I’ve lived in Gippsland all my life and I’m still amazed by what exists within the many tiny crevasses of this vast region, like the Mount Best Community Hall, which was the venue of a short film event this past Saturday. Despite being led astray by a misinformed GSP, my girlfriend and I made the scenic journey in good time and enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of local cinema, which offered a lot of variety, reflecting aspects of the area.
Tranquillity and the spiritual connection with one’s home is captured in an impressive display of earthmoving in Jason, Steve & Barney at Mount Best, which culminates with a stone monument to the rugged landscape. Keeping in with the theme of natural environment, Kinglake – A Forest Recovery Story documents the regrowth of the Kinglake National Park following the devastating Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009. Both informative and fascinating, I’m sure it will entice many to visit the rejuvenated location. Animated short Mouse Wants a House by Max James was a delightful little story about a mouse building a home with the aid of his furry friends, which showed a great deal of skill and talent from the young filmmaker. However, the cutesy vibe quickly changed with Heel by Kristina Thomas Creighton, a jarring look at how an innocent night out can lead to something unwanted. After a short interval the variety increased with a Quentin Tarantino throwback in The Slip by Phillip Mayer, a humorous struggle of social awkwardness in The Odd One by Lachlan Chatfeild and my personal favourite of the afternoon, The Coutah by Toby Just, that cleverly merges local myth with the tradition of scary campfire tales. Closing out the event was Winterbourne – A Forest Restored by Katie James from the near-by Toora North, which focus on her three children who explore and work to restore a pocket of land that was cleared with the forests of South Gippsland in the late 19th during an agricultural boom. While the steps being taken are small, we learn the impact is immeasurable and how it’s important that children understand the futility wilderness and the life it harbours.
I’d like to thank Event Coordinator Tessy Amesreiter for inviting me, it’s encouraging to know there is a platform for aspiring filmmakers in even the quieter areas of Gippsland, a culture that I hope becomes more prominent in the near future.