Community connections of high importance to BOFA film festival

The Breath of Fresh Air film festival is more than just movies, says festival director Owen Tilbury.

“It started as a community event,” Mr Tilbury said.

“We’re proud of the fact that we’re heavily embedded in the community.

“[We aim] to get the community to do things positively and make change so that we can make this one of the best regional cities in the world.”

Mr Tilbury said BOFA was “unusual as a film festival nationally”.

“It’s a film festival for the whole of the state,” he said.

“As proud Launcestonians we’re delighted that it’s based here in Launceston, because if you think about it there’s only Targa and maybe DanceSport that are events that are for the whole of the state.”

Mr Tilbury said BOFA had been in talks with Mona Foma, which made its first Launceston appearance in January.

“We’re hugely supportive of them coming up here [permanently],” he said.

“We’ve been talking to them already about the next Mona Foma in January [2019] having a strong film component. 

“There’s a lot of quirky things we can do with them.”

Mr Tilbury said the festival could not happen without the volunteers.

“We’re linked into Launceston College who are helping us as volunteers,” he said.

“TasTAFE is providing the venue for the action sessions. We’ve got associations with all kinds of organisations including Drysdale, and links into people such as Design Tasmania and Henry’s Bar.

“As much as possible, we want to keep that community feel. 

“I don’t think we’re a small town, I think we’re a strong regional centre, but we want there to be that connectedness where you can talk to people.

“And the feedback that we get from patrons is that they love the festival ... what they like is that you can talk to anybody.”

Mr Tilbury said the festival will have interactive elements alongside film screenings.

Passersby in the Kingsway might have seen projections of film trailers inside some stores and projected onto the outside of the Salvos Store.

A Day in the Kingsway will celebrate the great produce of the state.

Mr Tilbury said on May 20, about 10 stalls would be in the Kingsway providing beer, cider, wine, and food to patrons.

Other activities taking place on the day relate to the 30th anniversary of Australian film The Tale of Ruby Rose.

A photo exhibition of “high country life” at MacPac, and demonstrations of hut making, shingle splitting, timber working, clothes making, and camp cooking will take place at the Kingsway from 11am.

Action sessions on topical issues and filmmaking will take place through the festival.

The sessions will take place at TasTAFE Drysdale Campus and can be booked online at Eventbrite.

Mr Tilbury said his top film in the festival was Food Fighter due to its important message for the community.

“This is a remarkable film about a remarkable woman, and we’re really privileged to have it ahead of its major national launch as part of the Fight Food Waste campaign,” Mr Tilbury said.

“We’ve just heard that the director, Dan Goldberg, will be flying down for the screening and the Fighters for Food Action Session is almost sold out. It’s top of my list.”

Mr Tilbury said the film’s BOFA appearance would be its first outside of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.

Other notable patrons and volunteers shared their top film picks for the festival.

BOFA program director Helen Tilbury’s pick was A Fantastic Woman.

“As program director I was thrilled to be able to secure the Winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, A Fantastic Woman,” Ms Tilbury said.

“Films about strong women seem to be a bit of a theme for BOFA this year, with EdieJaneFood Fighter, Faces, Places and even our opening night film Let the Sunshine In, but A Fantastic Woman is something special.”

Australian film producer and BOFA artistic director Trish Lake said her pick was Last Men in Aleppo.

“As a documentary film producer myself, I can appreciate what an extraordinary achievement this film is,” she said. 

“…this film transports you there and demonstrates the amazing heroism, resilience and humour of human beings thrown into a catastrophic situation.”

Mona Foma curator and Violet Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie said his top film pick was Take Every Wave.

“I haven’t seen the movie but I have seen some footage on YouTube of Laird Hamilton on his hydrofoil board like riding above the waves - amazing,” Ritchie said.

Film journalist and former Australian Film Critics Association chair Peter Krausz said his top pick was Berlin Falling.

“Powerful, relentless, largely two-handed drama, about a nationalistic terrorist and his hostage, on their way to a potentially horrific public act,” Mr Krausz said.

“A film that certainly takes no prisoners.”

The Tale of Ruby Rose director Roger Scholes said his top pick was Faces, Places

“A difficult job to pick a favourite; too many good films, but I'd see Faces, Places first,” he said.