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NOOSA FILM FEST 99: READERS RESPOND

Readers respond to the inaugural Noosa Film Festival.

17/9/99
I totally agree with Judy's comments (below). I would have love to have gone to the Noosa Film Festival, being just down the road, but it was impossible to find out what was playing. I would have gone to at least five films, but was told that was impossible because I had to buy a day pass, or a night time pass. Tough luck if the films I wanted to see were spread over the festival. The festival seems a little clique, trying to keep away the casual viewers who want to see certain films, and only catering for those that had the time to be there all day, or could afford to pay the high prices for the tickets. Disappointing. The NFF could take a lot of notice of the way BIFF was run. I saw five films in packed movie houses throughout the festival. That is how a festival should be run.
Trevor Gensch

9/9/99
I have to disagree with Andrew L. Urban's assessment of Noosa; at the very least Luke Davis is being coy when he says its not about star power. Before the Fest started there was all sorts of hype about who would be coming. Rumours reported in the media about who would attend included Dustin Hoffman, the ubiquitous Tom and Nicole and even Brad Pitt!

In reality from where I stood (in the queue while the VIPs were rushed up to a glass of champagne) they did about the same at attracting 'stars' as all the other Australian Fests. Yes there was more media, all running about asking everyone they met whether they were from Sydney or Melbourne (!) but who cares?

The SAABs looked great zipping around Noosa, and its a great town to hold just about anything but it seems to me they have a lot to learn about the film side. The catalog and screening guides were poorly organised and read more like publicity material than reviews, it was impossible to get a straight answer on the phone about when films were screening (I rang up a week before to ask when a particular film would be screening and was told that the person thought it would be on on a certain date but not to make any definite plans!) and I thought it was downright rude that they started Q&A sessions before the credits had finished.

Some of the program was great but other sections seemed tokenistic or cobbled together eg. visions of Asia - two Korean films and two Japanese films by the same director (one patron suggested Tunnel Visions of Asia would have been a better name). And screening a great doco like Original Schtick on video screens in a bar is terrible!

Maybe I would have had a better time if I had press accreditation or could afford to go to the parties but I was there to see films and it seemed to me they were bit of an afterthought.

The comparison with the Silent Movie Festival, which was also on that weekend and which really celebrates the whole experience of cinema, was telling. I went up to Pomona for a session and was really struck by the difference.

I hope Noosa is back again next year (perhaps minus the Toy Story 2 billboard!) but I hope the organiser spends more time on making sure that the humble weekend pass buyers who just want to get value for money from the film screenings can do so.
Alison McCartney
Brisbane filmfan and compulsive festival goer.

Just a few comments on the Noosa International Film Festival. Maybe next year a more comprehensive web site would help boost attendance. I found it very hard to find out which films were screening. A programme on a web site, and published in major newspapers would help. I attended the BIFF earlier in the year, and I was looking forward to the Noosa International Film Festival. I was shocked at the prices for tickets to the Noosa Festival. I was also told that I couldn't purchase tickets to individual films (except the opening and closing films). This made Noosa too expensive for me.
Judy Aston, Coolum

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