Gippsland Film Production – a review by Kevin Bechaz

Gippsland’s lush and rugged geography accompanied by its industrial heritage lends itself to much cinematic potential, an almost untapped creative resource which has been utilised to great effect in the past 18 months by local filmmakers around the area.  Last year saw two short films events that showcased local talent through a variety of interesting and equally entertaining pieces.

First was the inaugural 48 Hour Film Festival presented by community-based initiative Alt_Art and creative production company Nanoo Nanoo Arts, taking place inside Traralgon’s VRI Hall.  Highlights of the event was the impressive medial fantasy The Battle by Kingdom Movies and the poignant reflective drama Must by Here There & Everywhere Theatre Co, who are currently expanding their creative efforts.

The end of 2017 saw the quaint Mt Best Community Hall located in Gippsland’s south play host to the Mt Best Short Film Event, which again offered a fun mix of cinema exploring different genres, various ideas and relevant community issues.  As a fan of horror movies I was especially pleased to see one short take full advantage of our forestry terrain in The Coutah, a traditional campfire tale of shorts, also from Kingdom Movies.

Unfortunately, areas of Gippsland, particular the Latrobe Valley are facing significant economic downturn and various socials issues.  However, Melbourne-based filmmaker Luci Schroder filmed her award winning short, the extremely raw Slapper in parts of Morwell and Moe, exploring the plight of youth and those living in disadvantage.

While these past few months have certainly been a little quiet, I’m confident that more local cinema will emerge, especially with the Briagolong Film Festival https://briagolongfilmfestival.com/ returning after a brief hiatus in 2017.  I’ve enjoyed covering the events mentioned above on my web site www.cinematicrandomness.com and as a local film enthusiast I hope my contribution as a reviewer can help in expanding Gippsland’s big screen ambitions even further.

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