Film Festivals Australia Program Launch

By April 4, 2014 Blog

There are only 2 cities in the world that are officially known as UNESCO Cities of Film and Sydney is one them – making it the perfect place for the launch of Film Festivals Australia a new initiative pioneered by Metro Screen.

For over 30 years Metro Screen, the Centre for Screen Creativity, has been working with festival organisers supporting the mushrooming growth of the independent screen culture. The Film Festivals Australia program has organically grown out of decades of experience and networking to become a formalized resource to develop audiences as well as providing technical, marketing and production support.

With the support of City of Sydney and Screen NSW, the Lord Mayor Clover Moore officially launched Film Festivals Australia program and online calendar at Paddington Reservoir in Sydney on Thursday 3 April 2014.

The Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney, Clover Moore –
“Congratulations to Metro Screen for this initiative. I think it’s incredibly important because we’re made up of 200 nationalities here in this city as well as our First Australians, and so we have such diverse backgrounds and we have amazingly diverse stories to tell. Metro Screen has up until now been a hub and supported filmmakers, but now with Film Festivals Australia we’re really saying ‘we’re made up of many nations and we have many stories.’ So Film Festivals Australia will be able to take carriage of this going forward and enable people to tell their stories. The stories they develop as they become part of Australia and the stories they brought with them from their homeland.”


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Christina Alvarez, CEO of Metro Screen welcomed the program –
It’s the beginning of a very exciting project and we look forward to working with everyone to help realise the full potential of the film festival community.”

Metro Screen recently conducted a survey and found that a third of the festivals reported that their film festival was the largest of its language base, outside the country of origin including Lebanese, German, Russian and Serbian Film Festivals. The Korean Film Festival recently pipped London to become the number one Korean based film festival in the world outside of Korea, in its short 5 year existence.

Other survey highlights included:

  • 75% of film festivals are not for profit
  • Collectively thousands of films from around the world are screened
  • The collective audience of participating festivals is in excess of 250,000 people per year
  • 64% screen short films as well as features
  • 51% program Australian content
  • 92% of venues used have accessible entries

The cultural arm of the United Nations, UNESCO launched the creative cities network to promote the social, economic and cultural development of cities. Sydney was recognized officially in November 2010 for:

  • Openness towards cinema of all cultures
  • Promotion of cinema allows the city to play a leadership role at the regional level
  • The recognition of Australia’s aboriginal culture through cinema
  • The large density of film festivals
  • Sydney’s actions in favour of youth, such as training programmes

37 cultural film festivals across Greater Sydney have joined the program representing cultures, traditions and languages groups from across the globe:
Short Soup International Film Festival
Golden Koala Chinese Film Festival
Mardi Gras Film Festival
Alliance Francaise French Film Festival
WOW Film Festival
Young at Heart
Big Picture FilmFestival
Jewish International Film Festival
Shire International Short Film Festival
Audi Festival of German Films
Indonesian Film Festival
African Film Festival
Arab Film Festival
Russian Resurrection Film Festival
Korean Film Festival in Australia
Lebanese Film Festival
Persian International Film Festival Australia
Possible Worlds: Festival of American and Canadian Cinema
Reel to Real Buddhist Film Festival
Auburn International Festival of Children and Young Adults
Women Media Arts and Film Festival
Colourfest Film Festival
Sydney Underground Film Festival
Antenna Documentary Film Festival
Argentine Film Festival
Serbian Film Festival
Hola Mexico Film Festival
Japanese Film Festival
Palestinian Film Festival
Sydney Intercultural Film Festival
Sydney Indian Film Festival
Harmony Film Festival
Access All Areas
Baltic Film Festival
South Asian Film Festival
Sydney Transgender International Film Festival
Windows on Europe 

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