“The theme of the Pandemic was chosen due to the times we are living in – it’s a great opportunity to see how differently people perceive it and the impacts it has had”
After a 2020 hiatus ala so many Film Festivals impacted by COVID-19, Muswellbrook’s dedicated Film Fest Blue Heeler is back come October 30 with a topical theme if ever; “DON’T PANIC!’ in the context of living in a pandemic.”
“It will be interesting to see the people who have found positives in the pandemic rather than just the negatives,” continued Muswellbrook Shire Council’s Susanne Tobin. “We don’t specifically want to push people in one direction or another; obviously we don’t want it full of doom and gloom.”
“Hopefully filmmakers will see it as an opportunity to focus on the positives – whatever they may be.”
Co-ordinated by Joshua Belinfante, an Academic at the University of Newcastle, together with Ashley Naylor and Georgia Cochraine, both of whom hail from UON, entries for the 8th annual Blue Heeler are free and now open. To be held at Musswellbrook Cinema, submissions are open (normal deadline August 28, late deadline October 9) to films of any genre under 7 minutes and will be screened alongside live music.
“The University of Newcastle supports Muswellbrook Council in the marketing and delivery of the Festival through a collaborative approach that provides scholarships to final year media and communication students,” said Dr Simon Weaving and Andrea Cassin of the UON School of Creative Industries, which will also be providing a number of short film workshops to local high schools.
The winner of the open category, eligible for filmmakers 18 years and over, will receive a $10,000 prize, while entrants aged 14-18 can compete for a $5,000 award.
“The most distinctive feature of the Festival is its links to the community providing local filmmakers and school students resources and incentives to explore their creativity and be part of an event that is also open to filmmakers from all over the world,” concluded Weaving and Cassin.