Footprints Film Festival is open for submissions and will once again showcase the best environmentally-themed short films for its fifth year.
The Footprints Ecofestival offers a lot for the environmentally conscious. Run by the Inner West Council, the Ecofestival features a variety of workshops and talks on leading a sustainable lifestyle. Also returning is the Footprints Film Festival, a short film competition and what Inner West Council’s Sustainability Engagement Officer Emily Williams describes as a highlight of the festival.
The origin of the film festival began as an attempt to engage in a fun way with community. “The team who came up with it were trying to develop a new and more engaging programme to get particularly younger people to engage with the environment and being a bit more conscientious and getting excited about the environment and living sustainably,” Emily says. “It was going to be a one-off but because it became so popular we started running it every year. It’s a fun way to showcase these really cool films to a much broader audience that are already engaged and interested.”
Budding filmmakers across all ages are able to enter a seven-minute short film with an environmental sustainability theme. While some audiences may expect ‘that it’s just going to be a bunch of trees or people telling you how the world is ending’, Emily says there are a lot of surprises in terms of content.
“Some of the films that we get are just so much fun. They can be so funny, they can be really sad. We usually have a couple of kids who enter every year who are far more talented than I’ll ever be. They can make these really cool stop-motion films. People have even incorporated zombies. There was one last year about a zombie who discovers the joys of riding a bike. They can be very funny and very clever.”
The films will be judged by Dieter Hochuli, Associate Professor at the University Of Sydney’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and Sam Buckland of the Australian Film Institute. Prizes include an $1,800 voucher for Ashfield’s Photo-Shop-Studio, a $1,200 voucher for Marrickville’s Glow Worm Bicycles, and a $600 voucher for The Source Bulk Foods in Balmain. But, fun doesn’t stop with making the films. A selection of films will be screened in a tent in the middle of the Ecofestival, with everything inside being powered by bicycles supplied by Milk Crate Events.
“The audience has to power the films themselves,” Emily explains. “There are four bicycles and they power everything. We do it in ten minute blocks so people don’t get too tired. It’s so much fun having that audience participation, and it’s also a nice message that you don’t need fuel-power to do this; you can have people-power.”
Ultimately, Emily sees the festival as a fun way for the community to become more aware of the environment, and is looking forward to seeing what entrants come up with. “This is open to anyone and everyone, all ages. Get as creative as you want. It doesn’t have to be something flashy or professional. It can be something you make using your phone. It can be really simple or as fancy as you want. Just have fun with it.”