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50 Years of Film

Save the date film buffs! Sydney Film Festival’s annual regional tour, the Travelling Film Festival (TFF), returns to the Territory in February.

By Kate Conway 

Stopping by Katherine, Darwin and Alice Springs, the packed program features international and Aussie films showcasing fiction, documentaries and short films.

2024 marks an impressive 50th anniversary for the tour and TFF Manager Annie Parnell says the longevity of the event comes down to the festival’s selective approach to programming.

“We cherry pick our films to really bring a wide range of stories to people … they make people laugh, cry and be challenged. We see into lives and countries and stories that they might not have any idea about,” Parnell says.

“That’s the beauty of the Travelling Film Festival, it brings a whole range of perspectives, and it doesn’t force them on anybody. You come out of the cinema and whether you liked or didn’t like something, that’s fine, let’s talk about it.”

Travelling Film Festival Films are tailored to each location offering quality cinema to regional and rural audiences, with a strong focus on fostering debate and community interaction. Making sure regional folk don’t miss out on the opportunity to be immersed in the wonderful world of cinema is part of the festival’s DNA.

“We don’t want people in the rural parts of Australia to think they don’t have the same access that their counterparts in the city do,” Parnell says.

“We should all be on an equal footing in terms of being able to hear and see stories that might bring some insight into our lives or give us something to think about.”

The film industry has been disrupted in recent years by the pandemic and the introduction of streaming services, but Parnell says trends show people are returning to the cinema and the sense of community it provides.

“It’s great to sit in the dark with other people laughing together, all feeling that prickle in your eye when you think you’re going to cry,” she says.

“People like to be uplifted … you can see on people's faces when they come out that they feel good about the world, and it gives them a chance sometimes to maybe forget about the bad stuff that’s going on. And that’s a beautiful thing.”

Travelling Film Festival

WHEN FRI 9 – SUN 11 FEB, 24 

WHEN THU 22 – SUN 25 FEB, 24 

Alice Springs
WHEN FRI 23 – MON 26 FEB, 24 

COST $13.50-$19 

Header: 2023 Darwin audience with Pedrea Jackson
Thumbnail & Inset: NT actor Frances Djulibing (Ten Canoes, High Ground) and grandson Leo at the 2023 TFF 

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