3rd Australian Film Festival Swerves into Action

Showcasing Aussie talent for the third year running, the Australian Film Festival presents a diverse program for 2012 filled with free and ticketed films, Q & A’s from our featured filmmakers, fringe events, workshops and more. The festival opened Wednesday, March 7 with the Sydney premiere of Swerve at the Randwick Ritz Cinema.

A star studded cast, Swerve stars Vince Colosimo, Emma Booth (Underbelly), David Lyons (Sea Patrol) and an appearance by Roy Billing. This opening film was the breakout hit of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

With screenings at Randwick Ritz, Clovelly Beach and Star Cinema, festival highlights include the criminal love story Hail and Lincoln Fenner’s New York International Film Festival award winning documentary More4Me.

Hosted by the festival’s principal pponsor, TAFE Sydney Institute, the festival welcomes the Distribution Panel Discussion for the first time at the institute’s Randwick campus. The talk features Hopscotch Film’s Managing Director, Troy Lum and National Operations Manager of Dendy Cinemas, Nick Hayes to discuss issues surrounding the distribution of film in Australia on March 8.

On Saturday March 10, families are invited to have a picnic at Clovelly Beach and enjoy a free screening of Australia’s favorite canine flim, Red Dog.

Also adding to the eclectic mix of the festival, Matthew Goode and Essie Davies star in the film praised by David Stratton (At The Movies) as, ‘One of the top 5 films of the year!’, Burning Man and pop culture film  LBF, starring Toby Schmitz and Gracie Otto.

The Australian Film Festival provides the opportunity for filmmakers to take part in workshops at subsidized prices. Adding an educational component to the bill, AFF plays host to the OneShot Workshop (March 10, 9am-4pm, Sydney Film School) coaching budding film makers through the processes, devices, and challenges of the ever increasingly popular one shot form.

On Sunday, March crowds are expected to turn out for The Spot Festival presented by Randwick City Council and held in conjunction with the Australian Film Festival.

Another sidelight is Hit The Spot, an international feast of food and live entertainment, giving the public a chance to see some of Australia’s most iconic actors honored on the Australian Film Walk of Fame (3PM).

Previous guests include Jack Thompson, Gary Sweet, Claudia Karvan, Steve Bisley and Michael Caton.

As day turns into night, the Ritz will host the Australian Short Film Festival showcasing the brightest emerging filmmakers in the country.

Jack McCoy’s surfing film, A Deeper Shade of Blue screens on March 16.  Previously cited in various international film festivals, the film finally makes its screen debut with the AFF.

Part of its television module is the celebration of the 40th anniversary of 1970’s iconic and controversial Australian series Number 96 at the Star Cinema on March 13. Here audiences can relive the raunchy and groundbreaking show with the screening of two explosive episodes followed by a Q&A with creator David Sale and surprise cast members.

This year, AFF goes green in conjunction with Macquarie University for the Green Screen: Climate Fix Flicks featuring a collection of films promoting the positive effects of moving the world towards a low carbon future.  The program is free of admission charges and will be held on March 13 at the Ritz.

Also on March 13, the Australian Film Festival welcomes Pip Karmel, Alice Bell and Blake Ayshford as jurors for the 2012 FutureFilm Screenplay Competition. Five finalists will have their script performed on stage at the festival for the opportunity to win prizes worth over $1,500.00 at the AFTRS theatre in the Entertainment Quarter, Fox Studios.

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Australian Directors Guild (ADG), the Australian Film Festival will be hosting a panel discussion on the craft of directing on March 14 commencing at Metro Screen.

Industry heavy-hitters Gillian Armstrong (Little Women), Kriv Stenders (Red Dog) and Rowan Woods (Little Fish, The Boys) join the panel for a two-hour discussion on filmmaking, moderated by AFF’s Festival Director, Barry Watterson.

Closing the festival on Saturday, March 17 is the world premiere of horror film, Redd Inc.  starring Nicholas Hope (Bad Boy Bubby).

For a small fee,  film-writing hopefuls can have access to a comprehensive workshop, presented by one of the best in the business, Karel Segers on March 17 at Coogee Legions Club.

For more information and ticket bookings go here.