CAST and crew from the six films in the Big River Public Schools Film Festival were given a warm welcome as they walked into the South Grafton High School hall on Tuesday night.
Each film generated laughs from the 200-strong crowd - sometimes due to a funny line, other times because someone's dad inadvertently entered the shot.
The standard was generally high but sound issues and continuity seemed to plague at least two of the films.
As a teaching device, film-making appears to offer many benefits and it is hoped the festival will continue for years to come.
Doonguun tale Ulmarra Public School A stop-motion animated interpretation of the creation of the first people of the Clarence River. One day a giant sea serpent known as a Doonguun decided to swim up the mighty Clarence. At various points the serpent shed his barnacles to create the first of the Yaegle, Gumbaynggirr and Bundalung tribes. The classic tale is brought to life in vivid colour and with impressive animation. This is even more impressive given that the kids had only a short time to edit the film following a software glitch.
Dr Who - Attack of the Cybermen Gillwinga Public School THE project showed a good depth of research into the Dr Who institution and delivered a plot line suitably wild for this territory. Filmed in and around the school with a large portion of the student bodies being converted into cybermen, the film had drama and humour and left the audience wondering what would happen next. The "episode" even saw the initiators of the hostile takeover banished to the edge of the universe and a Dr Who regeneration. Good costuming and reasonable acting.
Gardening Maclean Maclean High School A light-hearted homage to Gardening Australia complete with a wide collection of Costa Georgiadis impersonators (and the real deal) this "mocumentary" follows the construction of the school's sizable garden project. From the research at the Yamba Community Garden to the vegie burgers made from school-grown produce, the school has done well showcasing the community effort in making the garden and the film making skills of the pupils. Unfortunately, A copyright issue by a third party has blocked the film on youtube.
Hank's Adventure Harwood Public School Hank is a naughty gnome who craves attention but, with the help of his peers and the principal, manages to go from bully to hero in a short space of time. He even went with the students on their Sydney excursion and is photographed everywhere from Centrepoint tower to the ABC studios. Funniest part was the note at the end which read "2 gnomes were harmed in the making of this film", the pictures of their demise and the tombstone which states "RIP Hank 1, Hank 2". There were some sound problems and the photo slideshow was too long but other than that - good effort.
Trapped in Minecraft Coutts Crossing Public School AS a big fan of the international phenomena of Minecraft, my seven-year-old son loved this film the best. It's a crazy plot in which students find themselves inside the Minecraft world before they help rescue a being initially believed to be a fellow human but later turns out to be something else. The acting and directing is, well, pantomime at best but the special effects and creative plot line is impressive.
Snow White and the Seven Punks Wooli Public School A rhyming interpretation of a classic fairy tale, this film has plenty of twists, turns and laughs with a starring role from narrator Carly Shannahan. Though the mirror is a video screen, the dwarfs are punks in a band and the key measure is dancing ability as opposed to beauty. The elements of jealousy and evil remain. This time, however the courts get involved and sentence the evil-doers to 50 years in jail and the guy who gets the girl is not Prince Charming. He's a punk rocker.