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Lights, Cameras, Action: Goldfish Film Festival set to light up the town!

Emerging filmmakers will leave their mark as the Goldfish Film Festival returns for its third consecutive year. Yak writer and budding screenwriter Ben Collison catches up with the team behind the festival.

Film Festivals are synonymous with ground-breaking collaborations that seek to evoke a broad range of emotions from the audience. Brave new ideas, concepts and perspectives are put to the critical and commercial test. These festivals serve as the ultimate platform for storytellers to engage with an audience and share their visions.

Internationally, festivals like Cannes or Sundance have given the cinematic world some of its greatest films and have catapulted the careers of so many; with many filmmakers going on to achieve critical acclaim and commercial success.

Goldfish Film Fest

Domestically, Australia has enjoyed great success with festivals like Tropfest; now Newcastle can add its name to that list with its own Goldfish Film Festival. Embracing the glitz and glamour of the red carpet, this inspiring event has showcased the talents of budding filmmakers from across the Hunter-New England region. Now entering its third year, the festival’s reputation grows from strength to strength.

In front of their contemporaries and industry leaders, budding filmmakers will be showcasing their recent collaborations. The culmination of weeks of hard work, and challenging concepts; contestants will see this, as the final manifestation of their collaborative creations.

Catching up with seasoned filmmaker and lecturer Josh Belinfante, Josh reflected on the significant impact the Goldfish Film Festival has had.

“I think in Australia and in NSW there are only a handful of platforms for independent and emerging filmmakers. I think we stay as emerging filmmakers for quite a while in Australia because it can be difficult to have a distribution pathway or a platform for things like short films. Having a film festival built into a course program and in a degree is a beautiful opportunity for our students to think about another career option.

“I think it’s also a great opportunity to involve members of the film industry in the process and provide a means of giving back to the next generation,” said Josh.

For many first-year students; this will be their first exposure to such a setting. Emulating the pomp and circumstance of the Cannes Film Festival, students are encouraged to put their best foot forward whilst they celebrate each other’s work in what will no doubt be a night to remember.

Many of the contestants are majoring in Media Arts Production; however the festival will bring minds together from across the Communication discipline. The final product audiences will see draws in qualities fostered in the News Media and Public Relation majors grounded in the fundamental concepts of media and communication. This golden experience will follow them throughout the course of their studies and open the doors to a  challenging yet rewarding world of filmmaking.

Curating the Goldfish Film Festival, Dr Simon Weaving said “it is great to see students in their first year respond to the challenge of making work that is shown on the big screen with the world – ultimately that’s why we make stuff! The Goldfish Film Festival – which runs every June – is a great companion event for the Newbie Awards, which run in November each year as part of Chromatic. The Newbie Awards showcases the best work made by students in the second and third year.”

The Goldfish Film Festival will be held on Saturday 17th June 2023 at the Harold Lobb Concert Hall. Admission is free however tickets are limited. To reserve your spot, click HERE.

Feature image by Leanne Elliot, Yak Writer 

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