North West Film Festival kicks off in Inverell, the new filmmaking hub of New England

Inverell is set to become the filmmaking hub of the New England when the North West Film Festival launches at the Majestic Cinema on September 6.

The launch is in the lead up to the main Festival which will take place on the November 16 and 17 at the Inverell Town Hall.  The public is invited to come and watch the amazing work presented by talented industry professionals and to support regional young filmmakers.

Festival Director and co-founder, Sandy McNaughton, is thrilled to see the regional event launching in Inverell.  “The North West Film Festival is truly inspiring.  It’s a celebration of what can be achieved by people who believe in their rural community and its future,” she said.

The North West Film Festival was established at The Roxy in Bingara in 2004 where it ran for eleven years.   In 2018,  the Festival will continue to deliver a unique experience for young film makers in the region.

The Festival’s Artistic Director, Stephanie Marshall, has been an integral part of the event for many years, backed up by the invaluable support of committee members Meg Hanlon, Jono Gaukroger and Brittany Turner-Conley. 

The Festival invites a range of industry professionals to provide hands-on skills and expertise through a series of screenings and workshops.  “One of the most remarkable aspects is the calibre of filmmakers that the event attracts,” said Sandy.     

Notable guests in the past have included a stellar line-up of filmmakers who between them, have  produced a significant array of ground-breaking feature films.  These include directors Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds, Mystery Road, Goldstone), David Michôd (Animal Kingdom) and Nash Edgerton (The Square, Gringo.)

Sandy notes “These filmmakers take the time to come to our region to share their knowledge, watch the films being made by young people in our communities and provide them with feedback, often one on one.  You can’t put a price on that.”

Wherever possible, the Festival strives to involve industry professionals with regional connections.  It is fitting that well-known actor, Annie Byron, will return to Inverell to participate in the launch on the September 6.

Annie Byron grew up in Inverell before going on to a career in film, stage and television. Her film credits include Muriel’s Wedding, as well as guest roles on some of our most popular television shows including GP, A Country Practice, Neighbours, Flying Doctors, All Saints, Stingers, Murder Call, Home and Away, Always Greener and Raffety’s Rules.

Annie will be one of four professionals who will be presenting excerpts of their work at the launch before conducting workshops with schools the following day.  One of the world’s leading pocket filmmakers,  known as the “filmbreaker, Jason Van Genderen, will be running workshops on Saturday the 8th September. 

The Festival would not be taking place without vital funding from generous supporters.  “We are incredibly grateful to the Yulgilbar Foundation for their support and recognition of our event,” said Sandy. 

For the Festival committee, the greatest achievement is the track record of young people who have gone on to find employment in the Australian film and television industry as a direct result of participating in the event.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to attend the North West Film Festival launch on Thursday, September 6, at the Majestic Cinema from 5:30pm – 7:00pm.  Entry is free an no bookings required. 

The North West Film Festival will be held in Inverell on November 16-17.  Entries close on the October 19.  Further information and enquiries:  hello@northwestfilmfestival.com