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With over 80 films – ranging from world premieres of features to the newest shorts and docos – the Dungog Film Festival (May 29 – June 1) has grown in just one year to be possibly the world’s largest single showcase event for Australian production, says Fest director Allanah Zitserman. And a chance for some cool partying …with help from the likes of soul singer Lisa Hunt. Andrew L. Urban reports.

The second Dungog fest opens on Thursday night (May 30) with Peter Duncan’s Unfinished Sky followed by a party and closes with the Australian Premiere of Christopher Weekes’ Bitter & Twisted on Sunday (June 1) – followed by a party. There will be another big party on Saturday night, the NSW Mining Underground Party at the Dungog Showground, featuring Lisa Hunt’s Forever Soul band.

"plenty of time for films, too"

But there is plenty of time for films, too (with three screening venues), as well as five new script readings, master classes (with Al Clark and Jim McElroy), conversations, workshops (eg Apple iMovie & Apple Final Cut) and seminars.

World Premieres include The Nothing Men, starring Colin Friels, David Field and Martin Dingle Wall, from Mark Fitzpatrick; Honeymoon in Kabul, which follows the journey of clowndoctor Jean Paul Bell and Midwife Maggie Hearstch as they spend their honeymoon delivering aid and humour to the children of Afghanistan; and Never Say Die Matildas, looking at the Australian Women’s Football Team during their roller-coaster year in which, against all odds, they became one of the nation’s most successful sporting teams.

New features include Cactus, All My Friends are Leaving Brisbane, The Black Balloon and Global Haywire.

"Classic Aussie films"

Classic Aussie films include The Cars That Ate Paris and Newsfront, and there are three mystery films making their debut at the festival.

Published May 15, 2008

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Bitter & Twisted - closing the fest
Full Festival info
NEWS STORY (8/5/08)

Dungog Film Festival - High

Lisa Hunt - soul

Allanah Zitserman, Dungog founder

Leeanna Walsman, Matt Newton (stars of Bitter and Twisted), with Allanah Zitserman

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