COVID-19 hasn’t stopped local filmmakers submitting a record number of entries to the 2021 WA Made Film Festival.
Now in its second year, the Perth-based festival will be screening 53 West Australian films, including 27 world premieres, and 11 shorts made exclusively for the event.
Festival director Matt Eeles says WA filmmakers are a resolute bunch and the pandemic didn’t deter them from making some outstanding movies.
“After a tough year, we couldn’t be any prouder of the local filmmaking community and it’s an honour to be able to support local filmmakers through this festival,” Eeles said.
“The WA Made Film Festival puts local filmmakers first, and that’s what matters the most.
“Our films won’t be programmed among international and national films like they are at other festivals. WA filmmakers and their films will be front and centre for everyone to celebrate and enjoy.”
The festival kicks off with Greenfield, a gritty drama set in the Wheatbelt town of Merredin.
James returns to the small town of Greenfield to win back his old girlfriend Kelly, but simmering tensions erupt when Kelly’s brother Michael tells James a dark secret that rocks the sleepy town to its core.
“Greenfield is a powerful piece of WA filmmaking which makes it the perfect film to open the festival,” Eeles says.
“Although entirely different in story, I’d compare it to Ben Young’s Hounds of Love in terms of atmosphere.
“The young cast are impressive too, turning in some of the finest performances I’ve ever seen in a local film.”
Superhero fans will love Batgirl Returns, a fan film written, directed and produced by comic book lovers Matthew W Reynolds and Chloe Brown.
Shot entirely in Perth, the film follows the adventures of Barbara Gordon, a Gotham City identity who trains herself to become batgirl.
A new addition to this year’s festival is the smartphone filmmaking competition Get Smart! with Eeles saying he was “blown away” by the quality of submissions.
“From the quality of the acting, to the cinematography and the profound stories featured in
the films, Get Smart! presented by Buy West Eat Best is a great introduction to an entirely new and extraordinarily competent generation of WA filmmakers.”
The eclectic short film section has eight documentaries including the demolition derby doco Last Man Standing, Buff a passionate look at the magic of cinema, and Wadjemup: koora wordel, kalygool wordel (Rottnest Island: always was, always will be) – a spiritual introduction to the island.
The WA Made Film Festival will be held at Palace Cinemas Raine Square from Friday March 12 – Sunday March 14, with selected sessions including pre- and after-show parties with nibbles and drinks, Q&As and prizes.
Tix and info at http://www.wamadefilmfestival.com.au/2021.pdf
by STEPHEN POLLOCK