Blue Mountains Film Fest: Day 3 Recap

The third and final day of short film screenings at this year’s Blue Mountains Film Festival was Yowie Awards Night, with nine awards on offer. The day started for many festival attendees with the Actor’s Q & A, held in Katoomba’s Hotel Blue. The Q & A was a great event actually with a fair bit of spirited back and forth on many issues affecting the life of an actor in Australia. Also some hilarious back and forth between the very funny Rhys Muldoon and the dry wit of Tiriel Mora. Mr Muldoon had the quote of the session for me though, stating that “Art’s job is to take something horrible and make something beautiful.”

After a beer or two by the pool table (I reigned supreme over a filmmaker who shall remain nameless) it was time to check out the night’s six finalist films (other finalists had been sprinkled throughout the first two nights). Leading off was music video To Rise Again, dir by Cristina Dio, which was one of my favourite music clips of the festival. The song was a nice singer songwriter tune with a pretty cool clip which told a nice little story of life on the streets in the short running time.

Dave Wade’s second film of the festival Cropped, was one of the definite highlights of the final night’s films. Just like the first, A Tale of Obsession, the film could be broadly described as a black comedy. But the films are very different. However both feature delightfully warped and genuinely funny scripts courtesy of Wade. Cropped is shot in stark almost semi-arid farm landscapes and rocks a very clever central premise. In fact, the comedic genius of the film is the fact that it recognises the humour inherent in the utterly absurd premise and plays it relatively straight performance wise. Alyce Platt in the lead female role is really excellent, the pick of the bunch in three really wonderful performances. Again, I think the crowd was generally with me on this film as it garnered a lot of laughs and a round of applause as big as any of the fest. Although missing out on the Yowie Awards, Cropped did win the highly coveted “Causing this blogger’s mum to snort loudly twice” award, which is kind of a big deal.

The final film of the festival was the eventual Best Doco winner, A Place Like This. This simple film, featuring a man and his garden (and a pretty incredible war story) was definitely a worthy winner. A simply shot film with a pretty intense tale at its heart was one of my favourites of the festival. Following the conclusion of the screenings Bob Downe hosted the Yowie Awards ceremony. I tell you what, the Oscars and friends could learn something from this guy. Side splittingly funny, and got through all the awards in a snappy 45 minutes. The lucky (and deserving) award winners were:

Golden Yowie for Best Short: The Missing Key dir Jonathan Nix
Golden Yowie for Best Feature: Letters from the Big Man dir by Christopher Munch
Silver Yowie for People’s choice:
Cockatoo dir by Matthew Jenkin
Silver Yowie for Best Drama
: Tie Am I Ok dir by Matilda Brown and Jack and Lily dir by Damian McLindon
Silver Yowie Open Category: Cockatoo dir by Matthew Jenkin
Silver Yowie for Best Documentary:
A Place Like This dir by David May
Silver Yowie for Best Comedy:
How Many Doctors Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb dir by Marie Patane
Silver Yowie for Best Animation:
The Last Photo dir by Lisa Pascale
Silver Yowie for Best Music Video:
5 Minutes From Now dir by Robert Alcock

After that it was the after party and on to the after after party. There are few more enjoyable experiences than sharing a bottle of whiskey at 4am with new friends. And that’s how I brought to a close the main part of the 2012 Blue Mountains Film Festival.

jameson appreciation

RIP my bottle of Jameson.

I’ll be bringing you a recap over the next few days of Sunday’s feature screenings (might take me a couple of days though as I am back at the dreaded day job now). Massive thanks to everyone who I met, chatted with, laughed with, shared a drink with and beat at pool over the festival. In all seriousness, this festival was one of the best weekends of my life. And I think Festival Director Tom Taylor deserves massive congratulations for what he has achieved with the festival, especially considering he somehow balances one of those dreaded day jobs with the organising – a pretty spectacular achievement.

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