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BOFA 2013 Sets New Records

| Other Publications | Dec 2013

The fourth Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival was easily the best yet, with boxoffice up 35% over last year.

Our thanks to our many supporters who came along either as volunteers or audience members. The 35% growth in boxoffice follows a similar growth in 2012, and puts BOFA firmly on the map as a viable film festival.

The 2013 Festival featured 56 screenings, including 19 of the world's best feature films and 20 of the world's best documentaries. There were Q & As by directors and producers, screen industry workshops and forums, a themed Tasmania Action Day, the Big Picture Debate and of course, fabulous food, wine and parties.

One of the year's most successful innovations was the partnership with TasTAFE and Harvest Launceston, with the Opening Night party and Festival Dinner both held at the TasTAFE Drysdale School of Hospitality, with students very much involved with preparing and serving the food and drinks. Interstate guests were amazed at the quality of food and service, comparing it favourably to any other Australian film festival. A great partnership, with students gaining valuable practical experience and Festival guests tasting the best of Tasmanian produce sourced from Harvest Launceston. Tourism students were also involved with the Festival as volunteers and stewards.

"We are very proud to have delivered a world-class event in Tasmania for residents of this wonderful state and visitors to enjoy," said festival director Owen Tilbury. "From the sold out opening night screening of All is Lost with Robert Redford, there has been phenomenal interest in the festival around Tasmania."

In case you missed anything, Festival highlights included:

Opening Night- The 2013 Festival opened with a sell out opening night film and 'Cannes Glam' party! Festival attendees enjoyed fine Tasmanian food and wine, dressed up in all their glitz and glamour, following the film screening.

Special guest- This year's special guest was Aaron Pedersen, lead actor in the Australian crime drama Mystery Road, which was one of the more popular films for the Festival. Aaron kept the audience enthralled at The Actor's Studio Q&A event, led by Sara Cooper of Cooper Screen Academy

BOFA Gallery- One of Australia's leading photographers, Delly Carr held a photo exhibition capturing the world of pop culture and cosplay (costume play).

Tasmania Action Day- The Festival with a conscience dedicated an entire day to (Tasmanian Action Day) focusing on political, economic and environmental issues that affect Tasmania today, with 21 proposed actions arising from the panel and audience discussions that followed the films.

Master Classes- Ably led by BOFA Artistic Director Trish Lake of Freshwater Pictures. 'Game Changer: opportunities in the digital world' was held as part of the BOFA Screen Industry Day. The nine panellists presented their views on the opportunities and challenges for Tasmanian filmmakers in the digital space. Also part of the BOFA Screen Industry Day, the 'Low Budget Feature Film Making' presentation provided valuable advice on low budget financing for filmmakers. The Q&A included leading producers, directors, filmmakers, and as a surprise special guest, Alex Sangston Senior Manager, Producer Offset and Co-production at Screen Australia.

This year's Big Picture Debate looked at 'our screen addiction is destroying us'. Garry Bailey ex-editor of The Mercury and Cate Sinclair CEO of Cornerstone Youth Services Inc, eloquently made their points but the motion was lost with Matt Deaner of Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) and Freya John of Scotch Oakburn College declared the winners! The debate was once again hosted by Simon Longstaff of the St James Ethics Centre, Sydney.

Three awards selected in partnership with Screen Tasmania and the Australian Writers' Guild were presented to Tasmanians in the industry: Alicia Rackett received the inaugural BOFA Devil Entrepreneurial Spirit award; Director Ninna Millikin received the BOFA Devil Short Film award for Piercing Silence, a documentary profiling the experiences of three women having an abortion and the BOFA Devil Script Award went to Adam Ransley for Eastside, a film about a teen girl who suspects she's pregnant. As the award winner, Adam's script was read aloud by actors from Mudlark Theatre on Sunday.

Australian Writers' Guild's Vicki Madden, BOFA Entrepreneurial Spirit Award winner Alicia Rackett of Blue Rocket, Screen Tasmania's Karena Slaninka and Festival Director Owen Tilbury.


2013 Testimonials from Festival Attendees

"The BOFA Festival was contemporary, innovative and creative. It's certainly one of the finest film festivals that I have attended or been involved with in recent years. The Opening Night film with Robert Redford was an excellent choice, and I would recommend any filmmaker interested in having their Production viewed by an International audience to attend this festival. It was truly a 'Breath Of Fresh Air,'"
Alexander Shambly, Exclusive Resorts

"It was a fantastic event that brought together a great mix of local, national and international thinkers and doers to share a range of positive visions for what Launceston and Tasmania's future might be,"
Marcus Westbury, Renew Australia

"In terms of an industry experience BOFA is one of the most useful and genuine festival experiences out there. The atmosphere, support for the film makers from the festival and the genuine passion for films affects everyone in a completely positive way making BOFA one of the easiest and most enjoyable networking experiences I have had. This truly is a festival about films and the filmmaker,"
Lucien Simon, Melbourne based film maker.
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Breath of Fresh Air
Film Festival 2014
06 - 09 November
Inveresk Railyards
Launceston/Hobart TAS

Courtesy of Other Publications Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival Newsletter


Cnr Wellington & Brisbane St or PO Box 7513
Launceston, Tasmania, 7250
Phone: 03 6335 3100
Fax: 03 6335 3127
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