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Byron Shire
May 23, 2024

Tough competition for Echo Award

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Seventeen talented northern rivers filmmakers have films in the 7th Byron Bay International Film Festival’s (BBFF2013) official selection, putting them in the running for The Echo Best Byron Film Award to be announced at the Closing Night Gala Event tomorrow night.

The list includes comedian and Byron local, Akmal Saleh, his producer wife Catie, and local director of photography, Trevor Avedissian for Saleh’s debut documentary film, Pharaoh vs the Egyptians, that celebrated its world premiere in a sold out session on Sunday.

Also thrilled to actually attend his world premiere of McDonald Masada on Sunday was Durrumbul resident, Israeli-Australian filmmaker Pele Safra, who had to make numerous attempts in torrential rain to cross the flooded creeks surrounding his property in order to reach the screening.

In the musical arena, established local environmental photographer, Caroline Fisher, has featured her short film and best music video nominee, The Tree, which was one of six winners from 900 entries worldwide of the Sigur Rós Valtari Mystery School Music Video competition. Fisher has also successfully commissioned a new project with visiting ABC buyer, Mandy Chang, during the festival.

Talented up and comers and also nominees for Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year, Samuel Dixon and Daniel Whelan, share the world premiere of their short film, You Can Be Here, on Saturday; it’s about a young woman moving to London and her contemplation of the life and loves she leaves behind.

Seven local filmmakers will showcase works they made as part of the ABC Open’s Day in the Life video project. This includes Ocean Shores’ Jemima Dunlop for A Day in the Life of a Circus Mum, Kingscliff’s Benj Binks with Catherine Marciniak, Grace and Audrey Styman-Lane for Double Vision, Booyong’s Stephen Axford with Catherine Marciniak for A Day in the Life of a Platypus Stalker and Lismore’s Jenny Grinlington with Catherine Marciniak for My Day as an Artwork.

Two entrants have films about the favourite Byron pastime of surfing, including Shannon Clynes of Tallow Gallery with her uplifting film Journey, which was shot in Africa and explores the notion of boundless expression, experience, creation and emotions surrounded by surfing. Also, Steven Kleinlein’s Boxing Day in Byron Bay documents a special day of big surf and great moments on Boxing Day 2011.

In animation, Sheldon Liberman had not one but two charming short films, Fishing or Crab Potting and Mud Crab, selected as part of the Family Friendly Shorts series. It chronicles the father and son adventures of Lieberman and his real life son Spike.

BBFF2013’s director, J’aimee Skippon-Volke, believes that BBFF can play a key role in advancing filmmakers in the region.

‘The northern rivers region is home to the largest number of filmmakers in Australia outside metropolitan areas and we’ve worked hard to establish BBFF as a key platform to support and showcase their talent,’ she said.

‘BBFF also attracts to Byron Bay some of the biggest names in the film industry, which allows ongoing professional development and marketing opportunities.’

The Echo Best Byron Film Award includes a prize of three nights’ accommodation at ultra luxurious private beachfront estate, The Owner’s Club at Linnaeus, plus an iPad Mini from Mullum Mac.

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