A trio of Bangalow locals have banded together to bring the hinterland village its very own Bangalow Film Festival in January.

An annual event, held in the Bangalow Showgrounds and A&I Hall. The festival is both an outdoor and indoor event launching for the first time on January 14 to 23, 2021. Screening features, documentaries and short films, both local and international.bangalow-film-festival-696x464

Christian Pazzaglia, Ben Alcock and Lyn McCarthy all have experience in mounting film events. Christian has worked internationally as a curator and producer of film programs and festivals; Ben is the co-founder of Bangalow’s Flicks in the Field, and a well-known travel writer and marketing consultant, and Lyn is one of the founders of the Dendy Cinema chain and ex-General Manager of the Sydney Film Festival.

Christian Pazzaglia is an experienced festival curator. He has produced multidisciplinary programs and special events for leading festivals and cultural institutions in Europe, Asia and Australia—including Dark Mofo and The Sydney Film Festival. It was a walk-through Bangalow soon after arriving in early-2020 that sparked the idea for a local festival.

“The Showground’s arenas and the gorgeous A&I Hall just seemed perfect for a film festival”, says Christian.

A few keystrokes into a search engine later, and Christian was connected with the Flicks in the Field outdoor cinema team who continued the flow of introductions through the local creative community.

When Christian was introduced to Lyn McCarthy, the idea became a reality. Many in the Northern Rivers will know Lyn as a prolific local photographer and publicist. But as a co-founder of the Dendy Cinema chain and ex-GM of the Sydney Film Festival, her background and industry knowledge rounded out an already impressive team.

“Our aim is to deliver a memorable event dedicated to bringing the local community together to celebrate cinema. In a COVID-safe way, of course,” says Lyn.

From January 14-23 the festival will light up the Bangalow Showgrounds and the A&I Hall, and will showcase an exclusive line-up of world-renown classics and new, critically acclaimed, films from around the world. The opening night promises to be a glamorous affair. Film lovers, fashionistas and anyone looking for a fun night out won’t want to miss seeing the beautifully restored version of Federico Fellini’s masterpiece La Dolce Vita.

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Martin Scorsese called it, “the film that conquered the world”. An exquisite tale of celebrity, La Dolce Vita casts an adoring yet critical eye towards 60s Rome. Set over seven decadent days, we follow Marcello Mastroianni’s philandering journalist as he pursues a happiness that’s always just out of reach.

“It’s 60 years since La Dolce Vita won the Palme D’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and this year Fellini would have also celebrated his 100th birthday,” says Christian. “We are very excited to be able to open our first ever Bangalow Film Festival with such a masterpiece of cinema.”

In keeping with the 60s theme, the screening will be an outdoor drive-in event, to be held in the Bangalow Showgrounds. Anyone with a vintage vehicle is especially encouraged to attend and the dress code will be Fellini’s 60s, which allows for a multitude of possibilities from gorgeous gowns and black tie to circus characters, vagabonds and paparazzi. This will undoubtedly be a night to remember.

The full festival program will be announced shortly. As well as La Dolce Vita, patrons can look forward to the Northern Rivers premiere of High Ground starring Jack Thompson and Simon Baker, the winner of Best Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival, Descent, the Australian premiere of The Truffle Hunters (an outdoor event where you can bring your dog) and an inspired blend of classics, new releases, film concerts and fabulous events for families.

“With our local Agricultural Shows, Christmas Carnivals, Music festivals, and other major events, being cancelled this year, we’re looking forward to bringing the community together, attracting visitors to town to support local business, and showcasing some wonderful cinema,” says Ben.

Full program and ticket sales available from December 14 at: www.bangalowfilmfestival.com.au