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Central West Queensland since 1923
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20 August, 2020

Splendid launch for this year's only film festival

AFTER Covid-19 postponements and uncertainty surrounding travel regulations threatened the 2020 event, the 7th annual Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is ready for action as Australia’s only film festival to proceed this year.

By Hamish Hart

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Winton’s annual film festival has achieved a 189 per cent year-on-year growth since the inaugural event in 2014, helping to establish itself as a must-visit for tourists and locals alike.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the festival, funded under the State Government’s $3 million Year of Outback Tourism Events Program, would provide a much-needed economic boost for the “Hollywood of the Outback”.

“It’s fantastic to see this wonderful event able to go ahead safely,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “It will provide a great tourism boost for the region.

“The Queensland Government is proud to continue to support the festival as part of the Year of Outback Tourism program which will ensure the festival remains at the heart of our arts landscape.

“Outback Queensland is not just a holiday, it’s a great adventure and I encourage people to get out there and support our tourism businesses which are vital for our economic recovery.”

The final festival program was announced on Wednesday and includes acclaimed Australian films and documentaries such as the world premiere of The Flood, Rachel Griffith’s Ride Like a Girl, and cinematic looks into the lives of music legends Suzi Quatro and Slim Dusty.

“The festival looks to showcase and inspire people across the breadth of the film industry from cinematography and production to sound and lighting,” creative director and curator Greg Dolgopolov said.

“This year’s program will have something for everyone. From cinematic masterpieces to family-friendly films such as Koko: A Red Dog Story, festivalgoers will be immersed in the best of the Australian film industry and abroad.”

Despite interstate regulations, the theme for this year’s festival, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, will continue to celebrate Australia’s love for travel, adventure and wide-open spaces.

Festival Director, Mark Melrose, said Vision Splendid’ s postponement from June to September was a difficult but necessary decision to make.

“Vision Splendid supports incredible homegrown talent and feature films in Australia, often providing the first run for some films that have struggled with commercial distributors,” Mr Melrose said.

“The festival has faced unprecedented circumstances this year, so more than ever before we’re excited to bring the largest film festival dedicated to Australian cinema to Winton and Outback Queensland locals and travellers.

“The festival not only showcases the persevering Australian spirit on-screen, but you also get to experience the beauty and hospitality of our breathtaking outback regions.

“There is no better time to support local and plan an adventure in our own backyard.”

The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival will be held from September 18 to 26.


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