In 2022, we again celebrate the connection between filmmakers, films and audiences and the lure of documentary storytelling.

Through COVID our lives turned inward.  At C-Doc, we lifted our game, and expanded our way to reach you by combining online and in-cinema options. As we emerge from isolation documentary helps to satisfy our deep need to connect, to belong, to share our feelings and celebrate our differences.

With a renewed sense of purpose we will make the Theatre Royal sing with true stories and bring them to audiences across Australia. Having sharpened our online skills to create wonderful conversations, we are able to share our absorbing panel discussions and Q&A’s following the screenings.

We went on an intense, wonderful hunt for films which turn the lens of human experience on to the themes and issues at the heart of what we do and why we do it. We were determined to make each program offering distinct in order to create a broad gathering together of creative and invigorating storytelling –  and finally bring to fruition the additional screen-based surprises we’ve been planning.

Many of this years films tackle the big, hefty ideas that consume us and are told through the distinctive and intimate lens of each film makers vision. True stories about people who create change, who are driven to rebel. They help us to see what is possible, telling us real stories with all the drama and complexity that we humans face.

We are calling this 2022 edition of the Castlemaine Documentary Festival,  “Realise The Possible”.

On Opening Night, we’re launching our inaugural LOCALS session, taking advantage of what our region has on offer – an abundance of local regional talent working in cross-disciplinary ways.  A night of imaginative, authentic, short films which help us to remember the visions and feelings that inspired and occupied us through Covid. This is a night for all of us.

Bridging our past and present are two superb and absorbing films, Television Event and  Letters from Baghdad. Using never-seen-before archive footage, they take us to times and places that feel distant and yet, both eerily prescient in their concerns, confront this very moment.

Writing with Fire, Rebellion and I Am Samuel speak to humanity’s acts of steadfast defiance as their characters challenge and redefine traditional notions of power, love, freedom and the fulfilment of self, from our domestic lives to our biggest issues. They may be loud, wild and excessive or quiet and meditative – but all reflect our own emotions and struggle to connect.

Saturday night’s musical experience, Rumba Kings, is a powerful tale of music’s entanglement with politics, and the freedom of nations. There’s no better way to take us into dancing with the rhythms of rumba after the screening.

Sunday 3rd July coincides with NAIDOC Week and we are proud to have The Lake Of Scars, a ground-breaking Australian documentary dealing with the challenges of reconciliation. As Special Festival Guests,  we have Uncle Jack Charles and Ngarra Murray, together with the film’s director Bill Code.

Lastly, immerse yourselves in the closing night film, River, an audacious work of mind-bending beauty by Jennifer Peedom, the director of Mountain and Sherpa.

In 2021, we were the festival to go to when you couldn’t go anywhere else. We said, “if you can’t come to us, let us come to you”.

This year. Realise The Possible. Come to us.


Welcome to the Castlemaine Documentary Festival’s eighth season.

The last two years of COVID required us at C-Doc to pivot and move our beloved Festival online, or “in the clouds” as we called it. So, this year, it’s just wonderful to be back and able to bring everyone together once again “in real life”.

Our 2022 Festival runs over a single weekend in mid-winter at the iconic Theatre Royal Castlemaine, mainland Australia’s oldest continuously operating cinema, in the heart of regional Victoria on Dja Dja Wurrung country. In this intimate setting, we delight in offering you a unique festival experience, celebrating diversity and profiling the important issues of our time, from the local to the global.

This year, we get to bring you all the new and different viewing experiences we’ve been planning since 2020. There is, once again, an outstanding selection of eight Australian and international feature-length films, each to be followed by stimulating panel discussions and conversations, and your chance to engage with filmmakers, panellists and other festival-goers.

Alongside our festival planning, we have been busy developing C-Doc beyond an annual weekend event into an arts organisation with a year-round calendar. This includes the establishment of Club C-Doc, a focal place for local filmmakers and film enthusiasts to come together, chat about great storytelling through film, share the skills needed to make them, and discuss how film can contribute the impact to bring about positive and tangible change. Club C-Doc is the first of its kind in regional Victoria and will be launched at this year’s Festival.

We have also continued our pop-up screening program at the Theatre Royal, the Northern Arts Hotel and the Village Square in Castlemaine, as well as developed a number of partnerships with key organisations such as Monash University’s School of Media, Film & Journalism.

But back to the 2022 Festival program we have put together for you!

First, to showcase non-fiction work drawn from our Castlemaine community, our Opening Night event celebrates short films made by our LOCALS. Our region has an increasing number of practitioners and budding filmmakers and this is C-Doc’s way to elevate their voices and visions. We’ve also partnered with the COscars and will screen the winner of this year’s 8-13 year old category, Georgie Newton’s animation, Dogs!

Letters From Baghdad, is a beautiful film bringing a little-known story to a wider audience; Rebellion, an eye-opening account of the inner workings and challenges facing the Extinction Rebellion movement; and I Am Samuel, a universal story that crosses dangerous boundaries in pursuing the freedom to love.

This year, two of our Festival guests are Australian directors, Jeff Daniels (Television Event) and Bill Code (The Lake of Scars) will be part of the discussions following their screenings.

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

We are sure this year’s 2022 Festival will meet your expectations and perhaps beyond.

Marylou Verberne
C-Doc Ltd