Festival Countdown

Festival countdown as Winton prepares to roll out​ ​the​ ​Red ​C​arpet for an Australian Film Premier and​ ​the Qantas Short Film Competition

The small town of Winton, in the heart of Queensland’s Outback, may be in the grips of a devastating drought, but this has not weakened the proud spirit of the town and their determination to stage a film festival like no other from the 26th June to the 4th July 2015.

The just released festival program includes contemporary, classic and award winning films inspired by the Aussie outback. Each night films are screened under the stars in the historic open-air Royal Theatre, one of only two remaining such theatres in Australia. By day films are screened at the Sarah Riley Theatre in Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre. The festival also features masterclasses, special events, conversations, tours, the Qantas Short-Film Competition and the Qantas Paper Plane Competition.

The Festival ​will​ ​premiere Reg Cribb and Jeremy Sim’s Last Cab to Darwin starring Michael Caton who will be in attendance at the Opening Night Party and the Breakfast with the Stars the following morning. Other​ contemporary​ films include Strangerland starring our own Nicole Kidman​.​

“Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival we really needed to do something special this year” explained Artistic Director, Dr Greg Dolgopolov. “We have a combination of absolutely brand new Australian films that engage with the theme of the outback, forgotten classics, charming children’s and family entertainment, a night of horror and a Mad Max movie marathon featuring the just released, Mad Max Fury Road”.

“Classic films will include the 60 year anniversary of Jedda to be introduced in person by his grandson at the Festival, Mr Ric Carlson Chauvel. Other films featured include sci-fi romantic comedy Infinite Man and Bill Leimbach’s new Bollywood ‘fly –in, fly-out’ musical, Departure Lounge, that was filmed entirely at the Townsville Airport.”

“Tours to country are being held to locations featured in two of Winton’s most iconic films: Mystery Road and The Proposition. These screenings will be followed by tag-a-long driving tours to take audiences out to some of the incredibly scenic locations featured in these film” explains Dr Greg Dolgopolov.

And in fitting with the paper plane craze taking over Australia, the Qantas Paper Plane Competition is being staged on Monday the 29th June which will be followed by the screening of “Paper Planes” the movie.

The short film program will feature some of the best shorts films from around the country and from film festival partner, Griffith Film School and from community members vying for prizes as part of the QANTAS Short Film Competition.

The Qantas Short Film Competition is a short film competition geared to students and independent film makers. Filmmakers are asked to make a film no longer then 7-minutes on the theme “UNSUNG”, based on unsung outback heroes.

Films will be reviewed by a jury of film professionals in the first week of the Festival to shortlist the submissions. Finalist films will be screened on Saturday night, 4th July at the Royal Open Air Theatre The Best Film will be awarded a Grand Jury Prize of $1000 cash in prize money and a special Audience Award will be made of $500 and a Sony Experia Z2 Tablet.

“The Festival is a not-for-profit incorporated association of local Winton representatives and film industry professionals keen to keep the spirit of Australian film and culture alive in the bush” said Festival Director, Mark Melrose. “We are pleased to introduce at this year’s festival Triple J unearthed Sydney band, Lime Cordiale, who will be performing live in Winton during the Festival to raise funds for the Central West Drought Appeal”.

Winton Mayor, Cr Butch Lenton further explains, “The Festival is not only culturally significant for this region, but a crucial element for the economic survival of Winton and Outback Queensland”.

Australian actor and the Festival’s Official Patron, Roy Billing, extends a personal invite to the Australian public to attend this year’s Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival You Tube Invite from Roy Billing. For a program snapshot and information about Winton, visit www.visionsplendidfilmfest.com

How better to summarise this beautiful event and its tribute to our Outback, but in the words of Banjo Paterson,
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.
Helpful Travel Websites:-

For “Australia’s Longest Shortcut” visit http://www.outbackway.org.au/

Outback Queensland Travel www.outbackqueensland.com.au/

RACQ Trip Planner www.racq.com.au/travel/trip-planner

INTERVEIWS

Dr Greg Dolgopolov, Festival Film Curator and Artistic Director M: 0424 610 123

Mr Mark Melrose, Festival Director M: 0461 158 697

Cr Butch Lenton, Mayor, Winton Shire Council M 0438 361 038

Mr Roy Billing, Actor (mobile number available on request)

MEDIA SUPPORT & HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES
Krista Hauritz M 0421 148 098 E krista@kristahauritz.com.au