With Sydney Film Festival now behind us and MIFF fast approaching, it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of worthwhile smaller festivals both in Sydney1 and outside the CBD. One such non-city fest is the newly rebranded Dungog Festival, which covers film, food and music and will be held on the weekend of 28-31 August in the upper hunter town of Dungog.
This week they announced “The ‘Gog” short film prize for outstanding Australian short filmmaking that has a $1000 cash prize. The film needs to have been made sometime in the last year, either in Australia or by an Australian filmmaker. Submissions for the prize need to be in by July 7th and can be submitted on their Film Festival Life page.
The festival has also announced that “the $1,000 cash prize comes from a fund established by Dungog community members to foster and celebrate emerging Australian talent. The Dungog Festival is thrilled to see the community’s support for this new event and their enthusiasm for presenting Australian film in the shire.”
The new Dungog Festival shouldn’t be confused with the Dungog Film Festival, which was launched in 2007 and was called off last year due to financial issues on the part of its organisers, the team behind the disasterous Cockatoo Island Film Festival. That festival, though, proved over the years that the Dungog community are passionate about cinema and their region and this new festival gives them an opportunity to show that once again.
Dungog Festival appears as an almost completely new venture, with festival director Lex Lindsay (who also programs the Canberra International Film Festival) telling the ABC that his team have spent over a year working with the community and the State government rather than private investors, in order “to showcase the whole town”. Don’t worry, though, they will still be screening films in the impressive James Theatre.
You can find out more information about Dungog Festival at their website here.