Dungog Festival Announces Full Film Programme: StarStruck, Short Film Competition, Documentaries, Panels & More

Lauren Ziegler | 12-Oct-2016
The 2016 Dungog Festival is just two weeks away, and one of the most highly anticipated components of the festival is its incredible film programme, which will run throughout the entire festival. It features a fantastic array of predominantly Australian feature films and documentaries, along with panel talks, interviews and a short film competition. @dungogfestival #dungogfestival
Pseudo Echo
The centrepiece of the programme is a digitally restored version of 1982 Australian cult classic StarStruck, about the wild adventures of aspiring singer Jackie (Jo Kennedy) and her enthusiastic cousin Angus (Ross O'Donovan). In partnership with the Dungog Film Festival, the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) is delighted to present the digital restoration of Gillian Armstrong's effervescent rock musical comedy.

Ahead of the screening comes a special event, In Conversation with Brian Thomson, one of the country's most celebrated stage and screen designers. As well as StarStruck, Brian is renowned for his fabulous work on films such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, as well as the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup.

An array of handpicked documentaries will be screened, including Destination Arnold, a tale of two female Indigenous friends on a quest to conquer bodybuilding competition The Arnolds, The Coffee Man, which follows Bosnian immigrant and barista champion Sasa, and Motorkite Dreaming, in which seven amateur adventurers tackle a 4000km journey through outback Australia. Each will be presented alongside a Q&A with the stars, director and producer, respectively.

The short film competition will be split into ten separate sessions across the festival. Categories include Australian fiction and documentary, young filmmakers (under 25), international shorts and music videos. The short film competition has a $30,000 cash prize pool, the richest regional competition in Australia and has attracted some of the best short films in the country which will screen across Friday and Saturday in the lead up to the awards.

Entrants will be judged across the weekend by an impressive panel of some of the biggest names in Australian film and television, including David Field (The Combination, The Secret Daughter), Matt Day (Rake, Perry) and Sue Smith (Mabo, Saving Mr Banks).

Dungog Festival is also thrilled that the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) will be launching two new scholarships at the Short Film Competition Awards presentation. Using funds entrusted by Metro Screen, the two Metro Screen Scholarships will be awarded to emerging NSW filmmakers, valued at $20,000 and $15,000, each year for the next three years.

In addition to screenings, the Festival will feature a free Virtual Reality Lounge, offering festival-goers a stunning visual narrative unlike any they've experienced before. Additionally, in collaboration with Radio National, Lights Out and Listen presents attendees with the magic of sound, an enthralling sonic journey through memories, stories and music.

Now in its third year running, the Dungog Festival proudly boasts an array of mouth-watering food and drinks, music, live entertainment and more.

Set among the picturesque surrounds of the upper Hunter Valley, the festival offers a complete cultural experience, championing local produce and the best in Australian entertainment.

Food events include the famous Long Table Dinner, a Wine Matching Lunch hosted by celebrity chef Christine Manfield, and a growers market. Workshops include sausage making, beer brewing and watercolour painting, and there is music from synth legends Pseudo Echo, The Enormous Horns and more. The Dungog Festival caters to the whole family, with a complete children's program to also keep the little ones entertained for the whole weekend.

The full program, ticket options, accommodation and more can be found at the official Dungog Festival website.

The Dungog Festival will run from Thursday 27 October to Sunday 30 October 2016 and is proudly supported by the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

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