2:16pm and on the road back to Sydney. Saw another session of shorts this morning at the RSL including Tresa’s film My Nan, the Next Cate Blanchett which was very funny and had the packed house laughing. And a packed house it was – for the 10:45am screening. Very encouraging. Other highlights included Stephen Kanaris’ beautiful and ambitious Boundless, Ben Phelps’ dark and literate Nice Shootin’ Cowboy and the massive crowd-pleaser, Glen Hunwick’s excellent animation Mutt.
Last night had many elements but essentially was dominated by the force of nature that is Matthew Newtown. His film Three Blind Mice sold out the James Theatre and was very warmly received (I personally loved it; I got very involved with the characters, all the scenes had tension and truth, and Ewan Leslie’s performance as the main character Sam is outstanding). Unfortunately it started very late (a little over an hour), and, after a Q&A and a live performance of the film’s closing credits song by its author Wes Carr, the session hosting my film started very late too (nearly an hour) and thus lost a lot of audience. But it really lost audience to the big, Saturday Night “ROCK AND REEL” party that began at nine pm… so, the slot of 8:45pm on Saturday night that had sounded so prime ended up being a sparsely populated 9:45pm slot while everyone was at the big party! Big bummer, but these things happen at film festivals… At least Three Blind Mice was good enough that one didn’t feel horribly cheated out of a slot.
The fact that things ran so late, however, will of necessity be something that the Festival will need to look at for next year. Perhaps the programming was just a wee bit too ambitious this year. It wasn’t apparent to FILM MAFIA why things ran so late; the ticketing system seemed smooth, with most people using a five-session “Jumbuck Pass” that simply had a hole punched into it upon arrival to any screening.
So, after my film screened to its wee house, it was off to the Big Party, presented by NSW MINING (a long promo for whom proceeded Three Blind Mice, and who have obviously sponsored the Festival very generously indeed). The party had a ticket price of $40 and didn’t include drinks ($5 each) but there was plenty of food and it was a good time. The band was led for most of the night by Matthew Newtown singing classic hits with support from the aforementioned Wes Carr. I’m told Matt held the stage for most of the night (I left at 12:30pm) with the party winding up at around 1:30am.
So, another late autumn, another DunBLOG. Arriving back to Sydney now, but back in Dungog the fun continues, and tonight the “Miners Marquee” will host yet another party: the Closing Night.