Our opening night documentary Desert Runners, was one of the hits of the Festival, enriched by the presence of the extraordinary and inspiring young Australian ultra marathon runner (and star of the film) Samantha Gash. At the after-party, Mud chef Don Cameron produced some exquisite Tassie fare and great Tassie wines ensured that this was once again one of Launceston’s parties of the year.
It takes a lot of work to track down and access the best of world cinema and the 2014 program was undoubtedly our best yet- thanks to the work of Program Director Helen Tilbury and Artistic Director Trish Lake. The Cannes Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep was a highlight, as was Cannes Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night. Superb documentaries were a feature of BOFA 2014- the unforgettable Virunga, Rob Bryden’s hilarious Trip to Italy and the inspiring Next Goal Wins made sure that the Festival Lounge was buzzing with lively conversation.
The Film Makers
The demand was so great we had to switch theatres for The Sound of One Hand Clapping, attended by the Director and Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan. Also at the packed screening were Arabella Wain, who played the 3 year old Sonya in the 1998 Tasmanian film, and head set designer Brett Kellaway. After the screening, Richard Flanagan talked about the experience of writing the screenplay and the considerable challenges of making a film in Tasmania 25 years ago.
New Zealand film makers Jeff McDonald and Bridget Lyons hosted a sold-out screening of their deeply moving film The Inheritance, and Niall Doran gave the Festival audience an intriguing preview of his Tasmanian documentary feature 16 Legs – Spider Love.
And finally, many of the film makers who made the screening list from our BOFA Short Film Competition attended the Festival and were there to see their film on the Festival screen. These short films, screened before every BOFA feature and documentary, were a delight, full of originality, passion and wit. Winner of the BOFA Devil Award was Michael Johnston for his short film To Be a Poet. The future of film making is alive and well, and BOFA is delighted to be able to foster and promote these talented film makers.