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Uplifting Doco Opens Film Gala

Story: Christine Chamberlain
Feb 20, 2019
Uplifting Doco Opens Film Gala
An inspiring story about troubled boys turning their lives around, will be the feature film at this month’s Sandgate Film Gala. Catherine Scott’s award-winning documentary, Backtrack Boys, will kick off the weekend of film at the Sandgate Town Hall

The documentary was filmed over two years and follows three boys in a youth program run by jackaroo, Bernie Shakeshaft, on the outskirts of Armidale, NSW.

The story reveals the challenges and triumphs these boys face as they try to find their place in the world, and the dogs that help them.

“I hope this film will foster a greater understanding of the issues these kids face and inspire communities to develop real alternatives that will help keep them out of jail,’’ director Catherine Scott said.

The film won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival and screened at the Heart of Gold Short Film Festival last year.

This year also sees the addition of a 4017 Creators’ Session to the Film Gala on the Saturday afternoon.

Film Gala organiser Lachlan Smith said the session was added to give local filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their skills.

“Some of the big film festivals are hard to break into, so here is a great local opportunity for anyone to give their ideas a go,’’ Lachlan said.

“Following the success of the Bay of Lights project, we recognised the love the community held for the stories held within our village’s history.

“We want our current residents to tell their stories – to show us “their 4017”.’’

Entry is free and open to all ages. Films should be between one to five minutes long.

The 10 best films will be screened at the gala and the winner announced on the night. The winner will receive a cash prize and a day’s work experience with a local filmmaker. Submissions close Monday, 11 March.

Following the Creators’ Session, the best short films from the Heart of Gold festival, curated specifically for the Sandgate gala, will air from 7pm.

Money raised from the weekend will go towards supporting the Sandgate Historical Society.

Sandgate Film Gala

Friday 29 March & Saturday 30 March Sandgate Town Hall
Opening night Backtrack Boys, Friday, March 29, 7pm; 4017 Creators’ Session, Saturday, March 30, 4- 6pm

To book tickets visit the event on Facebook.