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:: Spotlight :: 2011 Australian Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Back for its second year, The Australian Film Festival (AFF) is taking over Sydney’s East from March 2-13, 2011. The AFF is a new concept for film festivals in Australia, combining aspects of screening, film and audience development, educational programs, food festivals and more in a mixed festival atmosphere, with Australian film at its heart.

Following the great success of 2010’s inaugural screening, the Australian Film Festival presents one of the country’s most comprehensive showcases of Australian film content. With screenings at Randwick, Coogee and Clovelly Beach, and a stone's throw from Fox Studios and the nation's leading film education facilities, the Australian Film Festival is set in the heart of Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, and at the hub of Australian filmmaking and film audience.

With the beautiful art-deco Randwick Ritz Cinema as AFF’s screening HQ, the Festival opens on March 2 with a very special Q&A event, featuring some of Australia’s best filmmakers. Over the following 12 inspiring days the AFF will combine a series of indoor/outdoor screenings and marquee events, featuring traditional and new media productions, classic films, unreleased features and digital genres, underpinned by the unique AFF Next Wave Film Centre, educating Australia's future filmmakers.

As a grand finale, Randwick City Council closes the streets surrounding the Ritz Cinema on March 13 for an exciting International Food & Film Festival! The all-day family friendly event will also include the induction of this year's Australian Film Walk of Fame recipients – local film royalty Gary Sweet, Sigrid Thornton and Jack Thompson. The event will then culminate with the Australian Short Film Festival judged by some of Australia's best filmmakers, led by director and actor David Field.

Festival Director Barry Watterson said, "This years’ festival is diverse and entertaining, and offers a great opportunity for mainstream and independent filmmakers and acting talent. We encourage people to get involved, especially aspiring and upcoming filmmakers – it’s a great way to get your work seen. We’re focused on the long term development of Australian film content, and as such we’ve been in talks with major distributors to screen with us in a format that brings local films to a wider audience.”

The full program of films and dates will soon be announced. Filmmakers can submit their entries via the website

Tickets are now available - $13.00 adults, $11.00 concession, $8.00 seniors

For more information, visit

www.australianfilmfestival.com.au