Saturday 23 August 2008

Who's king of the Castle?

It seems whoever is organising this year's Festival Cairns, need to really get out from their office a bit more, and connect with the people.

I've been a fan of what the End Credits Film Club have been doing for years. In fact it was one of the first 'tropical' things I did, attend a film in the Botanic gardens 9 years ago. For a number of months a year, since 2001, End Credits host an outdoor movie called Starry Nights at Botanic Gardens. Last Wednesday, I enjoyed Monty Python's Life of Brian, and next month, the children's classic The Black Stallion will screen. I'll avoid that one because it will be full of children. They can be dirty and noisy little critters.

However their November 19th feature, the Australian iconic 1997 film The Castle, is now being upstaged by a free screening of the same movie by Festival Cairns.

On Saturday September 13th, Festival Cairns have decided to screen The Castle at for free at Fogarty Park.

Anyone who follows the CairnsBlog community calendar, or any community events calendar, will be aware of End Credits programme well in advance. In fact, these films were programmed and publicised at the beginning of the year. The Castle screening is the signature closing event of this year's Starry Night Picnic Cinema season, and a well-known annual event in Cairns.

The Castle is all about the odd ball underdog Kerrigan family, who go all the way to the High Court to defend their suburban home from big business. It almost mirrors what some big dicks down town want to do to a small community film club.

Starry Night Cinema is the community fundraising event for three of our volunteer organisations, The Friends of the Gallery, The Friends of the Gardens and End Credits Film Club.

The Festival Cairns free screening is partnered with Birch Carroll & Coyle, who should have known better than to undermine a long standing event and local community organisation.

Suffice to say End Credits members have always been well supported by Birch movies with their members discount ticket offer. However Festival Cairns is another beast altogether. Starry Nights has annually programmed a kids-free admission family film, each September school holidays, however Festival Cairns has for the last few years refused to include the event under its events list.

Presenting the same movie has of course angered End Credits. This is a stupid decision.

"We rely on funds raised at Starry Nights to be able to continue community benefit work," says Brett Hitchens, program director of End Credits. "To have our signature event diminished, either deliberately or by a lack of community awareness by Festival Cairns represents a great kick in the guts to so many hard working volunteers from each of Starry Nights partner organisations," he says.

"We urge Festival Cairns to correct its error - or incompetence - and choose another film. There are plenty of worthy alternate choices out there," Brett Hitchens says.

End Credits also screen other alternative films that would never make it to a commercial audience in the far north. End Credits originally started in the turn-of-the-century Palace Cinema, which now houses Global Palace, a backpacker establishment.

End Credits is a non profit organisation, and is dedicated to sourcing and screening non-mainstream films. It's run by a committee of local volunteers, with around 350 members. They started Starry Nights eight years ago, in conjunction with Friends of The Regional Gallery and The Friends of the Flecker Botanic Gardens.

Starry Nights are held in the Flecker Botanic Gardens Edge Hill every month. Gates open 6pm and the movie starts at 7:30pm. You can BYO your own drinks and picnic.


Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crybabies are "End Credits".

What kind of "service" is getting a bad print of "The Castle" and running it outdoors? A movie that's on Austar about once every fortnight.

"End Credits" is just a scam by filmmaker wannabees to squeeze cheap tickets out of Birch Carrol and Coyle. This isn't community benefit work, it's self aggrandizement. BCC has no need for loyalty to them or anyone else.

KitchenSlut said...

A rather extraordinary spray there Anonymous. Filled with asinine bile, spleen, and ignorance.

Kitchenslut has been an End Credits member for several years although has not been an active member in the club organisation, or has any kind of filmmake rpretense. He has also never used his membership ever for any discount at BCC and am not sure it's even valid on TAT (tight-arse-tuesday?)

Anonymous seems to object to the quality of the print and End Credits running it outdoors. I thought we had all moved on from when films came in prints? I also thought that the BCC presentation was also outdoors, so what’s the criticism there? Yes, it ain’t new so why are BCC running it again at a similar event to End Credits a few months apart?

End Credits runs a few different formats and the theme for the Starry Nights events is generally older films. If you wanna sit home in front of Austar, or see the latest blockbuster, that’s your choice. Some of the best, most profound, most entertaining, or even simply ignored mainstream movies, have been seen in Cairns because of End Credits after being rejected for local screening by BCC despite Capital City success!

The competing BCC event is being run as part of the Cairns Festival. As far as I am aware the same Cairns Festival which has been supported by public funds from Cairns City Council.

Why are public funds in any way being used for something which certainly adds nothing extra to our community and can only in fact detract from it? Why can't BCC do something different, even if similarly dated, from the previously scheduled End Credits event?

If I have missed something here please let me know as it seems this years Cairns Festival website is part of the Cairns Post site?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it should also be pointed out that BCC is owned by the Rydge family's ASX listed Amalganated Holdings.

This is the same company that owns the Rydges Hotel chain with 3 large hotels in town.

No wonder the Compost at least would be inclined to roll on its fat tummy and present itself for the taking?

Anonymous said...

gee anonymous - Guess you must work for Festival Cairns huh? How would you describe your scam?

Anonymous said...

The mob contracted by the Council to run Festival Cairns wouldn't have a clue — or indeed any interest — in what happens in alt.Cairns. They produce a stencilled festival that lazily plonks events that would happen anyway under their umbrella. It's high time this city had a festival its citizens could be proud of, one that truly reflects what a cultural hotpot the Far North is.

Anonymous said...

Bring back Fun in the Sun!!

KitchenSlut said...

Anonymous 2 up makes a valid point that has frequently crossed what passes for the kitchensluts brain. Most events labelled 'Cairns festival' are not extras but simply events which would have happened anyway. Because they fall within the festival period they then get the 'Cairns Festival' label.

Anonymous said...

The claims here that any event which falls within the period becomes a Festival event even though it would have happened anyway is not true.

There is a regular circus, with an army of clowns, down at 119-145 Spence St but it doesn't get included in the listing of Cairns Festival events.