Waranga Winter Film Festival By Les and Louise

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The Rushworth Shire Hall has many attributes. It is aesthetically beautiful and historically charming, standing proud in Rushworth’s street-scape of heritage buildings. But there is one thing the Shire Hall has that is not so obvious. Above the ceiling and hidden from view is a small and darkened room full to the brim with some rare and interesting equipment. This little room holds the vintage remnants of the once popular Shepparton Drive-In which closed in 2005.

Lucky for Rushworth, one of our local entrepreneurs, Brendan Hawking saw the opportunity to acquire the 35 mm reel to reel equipment and started showing films at the Shire Hall. In recent years, the equipment gathered some dust and Brendan considered removing it from the projectionist suite until a small group of over-enthusiastic community members seized the opportunity to revive the town asset and embrace the task of co-ordinating a winter film festival.

Now in its second year, the committee known as ‘Waranga Flicks’ are working tirelessly to organise the Waranga Winter Film Festival 2015.

Held on the weekend of the winter solstice from the 18th – 21st June, Waranga Flicks will open the festival at the Rushworth P-12 College.  Also one of the town’s historic icons, the P-12 College will play host to an evening of short films and a meet the maker presentation.

A series of animations by Cath Murphy, whose work has been presented at the Melbourne International Film Festival, will be shown followed by an opportunity to meet film-maker Jessie Donaghey, who will present Blood and Venom, the short film she made in Rushworth in 2014.

Equipped with digital technology and a large supper room, (aka the staff-room), the P-12 college hall is the perfect place to introduce the world of film-making to young creative minds while the home economics students practice their catering skills! This free event is open to the public and will include supper.

As some of us know, the digital age was preceded by the film era, but film buffs will be hard pressed to locate a cinema that continues to operate 35mm reel to reel.

The distant hum and the flicker of an industrial-sized projector is an experience that many will never have, but similar to the return to music on vinyl, the retrospective nostalgia is unforgettable and reminds us of our rapid ascent into the modern age.

This year, to get you home before dark, Waranga Flicks will present three award winning matinee films over the three shortest days of the year.

Friday 19 June: The King and I (G).

Starring Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr and Rita Moreno. Commencing at 11am with intermission for lunch.

Saturday 20 June: Mary and Max

From the makers of Harvey Krumpett, this claymation is the endearing tale of two unlikely pals. Mary, a lonely 8 year old girl living in suburban Melbourne, and Max, a 44 year old severely obese man living in New York. The humour is ironic, black and sometimes childish but it must be said that this is not a children’s film. Mary and Max is a sympathetic story about social misfits and relates the human condition in a sensitive and understanding way. This film must be seen on the big screen to appreciate it in all its hand-made glory.

Starring (the voices of) Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Eric Bana.

Commencing 2pm

Sunday 21 June: Corpse Bride (PG)

Tim Burton’s animation is the story of a shy groom who, when practicing his wedding vows in a cemetery, inadvertently proposes to a deceased woman who rises from her grave, assuming he has married her. This one is definitely for the kids despite its dark description and will appeal to anyone who enjoys dancing skeletons, fun songs and great characters.

Starring (the voices of) Johnny Depp, Helen Bonham-Carter and Emily Watson.

Commencing 2pm

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