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Screenwave International Film Festival launches across Coffs Coast

Above: ‘Putuparri and the Rainmakers’ will open the Screenwave International Film Festival. 

Arts Mid North Coast


One of the special presentation events for Screenwave International Film Festival will be the two free screenings of the new Australian documentary Gayby Baby. The film was, until recently, banned by the NSW Education Minister, receiving national media coverage. The film follows a number of same-sex parent Australian families, and is told from the children’s perspective (rated PG).

The film’s director, Maya Newell, will be in attendance to present her film at Screenwave International Film Festival.

Ticket reservation links:

For Coffs Harbour screening reservations:
Coffs Harbour Jetty Memorial Theatre screening reservations (Sunday, 7 Jan , 12:30pm)

For Bellingen screening reservations:
Bellingen Memorial Hall screening reservations (Sunday, 3 Jan , 2pm)

Coffs Harbour and Bellingen will be home to a brand new international film festival this Summer. Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF) will showcase a program of world cinema, art house and genre titles, independent films, and new home-grown Australian productions from 27 December through to 28 January, at historic venues the Jetty Memorial Theatre and Bellingen Memorial Hall.

Arts Mid North Coast has come on board as an industry partner.

The festival line-up includes Under the Milky Way, a program of two free outdoor cinema events to launch the festival in Bellingen on 27 December and in Coffs Harbour on 30 December.

There will be 35 film sessions across the region as part of the main festival program, including Opening Night film Putapurri & The Rainmakers with Director Nicole Ma as festival guest on 2 January at Coffs Harbour’s Jetty Memorial Theatre.

Director Maya Newell of previously banned film Gayby Baby, a touching film about same-sex parent families in Australia as told by the children, will be a guest of the festival. Maya will introduce her new film and answer questions from the audience about its community response and the filmmaking process.

SWIFF will also hold the NSW premiere of new Australian film Broke, the raw story of an ex-NRL star’s life after the spotlight has faded away. The film addresses the real themes of problem gambling and alcoholism on a road to redemption through the support of his fans. Director Heath Davis will also be a guest of the festival.

Screenwave’s Artistic Director Kate Howat, who has previously curated programs for the Brisbane International Film Festival, said the festival aims to bring the community together with accessible, socially inclusive exhibition events that open up a new world of cinema to locals in the Coffs Coast region.

‘Coffs Harbour and Bellingen are experiencing a revitalisation of film and screen culture, with a number of film festivals launched over the last 18 months locally and SWIFF will complement and help to build on this,’ Kate said.

Also on the program, off the back of the runaway success of genre-shocker 100 Bloody Acres comes another NSW premiere, Scare Campaign. Facing dwindling ratings, reality TV prank show ‘Scare Campaign’ ups the ante in a bid to give its audience more than just old-school scares. Starring Aussie acting icons Sigrid Thornton, John Brumpton and newcomer Olivia DeJonge (The Visit), Scare Campaign will make you turn up your pacemaker all the way to 11.

Screenwave International Film Festival is proudly supported by a number of local and regional Festival Partners and presented by Screenwave for the Coffs Coast and Bellingen.

For the full festival program and ticket information, visit