Launching careers in film
COFFS Harbour has just come a few steps closer to being regional NSW's film capital, as a statewide youth film festival concludes this week with a showcase of the work of filmmakers aged 12-25.
The Coffs-based festival, called REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival, is jointly run by Screenwave and Headspace Coffs Harbour.
Its goal is to nurture the next generation of filmmakers and bring opportunities through a short film competition with a prize pool which this year hit a record $30,000.
Since May, the team have travelled through nine NSW regions, giving workshops in schools and youth centres.
Finalists have been decided by a judging panel that includes Hollywood stars Aaron Glenane and Nick Hardcastle.
REC Ya Shorts culminates in the flagship screening event on Friday night at C.ex Coffs Harbour (6pm for 6.30pm start in the upstairs auditorium), where finalists will see their films screened in front of their peers, families and the local community.
The event is open to the public and free of charge thanks to the support of C.ex, ETC, Coffs Harbour City Council, and a number of festival partners.
Bishop Druitt College has a strong showing among local finalists, including students Lewis Gentle, Jack Parker and Tallulah Remond-Stephen, a winner from 2016.
Year 12 student Lewis, whose film Ascending Bird explores loss and grief, said "I wanted to be experimental with my film, and play with yoga, body movement and light”.
"The best bit for me about being in REC Ya Shorts is showing to yourself that you really can get out there and make a film. It was really empowering to just go for it.”