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The Festivals To End All Festivals

By Sarah Healey on February 24, 2012 in Arts

Photo: Randwick City Council

Let’s be honest, this summer that we’ve just endured has left a lot to be desired – zinc and Aaeroguard sales have certainly plummeted, while ten-buck convenience store brollies have sold like hot cakes! But the wavering weather patterns have not dampened our cravings for a dose of summer festivities before the cold of winter creeps in.

So say adios to these so-called ‘summer’ days by soaking up the very best of Aussie film, food and entertainment at the Australian Film Festival (AFF) – which runs from March 7-17 – and The Spot Festival, which will take place between 1pm and 7pm on Sunday, March 11.

The Australian Film Festival is a celebration of the plethora of home grown talent in the film industry, from renowned faces to budding stars. The AFF will kick off its third year at the iconic Ritz Cinema in Randwick, captivating audiences with some amazing unreleased features.

Seminars and workshops will also be conducted by some of our greatest directors to inspire devoted film aficionados and beginners alike.

Outdoor screenings around our beaches will also be on the cards, with Red Dog showing (for free!) at arguably the most pristine venue available – the Cinema by the Sea on Clovelly Beach. There’ll also be a Guinness World Record attempt for the “most stuntmen alight at one time” – fire hoses at the ready!

Festival director Barry Watterson is dedicated to showcasing Aussie talent, and believes film is the cultural voice of any country.

“We get swamped by large American blockbusters and we never get the chance to hear our own voice on the big screen. The Australian Film Festival is an opportunity for everyone to be part of the Australian film industry – it’s your film festival and we want you all to take part,” Watterson said.

And if you want to sneak a peak at some famous faces in person, get down to The Spot Festival on March 11 to be a part of history in the making, as a couple of yet to be announced Aussie stars are inducted into the Australian Film Walk of Fame. The Spot Festival, organised by Randwick City Council and held in conjunction with the Australian Film Festival, will see the popular entertainment area known as ‘The Spot’ converted into an outdoor extravaganza of food, film, entertainment and music that is bound to be a feast for the senses.

Randwick Mayor Scott Nash is confident the day will be one to remember.

“What I love most about the festival is that it brings all the excitement and buzz of the area into a sizzling crescendo for one amazing day,” Mayor Nash said.

According to Randwick Council Events Officer Katie Griffith, the festival is not to be missed.

“It has something for everyone, including those people who fit in the 25 to 35 year age group and might not ordinarily attend a council event,” she said.

With over 15,000 people expected to attend, brace yourself for one massive street party swimming with international food stalls, market stalls, Brazilian dancing, a festival bar serving home-made sangria and cider, live entertainment including the energizing beats of local band Soulganics, and plenty of activities for the kiddies.

So soak up the last of summer while supporting a couple of great local events.

For more info on The Australian Film Festival program visit www.australianfilmfestival.com.au, and to enquire for The Spot Festival, email katie.griffith@randwick.nsw.gov.au or call 9399 0792.

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