Lights, camera, action for festival

TASMANIA'S premier festival of film burst into action in Launceston last night with all the glamour of any red carpet opening.

As official cameras snapped the screen stars arriving  by vintage car, some stars pulled out their smartphones to capture the moment too.

It's exactly that powerful phenomenon of social media and how it is driving innovation in filmmaking that will be the topic of a debate  the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air  Film Festival team expects to draw a big audience on Sunday.

While last year's Big Picture Debate was a conventional panel discussion, this year festival director Owen Tilbury says the format has been designed to ``take Tasmania to the world''.

This year's topic, Social Media Does More Harm Than Good, will be explored as a hypothetical and will be uploaded live to the internet.

St James Ethics Centre executive director Simon Longstaff will create a scenario, asking panellists and the live audience to comment on the hypothetical situation as it evolves. 

Tilbury says the scenario will be supported by visual material to flesh out the evolving social media storyline.

Southern Cross and Telstra will film the hour-long discussion, uploading it live to the  internet for international viewing via

Viewers will  have the opportunity to vote by SMS on each issue. The ABC will  broadcast the debate across Australia and Asia-Pacific via ABC1 and podcast.

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