Film festival: no gladrags but a big buzz

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Film festivals are mostly glittering occasions, great opportunities for the celebrities of showbiz to parade in their finest.

 

Alice Springs, as always, put its own twist on the opening of the Sydney Travelling Film Festival last night: thongs and shorts were de rigeur at the end of a sweltering day, there was no trace of snobbery but the crowd gave an enthusiastic welcome to four days of great and challenging entertainment.

 

The festival is taking place at the Alice Sprigs Cinemas for the first time, coincidentally showing what the new top end of The Mall looks like when there is some buzz in the air.

 

The Railway Man starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth was shown to an audience of nearly 500, in three of the four cinemas. The film’s start was staggered by a few minutes so that the VIPs could deliver their (mercifully short) opening speeches to all three audiences.

 

Ten movies will be shown until Monday including The Darkside tonight, starring Alice-born Aaron Pedersen and directed by Alice man (ie, he still lives here) Warwick Thornton, of Samson & Delilah fame.

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