Mostly docos. All heart.

We think watching films together is a powerful way to build empathy and community and kick off new and interesting conversations.

We want to support the already impressive Central Desert film community by putting it on the map, screening locally made content and bringing film industry professionals here to share their skills.

Our program offers a small number of films that we have curated through the lens of local relevance and resonance.

This year we are very proud to present the inaugural Arrpenhe-nthenhe program – locally made indigenous language films.

See you at the movies!
– Matt, Anneke & Alex

The Team

Alex Kelly

Festival Director

Alex has lived in Central Australia for over 12 years. She worked for 10 years with leading Australian social change arts company Big hART as Creative Producer of Ngapartji Ngapartji and was National Producer from 2012-2014.

Alex’s film works include producing Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji, production managing Coniston: Telling it True, directing Queen of the Desert and Impact & Distribution Producer on This Changes Everything. In 2013 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship exploring documentary impact in UK, Canada & USA.

Alex is currently producing a documentary film on Christmas Island and is a 2016 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow.

Anneke Rose

General Manager

Anneke has called Alice Springs home for 23 years. Her love and passion for community arts grew out of working with local artists and community groups while in the position of Promotions and Events Officer at the Alice Springs Public Library.

For over a decade she has been an active participant in, manager and producer of numerous Alice Springs community projects and events. She has worked with local arts organisations and groups, including: Cat’s Meow Cabaret, Wide Open Space Festival, Central Craft, Incite Arts, Totem Theatre and Red Hot Arts Central Australia (2010 – 2012) as the General Manager

Matt Woodham

Production & Design

Matt is a media maker, teacher and events manager based in Alice Springs. For over a decade his work across Australia has focused on building and strengthening communities through direct engagement & participation.

Matt was a creator and director of the High & Dry arts and music festival (2007 – 2009), was part of the legendary Sydney events collective Figureight, developed and managed the Lens Flair 24 Hour Film Festival between 2012 and 2015, and has won awards for his own documentary work and cinematography.

A note on curation

After the success of the 2016 festival we should have felt pretty confident about our programming, right? Initially we did, but then we started to feel real pressure to live up to the standard we set in our first year. We watched a lot of films, read a lot of reviews, spoke to a lot of filmmakers and eventually settled on a program we are very proud of and we hope you enjoy!

We wanted to select films that were diverse – in terms of subject, topic, location, style and creative team, and which we felt had some connection or resonance with the Alice Springs community. We also wanted to present brilliant films that we would enjoy watching in terms of filmmaking craft, not just on the merit of their content. This meant that there were many superb films that we had to pass over as we just didn’t feel that they fit all of our criteria.

We feel that this year’s program is reflective of current events around the world. To quote Bentley Effect, “In dark times, courage is born… sometimes in a cow paddock.”

There are stories in these films that affect us uniquely as Central Australians but also connect us to larger national and international conversations.

We hope that this selection of films will inspire us, through debate and inquiry,  to seek the best of ourselves and our communities.

We look forward to hearing what you think,

Matt, Anneke & Alex

We welcome your suggestions for films for 2018, but due to our criteria for curating the festival we won’t be opening up to general submissions.