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What’s On? Byron Bay International Film Festival 2017 (6-15 October)

What’s On? Byron Bay International Film Festival 2017 (6-15 October)

The Byron Bay International Film Festival for its 11th year will not only screen an amazing amount of films over the 10 days, but has also added a new screenplay competition and, after a successful first run, is bringing back the virtual reality component.

The annual favourite festival, for which the theme this year is “cinema for the senses,” takes place from 6-15 October with even more movies to watch. If you love films, then you need to book a holiday to Byron Bay for this special festival.

Screenplay competition

This year, BBFF added a screenplay competition to the festival. The top place writers will be announced at the festival with the first prize of $2,500 (U.S.) and Final Draft screenwriting software given for the top three place holders. The contest is open to screenwriters both domestic and international and is one of the only feature film screenplay contests attached to a major film festival.

VR films

After a successful first run in its 10th year, the BBFF will present a selection of virtual reality/augmented reality films/experiences as part of the program. One of the components is an art exhibit by Stu Campbell (known as Sutu), which will comprise mostly pieces from “Prosthetic Reality” a first of its kind Augmented Reality Art book featuring 45 esteemed artists from around the world. The project has been heralded by Vice Creators Project as ‘the most ambitious AR art project’ to date. The book works with EyeJack, an Augmented Reality App and platform that specialises in the curation and distribution of augmented art.

And there’s so much more to the festival, so make plans to book your Byron Bay accommodation now if you haven’t already and experience some of the excellent films the Byron Bay film festival has to offer!

Program highlights

Image source: Byron Bay Film Fest

With so many films to see, spread out over 10 days, it might seem hard to choose which sessions are the best fit for you during your holiday. Well, be sure to consult the Byron Bay film festival 2017 program where you’ll be able to look for sessions with icons that denote various things from director’s picks, to the type of film, including such kinds as surfing, feelgood, environmental or visual feast, in addition to the usual drama, comedy and action.

Also, the program is a great way to read up on some of the special sessions, such as the Family Friendly Shorts, which takes place at 11:15am on Saturday, 7 October at the Byron Community Centre. Each costs $10 a person or family packs are available for $35.

Another excellent special session will be the Young Australian Filmmakers, which starts at 3:30pm Saturday, 14 October at the Byron Community Centre. The session will screen the nine finalists’ films, out of more than 170 filmmakers, aged 25 and under, who entered their works. Almost all the filmmakers will be in attendance as well. Tickets for this session are $15 per person.

Outside of the films, there will be the Filmmakers Breakfast on Monday, 9 October from 8:30 to 11am taking place on the Byron Community Centre’s balcony. This is a chance for film lovers to meet and talk with many of the festival’s filmmakers and other VIPs, but there is a limited number of tickets available for the public, so nab yours soon. Breakfast and coffee from Byron Bay Coffee Company will be available.


Image source: Brunswick Picture House

The majority of the film festival’s sessions take place at the Byron Community Centre. Located at 69 Jonson Street, it is in the heart of Byron Bay and plays host to 33 film sessions of the Byron Bay film festival. The regular sessions cost between $15 per person and show at least three films during the session.

Other venues for this excellent Byron Bay event include:

  • Pighouse Flicks 1 Skinners Shoot Rd.: Host to 16 sessions, this place is housed in the Buddha Bar/Byron Bay Brewery complex.
  • The Regent Cinema 5 Brisbane St, Murwillumbah: This single-screen cinema was upgraded to a digital system and new sound system. It will host five sessions.
  • Brunswick Picture House 30 Fingal Street, Brunswick Heads: After 30 years, the Picture House has been restored, presenting a mix of film and fun entertainment. It will host seven sessions.

Special Events, App and More

Image source: Byron Bay Film Fest

During the 10 days of the Byron Bay film festival, there will be a couple of special events for aspiring filmmakers, music video buffs and more.

Music Video Showcase

Music videos will be screened on Friday, 13 October, starting 9:30pm at Byron Bay Brewery. The event is free.

Finalists include Kai Smythe (“F*** Everything”),  Curt Manors (“Adelphi Hotel People”) and OneVision’s Mark Robertson. Only one video will be given the Music Video Award.

Panel Discussions

There are several panel discussions that will be presented during the festival that are geared for aspiring filmmakers.

Issue Based Filmmaking will be held 1-3 pm Sunday 8 October (it’s free), and drama and documentary filmmakers will discuss the inspirations and challenges in bringing up pressing issues.

At noon on Sunday 15 October, the free discussion, Creative Collaborations/Turning a Hobby into a Career will bring together Goodoil Films’ Justin McMillan and Marcel founder David Nobay, who together made the BBFF teaser, “Byron, My Siren,” to talk about their process in making the piece and how turn your passion into a job.

BBFF app

Byron Bay Film Festival will again have an app, available for both iPhones and Android phones. The app not only allows you to view the program, vote for your favourite film, and plan out a schedule of what you want to see, but it also serves as an online ticketing system. You can purchase your tickets or flexi-passes on your phone and then your phone will serve as your ticket by using the QR coded tickets that will be scanned off your phone at the door.

You can check the festival’s Facebook page for announcements as well.

Book Broken Head Holiday Park for your base during the Byron Bay Film Festival

When planning your holiday for this or other Byron Bay events, consider Broken Head Holiday Park for a place to stay. Our Byron Bay budget accommodation provides an excellent base for your holiday without breaking the bank.