Laughter is the best medicine.
At least that’s the mantra organisers of the Sunshine Film Festival have adopted ahead of their launch.
The festival is slated to begin on Friday, September 18 with this year’s theme of comedy a stark difference to the horror theme of years gone by.
Festival coordinator Steve Pereira said choosing comedy was a no brainer.
“We want to people to take an optimistic view of life,“ Mr Pereira
“All the things going on around at the moment are really depressing… we’re fighting all kinds of battles, so we wanted to help people start thinking more optimistically and happily.
“We know humour is really good at helping people deal with adversity.“
The COVID-19 crisis has forced organisers to make a number of changes to this year’s festival.
Once a hyperlocal event, the festival is now open to anybody in the world.
The five minute limit on entries has also been lifted and the festival will now run across multiple days.
Mr Pereira said it was a great feeling to be able to turn a negative situation into a positive.
“This year it’s a proper festival over multiple days, which will include screenings at Village Cinemas and online.
“The quality of the entries has been phenomenal and we’ve already had entries from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, France, Germany, Italy and across Australia.
“We’ve moved away from a community-based festival to something more professional…. along the lines of the St Kilda Film Festival.“
Filmmakers still have time to get their work in, with the submission deadline extended to August 16.
While plans for the festival are in motion, Mr Pereira said flexibility under the current circumstances is essential.
“We won’t know until August really as to what form this will take, we have to be really flexible and open to the option of going online,“ he said.
“But at the moment it will be a mix of screenings, online and workshops over multiple days.“
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