FOLLOWING a record number of Aussie nominations at the Oscars, Winton, Australia’s very own ‘Outback Hollywood’ is getting ready to roll-out its own outback red carpet in celebration of outback-inspired Australian films at the fourth annual Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival.
“Winton has been coined Outback Hollywood due to the number of feature films, documentaries and music videos made in the region,” said Winton Mayor, Butch Lenton.
“Our vast open landscapes, although harsh and rugged, are surprisingly colourful and dramatic and have inspired many a film maker.”
“The festival’s 2017 theme is Celebrating Women In Film,” explains Festival Creative Director, Dr Greg Dolgopolov. “Our aim is to champion not only the achievements of women in the film industry, but particularly women of the outback.”
A senior lecturer in film at the University of New South Wales and NIDA graduate, known affectionately by the locals as Dr Greg, further revealed: “We’ll also be exploring the latest in Virtual Reality and Special Effects and bringing the latest Australian films to be screened in this very special location. The open-air Royal Theatre is one of only two remaining in Australia.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming visitors and Australian film dignitaries to Winton this year”.
Opening on June 23, the festival will feature nine days of masterclass luncheons with Australian film dignitaries, breakfast with the stars, tours of Winton’s well-loved film locations, award-winning live entertainment, a kids club and film screenings across three outback cinemas — including the historic open-air cinema, The Royal Theatre on the main street of Winton.
For those wanting to rub shoulders with the Aussie film talent, the theatre is the place to be for opening night, followed by the official after-party at the famous North Gregory Hotel — Winton’s grand old lady.
Festival director, Mark Melrose, provides a behind-the-scenes tip: “For the first time we’ve just released early bird season passes for 2017, which provide visitors the chance to see all films across the festival, including opening night.”
Opal was found in the Boulder/Winton district, the silica veins revealed in boulders, sparking a move west during the late 1800s. Winton is the birthplace of QANTAS, Banjo Patterson’s famous Waltzing Matilda and the home of Australia’s dinosaurs. Winton is a unique town with a population of less than 1,000 residents that is always ready with a warm country welcome.
It is the town’s rich history and iconic landscapes that continually entice visitors to this remarkable Outback Queensland location. Winton is located 178km north-west of Longreach; 470km south-east of Mount Isa and approximately 1,350km from Brisbane.
However visitors choose to travel, whether it be a road trip in a Winnebago, the romantic experience of train travel or by air, there is plenty to experience along the way.
Those looking for a uniquely Australian film experience in 2017 should make tracks to Winton, Outback Queensland — the Outback Hollywood — for a celebration of Australia’s women in film.
The perfect way to holiday in June is taking in the spectacular outback sunsets followed by an Aussie film under the stars at the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival from June 23 to July 1.
For the latest information visit www.visionsplendidfilmfest.com
How to get there: Drive, fly, coach and rail it to Winton; Qantas flies direct from Brisbane to Longreach (Winton is a two hour drive from Longreach): Spirit of the Outback with Queensland Rail, from Brisbane to Longreach with transfers to Winton; Bus Queensland coaches depart Brisbane and Mount Isa with travel direct to Winton.
Where to Stay: Winton has a variety of accommodation from retro refurbished hotels, motels, caravan and camping options.
When: Friday, June 23rd to Saturday, July 1st 2017
Fast facts: Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is Australia’s only outback film festival; Winton, coined “Australia’s Hollywood of the Outback” is the location of recent feature films including internationally acclaimed The Proposition, Mystery Road and Goldstone, starring Jackie Weaver and Aaron Pedersen; The Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is a non-for-profit organisation formed in 2014 by the Winton community to bost cultural tourism, encourage film production, investment and offer a unique film education curriculum for students in the Outback and the Winton district.