Swanpool Environmental Film Festival 2017
The fifth SEFF took place on Saturday 24th June at Swanpool Cinema, following the same format since its inception i.e. three sessions each with a guest speaker and selected film. 174 people attended. It is organised by the Swanpool Landcare Group and the Benalla Sustainable Future Group, working in partnership. This year Benalla Permaculture also played an active role. We’d like to once again acknowledge the support of our sponsors: Gecko CLaN, Granite Creeks Landcare Network, GBCMA and Benalla Rural City (via a community grant to BSFG). Catering was provided by the Swanpool Catering Team and they did a superb job once again.
Attendance this year was 174 which was up on last year. People came from far and near for this event and they went home with much to think about after three films and three guest speakers, from 1 pm to 9.40 pm. We were very fortunate to have speakers of this calibre come to Swanpool. The films on offer this year were also exceptional.
This year our first speaker came to us courtesy of our Benalla Permaculture contacts. Dr Richard David Hames set the scene for the afternoon with his talk ‘Burying the 20th Century’. The main message was that we need new solutions and strategic thinking to address present day problems. Existing systems are not set up to provide such solutions. The film ‘the Age of Consequences’ which followed gave powerful evidence for tackling the issues now. The USA military hierarchy agrees even if the President doesn’t.
Following afternoon tea Julian Cribb took the stage to talk on ‘Surviving the 21st Century’, the title of his latest book. The title and the talk itself flowed on perfectly from Richard’s theme. Lots of data was presented covering climate change, nuclear weapons, food security etc. plus solutions to tackle these issues. Will they be taken up by politicians and world bodies? Maybe not if the following film is any predictor - ‘The Age of Stupid’. Starring Peter Postlethwaite in a future time it looks back from a devastated world on ‘archival’ footage and asks, as a human race, why didn’t we do something?
Time for a break and lasagne dinner supplied by the Swanpool Catering Team. They received high praise for another tasty menu. Video footage drew people back to their seats, including some stunning wildlife photos from the next presenter set to music.
Professor Sharon Beder spoke on ‘Business-Managed Democracy’ with the talk starting out with slides of her own studies as an engineer on Sydney’s sewerage outfall direct into the ocean. Despite attempts to prevent release of her findings they did get into the newspapers, triggering mass protests on Sydney’s beaches. The talk went on to explain how news and public opinion is manipulated these days by social media. How then does the general populous hear what’s happening and is it factual?
The final film ‘The Bentley Effect’ follows the successive misses and final successful blockade of gas rigs trying to drill in the Northern Rivers district of NSW. This led to a moratorium on fracking in NSW and in Victoria. Despite a democratic decision by these State parliaments, Federal ministers are still constantly applying pressure to let the rigs back in.
The final film ‘The Bentley Effect’ ended on a high and showed that people power and democracy can prevail in the end. Today a clear majority of people are in favour of more renewable energy and greater action on climate change yet our leaders procrastinate, argue and defer real action to avoid ’The Age of Stupid’ as portrayed in the second film. If you missed the SEFF this year, please do come along next year.
Thanks to everybody who has contributed not just on the day but over the years to enable us to put on such events in Swanpool. The attendees from far and near went away better informed and revitalised to continue the fight for our environment and our children’s future.
Sunday 10th January 2016
New Year’s Eve was another fun-filled night of celebration. Kevin oiled up the 16 mm projector and it ran faultlessly to show us ‘Hollywood: The Golden Years’ (b&w pre-talking films). A couple of the best short films from the Made in Melbourne Film Festival that we ran back in August were screened again. ‘The King and I’ was the main feature and was very well received. The audience really appreciated the spectacle on the wide screen and the quality of the music.
Prior to the show we had Tom Yates playing the cinema organ which he recently donated to us, then again during the intermission. Graeme Budd, our SC President, thanked Tom and our volunteers and reflected briefly on past community efforts. A sumptuous supper and drinks after the films took us through and past midnight.
On New Year’s Day we began the first of five screenings of ‘The Dressmaker’ with ‘The Water Diviner’ as the second feature in the evening. Record numbers attended over the week setting us off to a very good start for the new calendar year. Thank you for your support, particularly those of you who brought along friends and introduced them to Swanpool Cinema and its offerings.
Monday 9th November 2015
What a great weekend we had on 6th/7th/8th November.
We had five screenings of ‘Last Cab to Darwin’ altogether. They commenced on Friday morning when we welcomed a full bus load of our friends from Murrindindi back again. On Friday night we were over-booked for our Food & Film night, with over 60 happy customers enjoying the Swanpool Catering Group delicious two-course offerings. The Saturday and Sunday night double features and the Sunday afternoon matinee all drew good crowds.
On Friday night and Sunday afternoon we also screened a short film ‘Manifest’ in which a local, Hayley Warnock, played a large production role with three fellow students from Deakin. With Hayley behind the camera, much of the film was shot locally. Hayley wrote the initial script and we think it is now time she thought about writing the sequel. Was Fletcher really to blame? Congratulations Hayley (seen in the photo, at the world launch at Swanpool, ahead of the Melbourne Astor).
In the background you can see our newly acquired Hammond cinema organ. Many thanks to Tom Yates, formerly of Lima South, for his very generous donation. It looks and sounds fantastic.
To complete the weekend we had ‘Love and Mercy’ as the second feature film on Saturday and Sunday nights. It’s the story of Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys and his very troubled life. The sound quality was excellent and Good Vibrations just keep on a happening.
Monday 24th August 2015
We started the new season off a week earlier than usual, by hosting the ‘Made in Melbourne Film Festival’ at Swanpool Cinema. Ivan Malekin and Sarah Jayne, who run the MIM, came up for the weekend to present the show with us and to enjoy some country hospitality amongst our beautiful surrounds.
There were ten short films on the programme, five each side of intermission. Every one of these specially selected films was delightful, including the three animations. What talent we have in our very own State! That includes Sarah Jayne herself as one of the films, ‘Dusk’, was directed by her. We wish her all the best with her current production ‘Daughter’ and hope to screen it too at Swanpool Cinema.
After the show a group photo of some of the staff volunteers with Ivan and Sarah was taken. From left to right that’s Lia (programming), Pam (Candy Bar), Ian (publicity and presentation), Ivan & Sarah, Kevin & Shirley (Swanpool Cinema founders), Sjoerd (volunteer roster), Deb (programming), Marilyn (choc tops), Nick (chief handyman) and Peter (chief film tech and projectionist). Thanks to everyone who attended the event.
Tuesday 14th April 2015
Now you can have a picnic in the park adjoining the cinema prior to a film screening. The new ‘Swan Pavilion’ is available for use and four sets of tables and benches have been installed in the pavilion and under the trees. The electric barbeques are in operation. Work on landscaping will continue in the park over the winter months.
Thanks to our local artisan Shaun Murphy for creating the ‘Swan Pavilion’ and the sets of tables and benches. They are real works of art, right down to the swans’ feet on the benches. Shaun is also one of our cinema volunteers and one of our regular projectionists.
If you’d like a family celebration with a difference why not organise your own picnic followed by a film of your choice? We can help with most catering needs and to personalise the event. Just contact us via this website.
Monday 16th March 2015
This image appeared as a back-drop for the ABC weather report last week. Our thanks to Keith O'Brien Photography, Benalla, for successfully submitting the photo 'Off to watch the movie Paper Planes at Swanpool'. The hall looks good too, with its fresh coat of lime render. What a great weekend that was! We were happy to see the children, young and older, designing and launching their own paper planes during intermission.
Friday 9th January 2015
What a great night we had to finish 2014 and welcome in 2015! It's so good to be able to celebrate this special night with good friends and to enjoy an excellent film together. "My Fair Lady' was screened as a 35 mm print and made the distance without a breakage. (Thanks to the guys up in the biobox).
After the screening most people managed to squeeze into the supper room and share in the supper and a celebratory beverage. Our thanks to Brown Brothers for their donation of a dozen of their excellent Proseco. Thanks too to all our volunteers for their service not just on the night but throughout 2014.
Very best wishes to everyone for 2015.
Sunday 26th October
Thanks to Pedro Schroder of Swanpool Store fame for creating this Bale Art contribution as part of the Benalla Festival. Thanks also to Mat for helping with the construction. Mike Larkin from Tatong, one of our long term volunteers, recreated the Marilyn image on canvas. Better seats inside though!
Saturday 11th October
The annual Benalla Business Network 'Business Excellence Awards' were presented on Friday 10th October at the Town Hall in Benalla at a large Gala Dinner. There were eleven major awards to be given out. Swanpool Cinema was very pleased to win the ‘Arts & Culture Industry Award’, the finalists being ourselves, the Bald Archy Exhibition 2013 and the Benalla Migrant Camp Exhibition.
The award ‘recognises the contribution the arts industry makes to the community, retail sectors and tourism. Open to all arts based businesses in the Benalla district including galleries, retail, performing arts, arts organisations and arts events’. Following our nomination (who?) we submitted a written submission and then were interviewed by independent judges, volunteered by Benalla Rotary and sitting around the table in the supper room.
We were very pleased to receive this award from its sponsor Winton Wetlands. Winton Wetlands shares our values and has been a supporter of the Swanpool Environmental Film Festival for the past two years.
Congratulations also to the Bald Archy Exhibition 2013 which took out not one but two awards on the night in the Tourism and Marketing Excellence categories. Well done Swanpool!
Wednesday 8th October 2014
Members gathered at the Swanpool & District Memorial Hall on Tuesday 7th October to attend the 2014 Annual General Meeting.
Outgoing President Ian Herbert was pleased to report a successful 2013/2014 fiscal year with attendances up, excellent films in the regular programme and a very diverse range of special events. He thanked all our volunteers, with special thanks to the core group of volunteers who work behind the scenes week in and week out to make it all happen. Many upgrades to equipment and facilities took place during the year. Treasurer David Beer reported on the finances, the Cinema operating profitably and well able to contribute its designated share to the ongoing Swanpool Hall 'Putting Locals First' project.
The Election of Office Bearers saw Graeme Budd being elected President and Ian Herbert Vice-President. Sjoerd Bakker and David Beer remain Secretary and Treasurer respectively and six other previously serving members were re-elected to the committee.
Following the formalities, members present had the opportunity to freely exchange ideas and ask questions, more social discussion then taking place over supper. We now look forward to an equally successful 2014/2015 season.
Friday 29th August 2014
We're really pleased to bring this new website to you. We hope you find it easy to find out what's screening and to read our latest news.
Our grateful thanks to Karl Phillipson from CodeGarden for coming up with such an inspired creation. Karl's business is based in Benalla and it has been a delight to work with him. You can view his own website at www.codegarden.com.au and we are pleased to recommend him for all your website needs.