgin Australia flight VA1139 from Sydney, arriving in Ballina on 14 July at 11.45am.

Snakes monitor radioactive contamination

Ten years on from the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan – the most severe nuclear accident since Chernobyl – researchers are using Japanese rat snakes to measure radioactivity in the Fukushima Exclusion Zone.

45 Sydney-Ballina travellers exposed to COVID-19

Forty-five travellers from Sydney are being urged to get tested for COVID-19 and continue self-isolation on the Northern Rivers after sharing a flight with a confirmed case.

Kingscliff’s new ambulance station won’t be on State Significant Farmland

Concerns over the new Kingscliff Ambulance station being placed on State Significant Farmland were raised following the announcement of funding for the new ambulance station by Health Minister Brad Hazzard earlier this month.

Artificial reefs for coastal erosion control

The building of seawalls has been the subject of a controversial court case brought against BSC in recent years. What are the other options?

John ‘Strop’ Cornell dies

John Cornell, a character credited with initiating major change in Byron Bay after his purchase of the Beach Hotel, has died at his home in Byron Bay, aged 80, surrounded by his wife Delvene Delaney and family.

[author]Mandy Nolan[/author]

While most of us will be eating turkey and drinking champagne over the holiday break, Byron Bay Film Festival Director J’aimee Skippon-Volke will be locked in her media room watching films, busily programing the sixth festival scheduled for March  2 to 11, 2012.

The global economy may be contracting, but that seems to have had little impact on the creative industries, as Skippon-Volke declares that this is the most films she has ever had submitted.

‘We have had films from a pool of about 60 countries; for two years in a row we’ve had that many but this year we’ve had the biggest amount of entries we’ve ever with over 900 films submitted. We’ll be whittling that down. Last year we had around 200 films, from Russia, Portugal and all over.’

As festival director, J’aimee believes that the secret to maintaining the success of an event, even in a challenging economic climate, is all about the programming.

‘It’s about having films included of all lengths and all genres. What we fall back to is a lot of the programming is done around community values and the interests around here, like healing, spirituality, surfing, the environment, colourful characters, the arts, music…

‘We have always had a scalable budget; if things are tight there are fewer bells and whistles. We have tried to develop ourselves as a sustainable event financially. Of course we are on the lookout for sponsors. We want to make sure we come across as a world-class event.  Other festivals have budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars but I would say it’s the smarter festivals that will stay.

‘It’s about picking and programming and giving the audience what they want and recognising who they are; it’s about smart programming.’

In just six years of the event, Skippon-Volke has performed an unlikely miracle: she has turned a small-town regional event into a film event with an international profile recognised all around the world.

‘I feel that the Australian industry is somewhat insular and it was hard as a regional event to gain any recognition. In Byron we are so far from Sydney and we are not in Queensland, so we are not relevant to Brisbane – so we decided to build an international profile first.

‘We got into Myspace and marketing through the internet. I have had filmmakers, who have travelled the world circuit with their films, who have said: “I went to America and the Bahamas and people had heard of the Byron Bay Film Festival but they hadn’t heard of Tropfest”. A lot of that is about giving the filmmakers a good time. The filmmakers say the audiences here react in a way they have never seen before…’

The Festival continues to attract visitors for overseas and interstate with recent survey figures revealing that more than 54 per cent of their visitors had planned the trip to Byron especially for the Byron Bay Film Festival.

The 2012 event is sure to attract film lovers from far and wide. While J’aimee is reticent to release too much program or guest information until mid February, ‘for fear of festival poaching’, she can let film buffs know that director Steffan Elliot will be attending.

‘He directed Priscilla and has a new film coming out on Australia Day with Olivia Newton John called A Few Best Men. We won’t be screening it, but he’ll be doing panels and speaking at events.’

Skippon-Volke expects this to be an even bigger event with plans to expand the program to include Pighouse Flicks and expanded screenings at Birch Carroll & Coyle in Lismore.

The Byron Bay Film Festival runs from March 2 to 11. The gala red-carpet opening is on March 2. For information go to www.bbff.com.au and sign up for the newsletter.

Image: Byron Bay Film Festival director J’aimee Skippon-Volke holds court with Jack Thompson, James Khehtie and  Robert Raymond at last year’s festival opening. Photo Jeff Dawson

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Navigating through laws around business lockdowns

A flyer circulating within the community is making claims against the government's COVID-19 powers, and provides supporting legislation, claiming the information provided is to...

Highest Hapki yusul award given to former Rosebank resident

Ross Kendall Jarrod Taylor has received the Ninth Dan – the highest award in Hapki yusul, the martial art from which Hapkido is derived, from...

Opportunities aplenty for young rugby standout

Ross Kendall Mullumbimby 16-year-old, Raife McKenzie, is a rising star rugby player who has had a big year after winning the country championship, being selected...

Interview with Felix Riebl from the Cat Empire

One of the most danceable outfits in the lineup, The Cat Empire make a welcome return to Bluesfest 2021 with their infectious, genre-embracing anthems and a world-class, awe-inspiring show. Last week Seven caught up with co-founder, band leader and principal songwriter, Felix Riebl, from his lockdown hidey hole in Melbourne.