RAF Case Study | The Great Barrier Reef Film Festival

The inaugural Great Barrier Reef Film Festival was a community driven project with a broad local and visiting audience. Held on Magnetic Island in September 2016, the festival provided a unique platform to celebrate and consider the meaning of island life via the medium of cinema, on the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. It generated economic activity in the region and new partnerships, especially in the local government and private sector.

The festival program included five feature films, short films and documentaries, 12 film workshops for people of all ages and abilities (including two children’s film workshops), two film performances and a 360 Virtual Reality film reef experience.

“As a local filmmaker, the opportunity to meet and talk about the issues and challenges of making films in North Queensland as well as the chance to connect with others who share my passion, was an invaluable experience. Making films well is a very difficult process and especially so in North Queensland where resources and expertise are far more limited. This region does however have many powerful stories to tell and in a landscape that is equally powerful and majestic for the telling. The initiative to begin the 2016 Great Barrier Reef Film Festival has allowed us to glimpse what might be possible for a film making industry in the north – and it is exciting! This festival deserves much support.”
– George Hurst, Cranky Curlew Productions, Magnetic Island.

Cultural and Economic Impacts:

  • Increased economic activity through the establishment of a cultural business, in the form of a festival
  • Establishment of a new festival, meeting the identified needs of local government
  • The Townsville City Economic Development Plan 2013-2017 identifies the Island as a key precinct and recommends key actions/strategies that include the development of a major events program, targeting cultural events
  • Formation of new partnerships, especially with the hospitality and tourism sector
  • New career opportunities provided for local film makers
  • New and ongoing employment opportunities for residents
  • Partnerships and leveraged income

Social Impacts:

  • Contributed to building creative capacity within the Magnetic Island community
  • Increased participation by residents – engaging with film as an artform that is accessible and relevant

For more information, visit the website.

Great Barrier Reef Film Festival Logo

Regional Arts Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia and pays its respect to their Elders past and present.