Tamworth often benefits from being one of the state’s larger regional centres.
As we all know this offers us the advantages of a country lifestyle, free of the hassles of the rat race, and at the same time provides us with essential services in health, education and culture that smaller centres lack and suffer from.
Sure, it’s true we can’t pick up international cuisine at 11pm on a weeknight as you can in the throbbing hearts of Sydney and Melbourne, but at least you can always find somewhere to park your car.
Last week you could have parked that car right outside the Forum 6 and taken in the cutting edge cinema of the 2018 Travelling Film Festival.
Tamworth is fortunate to be a designated site for this excellent film festival, which presented nine critically acclaimed and award-winning films over three days.
While the festival was well attended, it was a little concerning that the average age of the audience was well over 50.
Leaving the Friday night session of the brilliant opening film Gurrumul, which documented the incredible, and at times tragic, experience of the mesmerising singer and guitarist from Elcho Island, I watched a stream of young people lining up to see Tomb Raider.
It crossed my mind that they had missed a profoundly moving experience, and one that would have given them a real insight into the world they inhabit.
Nothing against Tomb Raider mind you, probably great entertainment.
And films like Gurrumul, Death of Stalin, Sami Blood, On Body and Soul and The Party are not for everybody. But for the many young people in our city that have an interest in theatre, drama, history and cultural studies, I would strongly recommend they take the opportunity to participate in next year’s Travelling Film Festival, or any film festival for that matter.
Some of these films are demanding viewing, but long after the plots of many blockbuster Hollywood films have drifted into obscurity, these compelling cinematic experiences, often made by young energetic and inventive directors, will remain in our consciousness, and with a little luck, shake-up, and even alter, our perceptions of the way things are, and the way things could be.
Film festivals are curated in a manner that provides a unified cinematic experience. Take the opportunity to participate.
I’m sure you won’t regret it.
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