The Canberra International Film Festival, now in its 22nd year as a not-for-profit association, is one of Australia’s leading retrospective film events, celebrating our national and international film heritage.
We are seeking funds to initiate our plan for an annual 10-day event, but will work with whatever funds are raised, by reducing the duration if necessary to match available funding.
In the face of a dominant film culture focussed on the “New”, our aim is to make past achievements of cinema as relevant today as Beethoven is in music, Shakespeare in theatre, and Tolstoy in literature.
Contextualising our screenings is vital, and films are accompanied by Q&As, panel discussions and a range of guests, especially historians.
Our audiences tend to be older adults but we aim to attract younger audiences, and people in the film industry. We regard education as one of our primary roles.
Our Festival will take place in October 2019 but we need to confirm our funding by 31 March 2019.
For too many people, cinema is an art form that has no history, no past. The film industry has a vested interest in the “New”: a few standard “classics” are shown as nostalgia but otherwise there is little depth of understanding or value placed on the “Old”.
Our commitment is to promote an ease of access and a diversity of responses to the full range of cinema history, as other art forms enjoy,
Familiarity with cinema’s past can enrich our contemporary cinema with ideas and stories. Without that familiarity, stories will be lost. Our collective memory of Australians who once were major figures in world cinema is at risk: the achievements of people like Peter Finch, Robert Krasker or Googie Withers are effectively lost to our contemporary culture.
Our Festival is appropriately based in the National Film & Sound Archive, using its state-of-the-art facilities and supported by their enthusiastic staff.
CIFF has achieved good audience levels for retrospective screenings, and has a small number of enthusiastic financial supporters, but seeks sponsorships and philanthropic donations to build a viable future.
We are seeking funds to establish an annual 10-day event, starting in October 2019, but will work with whatever funds are raised, e.g., by reducing the duration to match available funding.
Over 10 days, we will have approximately 30 sessions, generally built around “strands” that follow a career, a theme or a period in history. These strands will draw on 35mm prints in the NFSA’s collection, and digital restorations from archives and commercial sources around the world. New films about aspects of cinema history will also be shown.
The Festival’s program for a short 3-day event in October 2018, can be seen at www.ciff.com.au
CIFF’s director in 2019 will be film historian Dr Andrew Pike, OAM.
Project image from THE THIRD MAN (a highlight of CIFF 2018), with permission from StudioCanal.