The North West Film Festival is a festival for rural communities across the New England North West. Held at The Roxy in Bingara since 2004, this year the event will move to the Inverell Town Hall and take place on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November.
The Festival provides the unique opportunity for young people and our communities to tell their stories, to showcase their work, assess the work of their peers, work with industry professionals and celebrate their achievements.
Festival Director, Sandy McNaughton, is excited that one of Australia’s greatest living directors, Bruce Beresford, will attend the Festival as a judge and special guest. Bruce Beresford’s career spans 50 years during which time he has directed more than 30 feature films. These include Breaker Morant, Mao’s Last Dancer and the Academy Award-winning Driving Miss Daisy. His most recent feature is the critically acclaimed Ladies in Black.
“Bruce Beresford is a legend of the Australian film industry. Considering he is still very much in demand across the globe and divides his time between Sydney, London and LA, it is incredible that our regional communities will have this opportunity to meet and work with him,” said Sandy.
Many of Beresford’s have entered the Australian canon, including The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, Don’s Party, The Getting of Wisdom, The Fringe Dwellers and Paradise Road. He has been nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Director for Tender Mercies with best actor for Robert Duvall. Crimes of the Heart netted a best actress nomination for Sissy Spacek.
The general public is invited to watch winning entries when they will be screened at the Festival Awards on Friday 16th November at the Inverell Town Hall at 7pm. Bruce Beresford will be presenting and awarding the Best Film of the Festival.
The Festival Awards will be hosted by Damian Callinan. Damian is a multi award-winning stand-up comic, actor and writer. He is best known to television and film audiences for his roles on Skithouse, Before The Game and Backyard Ashes, as well as regular guest appearances on shows such as Spicks and Specks, Rove and the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala.
Damian will present his feature film, The Merger, which was released in September this year. A comedy, it tells the story of a struggling country football club that recruits newly arrived refugees to fill its playing roster. Damian will host a post screen Q&A. The Merger will screen on Saturday at 4pm.
Spend Saturday evening in conversation with Bruce Beresford as he discusses his extraordinary career. Beresford will also introduce the screening of Mao’s Last Dancer, the inspiring true story of Li Cunxin and his amazing journey from a poor upbringing in China to international stardom as a world-class ballet dancer.
Tickets are limited and bookings are essential through Eventbrite. All events are free and open to the general public.
Sandy McNaughton hopes to see the community embrace this unique event and all that it brings. “The North West Film Festival is a celebration of what can be achieved by people who believe in their rural community and its future. It’s one of those events that really does make a difference to the lives of all those who participate.”