Facon gets special mention at Flickerfest and is included in Flickerfest National Tour!

Flickerfest

Two updates from the festival front! Facon got a special mention at the Flickerfest Green Flicks section. Joshua Dang, Barbara Ings and I were thrilled to hear it, since there were really really good films in the section. Greenflicks was judged by Costa Georgiadis, Gregory Miller and Kate Harris. The judges praised Facon for its sense of humour dealing with environmental issues.

We’re also really happy about how well the film played at all the screenings. The Short Laughs Comedy sessions were sold out and it was great to be alongside such hilarious company!

Facon at Flickerfest

Shaun Colnan, who starred as Travis, makes a short speech after Facon receives an honourable mention at the closing night awards ceremony. 

The other great news is that Facon has been chosen to tour nationally. The full tour dates can be seen here.

Flickerfest Closing Night 1

Me (Writer / Producer), Barbara Ings (Producer), Jane Watt (Tia), Costa Georgiadis (Greenflicks Judge), Shaun Colnan (Travis) and Kate Harris (Greenflicks Judge) at the Flickerfest Closing Night. Facon director Joshua Dang was sadly unable to attend.

Flickerfest Closing Night 2

Shaun Colnan (Travis), Barbara Ings (Producer), Me (Writer / Producer) and Jane Watt (Tia) at the Flickerfest Closing Night. Director Joshua Dang was sadly unable to attend.

Facon At Flickerfest!

facon-still-800x450-700x393

I’m thrilled to announce that the film I wrote and produced Facon is having it’s World Premiere at Flickerfest. It’s an amazing accomplishment for the director Joshua Dang, producer Barbara Ings and the whole team to have achieved. Come along to support the film and laugh enthusiastically at the jokes.

Flickerfest 2017 Festival Trailer from Flickerfest on Vimeo.

Facon is being featured in the Short Laughs Comedy screenings and GreenFlicks 2017, so there will be three screenings that you can attend:

Short Laughs Comedy – Fri 13 Jan, 8.45pm
http://flickerfest.com.au/programme/short-laughs-comedy-2017/
GreenFlicks 2017 – Sat 14 Jan, 4.30pm
http://flickerfest.com.au/programme/greenflicks-2017/
Short Laughs Comedy 2017 (repeat) – Sat 14 Jan, 6.30pm
http://flickerfest.com.au/programme/short-laughs-comedy-2017-repeat/

Tickets are $20 and it will be held at the Bondi Pavillion. Come along to watch some great comedy/environmental ideas and support the film!

http://flickerfest.com.au/film/facon/

National Young Writers’ Festival 2015

3

This year I was lucky enough to be a festival artist at the National Young Writers’ Festival 2015. When I found out that I had been offered a spot as a festival artist I literally screamed and ran around my house, much to confusion of my housemates. National Young Writers’ Festival is a hoot! I had attended in 2014 and had absolutely fallen in love with the festival.

If you need any proof of how magical National Young Writers’ Festival was, you can just have a watch:

OH MY THE FEELINGS! It was a truly beautiful experience and I cannot recommend going to NYWF more. So many lovely exciting people just having a go. As one person said to me, what makes NYWF so special is that everyone is just trying their best. For many people it’s the first time they have chaired a panel or read to such a large audience. It’s a space where people are allowed to fail and experiment.

I attended a lot of things, but my favourite events were the Late Night Readings: Flirting with the Law, Screenwriting Workshop with Magda Wozniak, Late Night Readings: Breakups and Breakdowns and the Under The Sea Enchantment Ball (of course).

The Screenwriting Workshop was my favourite. I’ve always been curious about how writing rooms work and this session gave me a lot of insight. In the session we were treated as Home and Away writers and worked through the process of how to script a weeks worth of content. People were pitching ideas left right and centre and  bouncing ideas off each other. It made me realise that writing for tv is a lot about writing to constraint and working as a team.


I was on two panels:

The Plays The Thing –
Host: Kate McDowell. Participants: Felicity PickeringPhillip KavanaghLiv Satchel

Blurb:
When it comes to the writing community, playwrights and playwriting can often get swept under the rug. With playwriting one of the oldest forms of literature, it’s high time we put the spotlight back on the stage. These bards spill the beans on the playwriting industry, and the issues they face as playwrights today.

A Newcastle Story –
Participants: Felicity PickeringFinbah NeillThandi Chindove, Ewa Ramsey.

Blurb: In partnership with the Newcastle Museum, NYWF takes you on a trip into Newcastle’s history. From lightbulbs to biscuits, earthquakes to coal heaps, join these brilliant young storytellers as they delve into the museum’s collections and dig up some fascinating tales of Newcastle past, present and future.

The Plays The Thing was a great relaxed session. It was my first time being on a panel.

A Newcastle Story was more nerve wracking. A few weeks before the reading I had caught the train to Newcastle for the day to get a private tour of the Newcastle Museum. I had to find something in there that inspired me and write something in response.

Newcastle Museum had a series of portraits of hotels and pubs from Newcastle with stories about the pubs displayed on the side. I ended up writing a piece about an 18 year old girl who starts working at a hotel in Newcastle that is filled with backpackers and the hotel comes to represent that period of her life.

I have a few snaps from the A Newcastle Story reading:

1 2

All in all NYWF was such a great experience and I hope to attend again next year!

 

24 Hour Party Playwright – Bondi Feast

Eleanor Roosevelt once said that you should one thing a day that scares you. Well on Friday the 18th of July this year I did something that frightened the hell out of me. I participated in a 24 Hour Playwright Party as part of Rocksurfer’s Bondi Feast. The event involved writing a play in 12 hours that was then performed by a team of actors the next night.

It was petrifying, exhilarating and a great exercise in learning to just let go and not self edit.

The resulting play was Object, a play about an advertising creative being taught a lesson from a man acting as a table at a trendy party. It was wacky and strange and I had so much fun. A massive thanks for Rocksurfers for letting me participate!

I was sadly unable to see the play as I was in Adelaide helping out with Playwriting Australia’s National Play Festival.

See below for some snaps from the performance!

stef-0385

stef-0377

Word Travels Festival – Push – Rocks Walk – Stories

Madelaine Lucas performing.

Madelaine Lucas performing.

Push – Rocks Walk – Stories was held on the 12th and 13th of October as part of the Word Travels Festival. The tour, presented by Penguin Plays Rough, involved audience members being led throughout The Rocks to find writers hiding in nooks and crannies, ready with words.

A medley of literary delights were on offer with readings made by Patrick Lenton, Cait Harris, Phil Spencer and Madelaine Lucas. First to be discovered on my guided tour was actor Libby Ahearn who performed a whimsical parody of Sydney socialites, written by Cait Harris.

After a short walk through the markets, it was Phil Spencer who entertained us next with the tale of his first, last and only shift working in a bar in The Rocks.

After a walk through a windy tunnel we were given the privilege of seeing Madelaine Lucas perform. Accompanied by soft mesmeric guitar, Lucas spoke in a breathy voice of heartbreak and poetic memory, the wind only heightening the experience.

To round off the tour, Patrick Lenton told us a humorous tale of survival in Australia. The entire event was exciting and unique. The readings were filled with distinctly Australian voices, and exposed the public to the literary talent of a new generation of writers.

Word Travels Festival – NSW Australian Poetry Slam Final

Luka Lesson hosting with charm and charisma, and a surprisingly high level of talk about shoes.

Luka Lesson hosting with charm and charisma, and a surprising level of talk about shoes.

The NSW Final of The Australian Poetry Slam was held on Friday the 11th of October, as part of The Word Travels Festival. There were feature performances by Joel McKerrow and the highly sexual Ghostboy. Luka Lesson hosted the event with charm and charisma. Thomas Hill took home the NSW title with an evocative poem about abuse. Second place was a tie, resulting in a slam off between Newcastle based Jesse Brand and Bankstown based Zohab Khan. After a fierce battle it was Jesse Brand who progressed to the Australian Finals alongside Thomas Hill.

Art and About – ‘I Think I Can’ Review

IMG_0639

I Think I Can places a thoroughly modern concept: avatars, onto a nostalgic frame. The interactive artwork, being exhibited as part of the Art and About Sydney Festival, allows individuals to create avatars that live and interact in a large scale model railway named Springfield Junction.

Taking it’s name from popular children’s book The Little Engine That Could’, I Think I Can focuses on creation and storytelling. The work is the brainchild of Terrapin Puppet Theatre artistic director Sam Routledge and artist Martyn Coutts and is presented by Performance Space and Art and About Sydney.

I found I Think I Can at the Central Station Concourse on the opening night of Art and About Sydney, and quickly decided I wanted to experience it. After an informative chat with a volunteer I decided that I would get an avatar. The first step was a personality test. Then I was presented with a selection of different avatars that I could choose from. I chose an ‘Activist’. Other avatars that you could be assigned included the Queen, a vandal, a reality TV star, or President Obama.

I Think I Can

My ‘I Think I Can’ Passport and my selected avatar.

The next step was figuring out where he would be placed in Springfield Junction. I decided my little man should be hanging by the abattoir. Next his back story had to be established. I decided the activist was visiting friends who work at the abattoir and coming for a spot of protesting. The guy, let’s call him Ned, had decided to protest at the abattoir because he had found an embryo in a can from the factory. He’d only been an activist for about a week. This back story was recorded in an iPad.

My tiny avatar was then animated by a puppeteer and broadcast live onto a screen above the model town.

IMG_0652

The puppeteer animates the Activist.

IMG_0650

The Activist has become part of Springfield Junction.

I have been told that each time I come back I can change what my activist is up to and I can follow his adventures if he pops up in the ‘I Think I Can Times’: an online publication of the scandals and news of Springfield Junction.

I enjoyed the artwork on many levels. On one level, the process evoked nostalgia of model train stations and made me appreciate the enormous capacity we have as children to create fictional worlds. This element allows the work to be family friendly, it’s great for kids and it’s cheap (free to participate)!  On another level, I enjoyed the art work for all statements that it was making. I Think I Can made me consider how much we try escape our own lives through building hyperreal (often better) versions of ourselves, and our lives. I Think I Can felt like a tangible version of Second Life that was framed in a nostalgic way, making such virtual worlds that are traditionally seen as strange and deviant, playful and natural. It made me realise that this identification with a character is something that we are drawn to even as children.

What statements do you think I Think I Can is making?

Springfield Junction

Little avatars hard at work.

IMG_0642

Springfield Junction is a hot bed of activity.

Art and About Sydney – Opening Night

art-and-about-web-banner

The opening of Art and About Sydney was celebrated at Martin Place earlier tonight. The celebration, coined as Friday Night Live, was an evening of cocktails, music and film that set the tone for what is sure to be an inspiring and exciting festival. The event started with a screening of The Arrival by Shaun Tan with a live performance of the score by percussionist Ben Walsh and the 10-piece Orkestra of the Underground. Next The Break filled the audience with trippy space age rock from their new album, Space Farm. Delicious cocktails were on offer throughout the night alongside quirky food trucks. 

Cocktail

For the night owls the evening was just beginning. Attendees could head to the Justice and Police Museum for part one of Penguin Plays Rough at City of Shadows exhibition. This exhibition/performance/literary hybrid brings together ten writers, comedians, playwrights and other wordsmiths to create a story, over several months, in response to a photo chosen from the Police Forensic Archive.

For those looking for a chilled evening Custom’s House library offered the solution: relaxed music, readings and performance. Other recommendations for the night included seeing the Artists’ Market at the State Library of NSW or taking in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Australian Museum.

Art and About Sydney boasts an eclectic and intriguing mix of artworks and performances that will bring the city to life from the 20th of September to the 20th of October. Have a look at the full spread of events and exhibitions here. In the next weeks I will be trying to see and review as much of the festival as possible! Happy festivaling!

New Sydney Festival – Bleu Blanc Rogue

French festival1This weekend new festival Bleu Blanc Rouge premiers at the front of Customs House at Circular Quay, Sydney. The festival, which coincides with the anniversary of Bastille Day, celebrates French culture with music, cooking lessons, dancing and food – an idea that would get any francophile frothing.

While the festival is only short, limited to the 12th, 13th and 14th of June, it is already proving to be filled to the brim with attractions. During the festival you can book in for cooking lessons with French cuisine experts John Aymeric Saint-Lannes and John Ralley or try any number of the delicious vendors at the Bleu Blanc Rouge Village. Live performances will be shown throughout the day and night at The Caledonian Stage. On Saturday Night ‘le bal du quatorze juillet’ will be held with french and international beats played by DJ Georgina Sinclair.

For cyclist fanatics looking for a more ‘authentic experience’, make sure you head over to the Bleu Blanc Rouge Village to watch the Tour De France, shown on the big screen courtesy of SBS. French wine tastings are held on Area Bleu from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm. For full program details check the Bleu Blanc Rouge website.


FrenchmN

IMG_3503

IMG_0399

French GirlIMG_0397

Festival Details

When:                Between Friday 12 July and Sunday 14 July from 10:00 to 22:00

Sunday 14 July 10am-5pm

Where:              Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney, NSW 2000

Cost:                  Free

Website:            http://bbrfestival.com.au

Emerging Writers’ Festival

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 3.07.24 AM

On the cold morning of the 30th of May, I got myself on a plane and made my way to the Emerging Writers’ Festival. While I only had time to see three events, it was awesome. I attended ‘The Emerging Writer Book Launch’, ‘Late Night Live with Literary Magazine -Flash Fiction with Seizure’ and ‘The Pitch’, all of which were amazing. Next year, I will leave myself more time/ plan ahead more.

Highlights include:

-Seeing the amazing Khairani Barokka perform ‘Red’! Amazing performance! Such                         an incredible person.
-Seeing Ross Onley-Zerkel host ‘The Emerging Writer Book Launch’ with AUSLAN         interpreters translating. He was really engaging and a great host.
-Seeing Rebecca Slater (winner of the Monash University Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing) read from her winning story ‘Stewed Fruit’ at Flash Fiction with Seizure.
-Hearing about all the no-nos of writing at ‘The Pitch’. Also, live tweeting for the first time. It is awkward and stressful – not a highlight
-Finding out about Seizure and that many of the people are from Sydney
-Going to ‘Naked for Satan’ to get $1 tapas. Blows my mind every time.

Wish I could have done a proper write up for all these events but I was letting myself be fully immersed in the Emerging Writers’ Festival and that’s important too. Great to meet so many cool people. Woo!