IMPORTANT EVENT UPDATE. Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Feras Fayyad will not attend the 2018 festival screening of his film Last Men in Aleppo due to visa administration issues. Instead, he will join us live by Skype after the special screening of his film at the Theatre Royal Castlemaine on Saturday 21 July at 7.30pm, for an in-depth discussion led by award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker, Santilla Chingaipe.  An audience Q&A will follow, and we encourage everyone to come along to this powerful screening to show your support for Feras, his film, and the wider issues at stake.

Currently the fate of some 1,000 “White Helmet” volunteers and their family members, and the need to plan a possible evacuation for them, has become a focus of discussions of several countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada.

Feras has recently been in Syria where he is shooting his next film and will be able to provide current insights about the issues during his post screening discussion with us. With a global spotlight on the shameful nightmare that is Syria, please support this screening and our live Skype conversation with Feras. Full event and ticket details here.

PRECIOUS LIFE post screening discussion

We are delighted to announce that Guardian columnist and features writer, Brigid Delaney, will lead an audience conversation after the screening of Precious Life on Sunday 22 July. Brigid has previously worked as a lawyer and journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, the Telegraph (London), ninemsn and CNN. She is the author of two books: This Restless Life and Wild Things.

Find details about the film here.


The Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival (CDOC) is an annual three day event held in July at the iconic Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, central Victoria, Australia. It features a world class program of 13 films showcasing a series of fascinating worlds populated by even more fascinating characters. In 2018 there are 6 Australian documentaries, live Q&A sessions with filmmakers and contributors, and 7 films directed by women, 4 of them Australian.

Curated by dual Emmy Award-winning director, Geoffrey Smith.


Friday 20 July @ 7.30pm

CDOC’s special opening night event is a magical combination of film and live music performance.

GURRUMUL, a documentary considered to be one of the most important Australian films ever made will be shown together with the film’s director Paul Williams in conversation with our evening’s host, Leila Gurruwiwi of Marngrook Footy showfame

Then, in a world first, we will have manager/producer, Michael Hohnen, composer Erkki Veltheim, founding member of the Saltwater Band, Lloyd Malalung, and other key musicians from the film live on stage talking us through the incredible artistic and technical challenges involved in bringing together the vastly different words of indigenous and western music.

Led by their fascinating insights the evening will culminate with a live performance of selected pieces, featuring tracks from their chart topping “Child of the Rainbow” album.   A magical end to a magical evening.  

For the film’s director Paul Williams, the most important and beautiful part of GURRUMUL is this bringing together of two totally different musical worlds and cultures. To further enrich our understanding of this, Paul will add to the musicians’ conversation by showing several extended film scenes about their musical process which have never been seen before.

We are very excited about our opening night, and believe that it shows how two worlds and cultures can come together so that we can all journey together with hope, healing and reconciliation.


Castlemaine is an easy 90 minute drive from Melbourne, 1 hour from Ballarat and under 1 hour from Bendigo, Daylesford, Kyneton and Woodend.
Or make a weekend of it – there’s plenty of accommodation options to suit most budgets.
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