DIRECTORS WELCOME

It’s good to be out of The Clouds …
… and back on Terra Firma in 2021 – live at the Theatre Royal.

Over the weekend of Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July, we’ll be bringing you an outstanding program of feature documentaries followed by provocative and stimulating panel discussions and Q & A’s.

And this year – no matter what COVID throws our way, you will be able to view every film. Come what may. We’ve made sure of that.

After our Friday night Opening Party, the films will start on Saturday morning, take you through the day and finish with music and dancing. And same again on Sunday!

 It’s a program to help satisfy the wanderlust of the past year – with rollicking and relevant stories brilliantly told. Stories to transport you to exotic places on our planet, inhabited by strikingly different people living their diverse lives – some shocking, some heart-warming and funny, some courageous – all compassionate.

Films that spark conversations – we see fearless explorations of the human experience.  Ordinary people, with lives different to ours, put a human face on issues and experiences that might otherwise seem at a distance.
Seeing the challenges faced by these people creates perspective and empathy as we step into the shoes of others.  

This year we are delighted to welcome two Australian directors, Molly Reynolds, (My Name is Gulpilil) and Nick Torrens (China’s 3 Dreams), as our Festival Guests. The panels, at the end of each of their films, will give you the opportunity to hear the stories of how they made their films  – the sheer force of will and resolve it takes to complete one of these creative marathons  – some of them years in the making. Neither of their films would be possible to make now – albeit for different reasons.

This year’s CDOC is our special way of celebrating the connection between filmmakers, films and audiences. 

We love every one of these films and we think you will, too.

So, see you there – at CDoc Terra Firma 2021!

Enjoy!

Claire Jager
Festival Director

CHAIR’S WELCOME

Welcome to the Castlemaine Documentary Festival’s 7th season.

Last year, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the much loved and highly anticipated festival was presented online as In The Clouds. In a window between lockdowns, we took advantage of the moment to screen at the Theatre Royal to a lucky, ‘first-in best-dressed’ audience of just 40 people  – which was the total capacity permitted in the cinema at that time.

We have continued to reach our audience in-between festivals, bringing them together virtually, or in the theatre. So, throughout the year, we began presenting regular C-Doc “pop-up” screenings and panel discussions, expanding our programming, and giving audiences the chance to view documentaries they would otherwise miss out on.

This year’s Castlemaine Documentary Festival builds upon the experimentation of last year and will again be in a hybrid format, screening both online, and in the intimate real world at our wonderfully unique, Theatre Royal in Castlemaine.

We are fortunate to be able to include three Australian Premieres in the program – stories that resonate with the wide-ranging concerns of our community, and with characters who speak from unique points of view, meaningfully to us. It’s a program rich and expansive in content – illuminating, surprising and a balance of individual experience and ordinary lives with activism and impact.

Coming from Iceland, Raise The Bar speaks volumes to recent experiences here in Australia. This is a universal story.   Again, you’d be hard pressed to find someone with more courage than the Andean farmer in Maxima, or those in the ironically titled, Welcome To Chechnya.  On a different note, the exhilarating films playing on Saturday and Sunday evenings will lead us into post-screening celebratory parties.

So plot out your weekend. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

I’m sure this years 2021 festival will meet your expectations.

Damien Kingsbury
Chair, Castlemaine Documentary Festival

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