Victorian festival approaching

10 September, 2010 by IF

Press release from Punch PR

Several hot new films from around the globe – including two making their Victorian debut direct from Cannes and Sydney international film festivals – will form part of a mesmerizing, inspiring, confronting and funny line up at the 31st annual Halls Gap Film Festival from November 5-7.


Movie lovers from far and wide will converge on the tourist town in the heart of the Grampians National Park to be part of this hidden gem of an event which offers a mix of commercially unreleased films straight out of the big film festivals, alongside some much-loved classics.

Cinematic expert John Turner, who selected this year’s Festival program, said Road, Movie (India 2009) and Copacabana (France 2010) would make their Victorian debut straight from Sydney and Cannes.

“Road, Movie is the story of Vishnu, a young, apathetic and carefree guy who takes off in an old truck, which contains a traveling cinema,” Mr Turner said. “On the way he picks up several passengers and has many encounters with a cross section of the local people. The situations, dialogue, characters and locations are authentic and fascinating. And in Copacabana, French actress Isabelle Huppert is the central character in this beautifully scripted romantic comedy.”

Mr Turner said Le Quattro Volte, which was critically acclaimed at Cannes this year, was also included in the line-up and would be an Australian premiere.

“Set in the remote village in the Serre Mountains of Calabria, this almost silent film feels at first like a documentary that has been edited to create a story, yet it’s a poetic vision of the revolving cycles of life and nature and the unbroken traditions of a timeless place,” he said.

Other movies planned for the three-day Festival include Wind Journeys (Columbia 2009), a film direct from the Melbourne International Film Festival that tells the story of an ageing accordion player and the young wannabe musician he’s reluctantly allowed to accompany him on his long trek and Hope in a Slingshot (2009) by Australian filmmaker Inka Stafrace, which explores the day-to-day realities of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the effect on civilians on both sides. Aussie black comedy Love Serenade (1996), which was shot in Victoria’s Mallee and stars Miranda Otto and Rebecca Frith, has been fully restored by the National Film and Sound Archive.

Unearthed classics include the ground-breaking Man with a Movie Camera, a silent film made in Russia in 1929 which documents Russian life 12 years after the Revolution and The Third Man, a 1949 classic starring Orson Welles that was hailed in the 100 Best Films of All Times. Melbourne film and music expert Ross Campbell, who has added a music soundtrack to Man with a Movie Camera, which was originally filmed with no actors or dialogue, will be attending the Festival.

Festival organizer Janet Witham said for the first time, this year’s event would include a Short Film Competition for budding young film makers under 25 from the Grampians region.

“We’ll be screening several of these truly remarkable short films, which will add an exciting new dimension to this year’s Festival,” Mrs Witham said. “We’ll also show Carbon Whore, which featured at The Other Film Festival in Melbourne and is written, directed and performed by former Stawell girl and Channel 31s No Limits presenter Stella Young.”

Hosted by the Grampians Film Society and Halls Gap Tourism, the Halls Gap Film Festival will be held at the Classic Cinema, Centenary Hall, with an official opening on the Friday night.

“After 30 years this Festival just gets better and better,” Mrs Witham added. “Where else can you find ground-breaking new releases as well as the classics, raw new talent and good-old fashioned hospitality all wrapped up in one of Australia’s tourist hot spots?”

For ticket prices and more information visit, email or call (03) 5356 4448. For accommodation, contact Grampians Visitor Information Centre on 1800 065 599.