Foreign films & Flickerfest on the Fraser Coast

Foreign Films in the Federation Room

It’s only taken me three months but I finally accompanied my friend Ruth to see one of the foreign films on show at the Brolga Theatre this week.

The selection of movies, hosted by the Maryborough Regional Arts Council, have been shown on the second Wednesday of the month since February.

From Fraser Coast Scene. And I'm not sure why April and May are around the wrong way.

From Fraser Coast Scene. And I’m not sure why April and May are around the wrong way.

Because of my *ahem* discerning taste (read: laziness) I’d checked out each of the films on offer and planned to attend the final three. This month’s movie, The Lunchbox, was a lovely film from India featuring Mumbai’s very orderly lunchbox delivery system. That alone was easily worth the $12 admission cost. But in case you were wondering, it was also very quirky and moving.

Next on the agenda (on 13 May) is Ida, about a nun in 1960s Poland. It won the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Oscars and is apparently heavy going but amazing. And… I. Cannot. Wait.

And finally in late June, I’m off to see Force Majeure from Sweden about an avalanche and its impact on a family on a skiing holiday.

Tickets are $12 for non members or $10 for Maryborough Arts Council members and include wine and nibbles after the film. The movies start at 6.30pm and—a note for newcomers—are shown in the Federation room which you enter from the rear (river side) of the Brolga theatre.


Flickerfest at the brolga

Maryborough is one of only nine cities in Queensland to play host to the popular Flickerfest. The festival of short films began almost 25 years ago and is the only international  ‘Academy’ and BAFTA-recognised competitive film festival.

FLICKERFEST fraser coast

The 2015 Flickerfest, ‘License to Thrill’ kicked off in Sydney in January before touring the country. Films will be shown across two sessions at the Brolga theatre on 22 April 2015.

The first session, commences at 6.30pm and features the Best of Australian Shorts. After intermission you can get your giggle on with the Short Laughs Comedy – On Tour, starting at 8.45pm. (NB. Links in this paragraph link to information about the films on offer.)

Visit the Our Fraser Coast site for info or bookings.

Tickets for single sessions are: $12 or $10 for friends of the Brolga / members of Maryborough Arts Council; or $20 / $18 for both sessions. 

If you build it…

Many MANY moons ago – well, in the early-mid 1990s I spent 3-4 years working for the Maryborough City Council. It was at a time when local governments were realising that their responsibilities were broader than roads, rates and rubbish. The Bond Store Museum had just been completed and it seemed (to me anyway) that communities and governments were starting to think on a ‘regional’ basis with planning reflecting cooperative efforts and opportunities.

Oft-discussed at that point in time was the desire for the region to have a theatre to replace the ageing Maryborough City Hall and (hopefully) draw national and international acts to the region.

Screen shot 2013-06-06 at 1.58.07 PMIt took some time and the fundraising barometer – on occasions – moved quite slowly… but the (then) Maryborough City Council eventually received funding from the State and Commonwealth and the Brolga Theatre was opened in July 2000.

I wasn’t around at the time but over the years have been regaled with updates of the myriad of shows and acts finding their way to the Fraser Coast. Indeed, my mother (also a “Friend of the Brolga”) at times seemed to attend almost anything and everything. The Queensland Ballet, Thursday Morning Melodies, local dance concerts and big bands… it almost doesn’t matter. Mum and her friends seem to be there.

I’d only been a couple of times before this week when I accompanied my mum and her neighbour to see Guy Sebastian. I’ve long been a Guy fan, although not overly rabid, as far as ‘fans’ go. In fact the only entire album I have is his first when – like gazillions of Aussies – I saw him as a most deserved winner of the inaugural Australian Idol.

I love that he’s viewed as a legitimate musician and has proved he’s FAR more than a reality TV show wannabe.

In fact, he seems to be quite the musical genius and I’ve enjoyed watching him as a judge of The X Factor.

collage guy

I was stoked to hear he was coming to The Brolga, and aware (of course) that he has/had a house in nearby Toogoom… so the Fraser Coast was – at least once upon a time – his home away from home.

At almost $80 tickets were reasonable in a world where one pays HUNDREDS for a show. And Guy did not disappoint.

His support act (and friend), David Ryan Harris was friggin’ amazing. So much so that I even bought his CD… something I don’t tend to do (and I cannot remember the last time I bought an actual CD rather than individual songs from iTunes!). His mesmerising talent was matched, of course, by Guy’s.

I know SFA about music and am not an avid concert goer. Indeed I was almost tempted to follow my mother’s lead – who was so startled by the noise of the band when it began – that her hands flew to cover her ears!

The band – though bloody loud – was tremendous. The back-up singers were great and Guy was majestic.

My fave song was probably Get Along, which he played on the piano; and his mostly acoustic partial version of Angels Brought Me Here was friggin’ spine-chilling.

Guy was surprised at how few of the audience had seen him previously and I suspect many of those present had NEVER been to a pop / rock concert. Indeed it was my 69 year old mother’s first concert of that sort. She was gobsmacked at the array of people there – from the grey haired to A LOT of kids.

I realise we’re lucky to have a venue which can house bigger shows (although even at 900 seats I gather the show sold out quickly and had a waiting list of 300+) and we’re even luckier that people of Guy’s talent take the trouble to tour regions and share a bit of their magic.

Oh… and I was kinda chuffed that Guy retweeted one of my tweets on the night.


Culture on the Coast

One of the things that worried me when I moved from ‘the city’ to the Fraser Coast was the possible absence of a bit of ‘kulcha’, if you know what I mean.

I love being part of a city that plays home to a range of cultures, evidenced by the people you see in the streets and the variety of food and entertainment available.

Which is why I was stoked to learn that the Fraser Coast hosts a cultural festival each year. The Fraser Coast Cultural Festival is an annual event featuring a range of activities and across the Fraser Coast.

Supported by local businesses and government, the festival not only welcomes guest artists from elsewhere in Queensland and Australia, but also provides local residents with a chance to share some of their own culture with their neighbours and community.

This year it involved films, a luncheon and community workshop and culminated in a concert at Maryborough’s Brolga Theatre and a family day held at Scarness.

PicMonkey Collage brolga

My mum attended the gala night at the Brolga and couldn’t stop raving about the quality of the acts. She was a little disappointed at the crowd in attendance and said they really missed out on something special.

Some of those same acts featured on one of several stages at the festival parade and fun day on Sunday in Hervey Bay. Thousands took the opportunity to visit the craft and food stalls, view basket-weavers in action and even try circus tricks. I must admit – despite my own hatred of crowds – I was excited by what was on offer.

culture festival

Congratulations and thanks should go to the local organisers, volutneers and participants and if you can make it to the Fraser Coast in/around March make sure you pop along to the Cultural Festival.