Explore beyond the beaches this winter and venture to Australia’s Hollywood of the Outback as the 9th annual Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival returns to Winton, Outback Queensland from 24 June – 2 July 2022.

Uniting the dreamers, explorers, filmmakers and seekers, this landmark event will host an immersive nine-day program with screenings under the stars in Winton’s 104-year-old Royal Open Air Cinema.

With prestigious Chauvel Award recipient and proud Goa, Gunggari, Wakka Wakka Murri woman, Leah Purcell, appointed as Patron, this year’s festival will place emphasis on honouring the traditional custodians of the lands and seas on which we work, live and create – celebrating First Nations Day during the festival week on Sunday, 26 June. The renowned actress, director, producer and writer’s debut film, The Drover’s Wife: The legend of Molly Johnson premiered at SXSW in March 2021 and has recently been released to cinemas this week.

Boasting a diverse program of masterclasses, workshops and live entertainment for all ages, as well as a captivating short film competition in amongst the festivities, all those involved are guaranteed to leave enriched and entertained.

Following a bumper turn-out last year, Festival Director Mark Melrose says the 2022 festival is on-route for record success with borders now open and both local travellers and international students coming from near and far.

“The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival has continued to gain significant traction over the years as part of the Australian film festival circuit, particularly given the unique charm and intimate experience on offer,” Mr Melrose said.

“We are expecting to see a record turn out again in 2022, now that borders are open and travellers are flocking to the outback for a taste of the warm hospitality, golden sundowns and crisp evenings.

“After a tumultuous couple of years for the arts and culture sector, we are thrilled to see the film industry bouncing back in full force and the anticipation is high as we prepare to screen some of Australia’s leading new films,” he says.

Inspired by the renowned Sundance Film Festival, the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is driven by the passion and drive of the Winton community and is the largest film festival in the world dedicated to Australian cinema.

Centred around the theme ‘Beach to Bush’, Festival Curator and Creative Director, Greg Dolgopolov, says this year’s festival is the perfect opportunity to skip the winter blues and traverse through endless horizons, experience timeless stories and the spirit of Australia.

“The action-packed program has been curated to engage and inspire our audiences, taking them on a journey beyond the bounds of reality to discover a heightened appreciation for the stories that shape us,” Mr Dolgopolov said.

“We are hoping to screen ‘Boy from the Bush’ from local Australian director, Kriv Stenders, where the expression of the Australian countryside will take the stage yet again, highlighting the prevailing beauty that sprawls across our land.”

Once again Winton will be the home to over 60 film, animation, and screenwriting students as part of Kolperi Outback Filmmaking, formally known as the Vision Splendid Institute.

This Initiative of Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival has grown to a consortium between the festival, Griffith Film School, Winton Shire Council, and Koa Traditional Owners.

Kolerpi Director, Ashley Burgess, is excited to welcome all students, especially those coming from all around the world to take part in the national award-winning program.

“The Bootcamp is a one-of-a-kind initiative, that offers first-rate mentorship to our incredibly talented local and international students – with stunning film landscapes and endless creative opportunities,” said Mr Burgess.

Students will shoot their films in Winton and screen them as part of the short film competition on the final night, a showcase to round out the festival with an emphasis on celebrating the next generation of filmmakers and profiling their talents, so they can make their mark and continue on the enduring legacy of Australian cinema.”

The action-packed program also features a Dreamtime Storytelling Masterclass – designed to facilitate, develop and support emerging Indigenous filmmakers and writers to tell their stories in their own way.

Six Indigenous filmmakers and writers will be selected to travel to Winton where they will partake in week-long masterclasses facilitated by Sue McPherson and supported by Leah Purcell and Bain Stewart.

Applications are open from now until 23 May 2022, visit http://www.visionsplendidfilmfest.com/ and follow @visionsplendidfilmfest for more information and updates.

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