After a two-year break, the West End Film Festival (WEFF) is back and for the first time it’s completely online.
For the whole month of August, people can now stream more than THREE hours of high quality, current, Australian-made short films, animations, and music videos from their mobile, computer, or smart TV.
As usual, this year's WEFF programme covers a range of storylines and themes. What about a zombie apocalypse board game bordering on the real? Or a smart-talking yet nurturing home AI interface, or an incredibly unique approach to rental security and of course the relationship between lemons and….big dreams. There’s also serious topics including the journey of a young Aboriginal boy moving out of his community, a community gardening experiment and an interesting reversed-gender take on bodily autonomy. All of this mixed with animations and a collection of fabulous music videos makes for a diverse program appealing to Australians from all walks of life.
WEFF21 is being shared through Vimeo On Demand and is available for only $12 per session for the two sessions the festival has curated this year.
With 10+ years of successful events for sold-out audiences under their belt, WEFF has become vital for Brisbane audiences keen to check out high quality short films being made by Australian filmmakers. It’s also become an important event for filmmakers, providing a platform and standard as well as an opportunity to showcase short films with a social impact and message.
After COVID forced complete cancellation of the festival in 2020, this year’s event was planned to take place in early August at West End’s newest arts centre, Metro Arts. However, the recent lockdown quickly changed those plans as organisers scrambled to find other options for the event.
“The lockdown completely threw us,” offered Festival Director Steph Vajda. “We were literally days from holding our free community screening event in West End, with the main festival program taking place the week after, when the announcement came. We knew we had to transition quickly. We’d already been considering options for going online, given the past 18 months and uncertainty with holding events generally.”
WEFF’s Marketing Coordinator, Ari Balle-Bowness feels that while it would have been satisfying to have been able to once again screen the program for live West End audiences, as the festival has done for over 10 years now, “we are really happy to still be able to offer these great films not only to our local Brisbane audiences but now to audiences around Australia and potentially around the world!”
West End Film Festival is an event by West End Community Association. WECA President Seleneah More feels that “WEFF has become a really significant event for the local community, and so it’s just great that our team has been able to move the program online so quickly to ensure the festival’s viability and also to make sure that selected filmmakers can have their films shown to audiences.”
The transition online hasn’t been without it’s hiccups. When the Queensland lockdown was announced, it required not only the setup and design of a suitable online platform to show the films but also intense communication with filmmakers, funders, sponsors and amongst the team.
“It was stressful,” Steph suggests. “We’re only a small team, and after the 2020 festival was cancelled we had less resources to work with this year as far as funding and sponsorship. Filmmakers whose films we’d chosen for our Official Selection program were incredibly supportive, giving quick permission for WEFF to go online. We have such great funders, sponsors, and this is an amazing community, so after pulling together we’ve managed to not only make sure that existing ticket holders had online access to the whole program, we've also given ourselves a chance to trial online sales. We’re really enthusiastic not only about the value for money our program offers but also about offering a significantly bigger audience the chance to watch such high quality Australian-made shorts.”
Vimeo on Demand is a simple website to navigate and use and only requires a quick sign up to access WEFFs 2021 short film program which runs until 31 August 2021.
The full programme of film titles, descriptions and filmmaker details can be found at www.westendfilmfestival.com.au/programme/
To purchase tickets, viewers should go to www.westendfilmfestival.com.au/weff21
Media agencies can access our Electronic Press Kit here - https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1XTXoE239XeeiNoD_ZZfXNa38nCYi2nTn?usp=sharing
(Please note this EPK will be finalised and online by 4pm Tuesday 10 August 2021)
For more information please contact Festival Director Steph Vajda - [email protected] or phone 0413 057138
West End Film Festival
West End Film Festival is an Australian short film competition held in one of Brisbane’s most vibrant communities, West End. WEFF was established in 2009 by a group of local film makers focused on supporting grassroots filmmaking, and continues to connect with this founding objective today. Forging relationships with local communities, and encouraging collaborations among artists, the festival highlights the importance of creativity and connection. WEFF has grown to be one of Brisbane’s most loved film festivals, celebrating the community, culture, and diversity that is uniquely West End. The West End Film Festival is brought to you by West End Community Association and is proudly supported by Brisbane City Council, The Lord Mayor's Suburban Initiative Fund, Screen Queensland, and the Queensland Government. WEFF21 is sponsored by QUT Creative Industries, Griffith Film School, Clr Jonathon Sri, Amy McMahon (Greens member for South Brisbane), BIMA Vision, Hashtag Burgers and Waffles, Avid Reader, Bent Books and The End Bar.