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Byron Bay Film Festival: What To Expect

  • Written by  Digby Hildreth
  • Monday, 25 September 2017 10:24
Published in Movies + TV  
'F*** Everything' 'F*** Everything'
It's almost here... So what can you expect at the 2017 Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF)? Media Manager Digby Hildreth breaks it down.

Jello Biafra anyone? The lead singer of punk rock legends Dead Kennedys features in a film having its World Premiere at Byron Bay Film Festival in October.

There’s music, drama, attitude!

'An American In Texas', from Writer/Director/Actor and Sundance Producer Anthony Pedone and featuring Charlotte Best from 'Home And Away' and 'Puberty Blues', is a study of frustrated punk band Surgeon General's Warning. It’s small-town Texas at the end of 1990 and a group of lifelong friends are bombarded with newscasts marketing Operation Desert Storm; instead of signing up, they drop acid and play gigs. The band, it seems, is their only ticket out of town.

Anthony Pedone will be coming to Byron for his film’s premiere.


Music is a mainstay subject for BBFF and this year’s presentation runs from the bizarre, to the breathtaking.

Take Kai Smythe pushing the envelope with 'F*** Everything': Melbourne-based Smythe is Hairy Soul Man, a swaggering soul performer who blends high-calibre musicianship with well-crafted comedy. Here he posits a carefree attitude to life. It’s hilarious and could catch on. Also loaded with dance-floor action but with a real-life theme is 'Amplify Her' in which three electronic dance music artists battle demons from their past, weaving animated motion comic characters into the colourful worlds of emerging female artists.


'Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World' looks at the legacy of Link Wray, among others.

There’s the profound, such as 'Westwind: Djalu's Legacy', in which Yolngu warrior, shaman and father Djalu Gurruwiwi finds a way to bring two worlds together to save his culture, with some help from global pop star Gotye. And there’s the poignant: 'The Go-Betweens: Right Here', made by Kriv Stenders, the Director of the 'Red Dog' films tells the story of Australia’s indie rock trailblazers who attained cult status in the early 1980s.


Other docos are more gruelling: 'City of Joy' looks at how girls survive rape in the Congo; feature dramas explore everything from the terror attacks on a luxury hotel in Mumbai ('One Less God'), to Vincent van Gogh, mesmerisingly brought to life through his paintings ('Loving Vincent').

Similarly pushing at the technical boundaries is 'Watch The Sunset' made by Brisbane-born Tristan Barr, a suspense crime drama that was shot in one 82-minute take.

Most topically, is documentary 'The Freedom To Marry', a thrilling study of the battle to win same-sex marriage for the entire United States.

These are just a few of the highlights among 170 films to show at Byron Bay Film Festival, which runs from 6-15 October.

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