As the West End Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, audiences will be treated to the festival’s first in-person screenings in two years.
For festival Director Anna Loren, it’s nice to see the community festival returning to its roots.
‘It’s a community-led festival, so it’s different to the bigger festivals,’ Loren said.
‘It’s great, just letting the community come together after being separated and online for so long.’
Although some events kicked off over the weekend, the festival-proper runs from Thursday August 4th until Sunday August 7th. Metro Arts, a theatre company that recently re-located to West-End, will host the festival.
2022 marks Loren’s first year involved with WEFF, after stints in both the Brisbane and London theatre scenes. Predominantly a writer, Loren’s play Comfort was a finalist in Queensland Premier’s Drama Awards in 2021. But her experience in film spans over a decade, having worked with the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and been involved with other film festivals previously.
‘Since this festival is a fairly grassroots festival, I bring that experience which is a little bit different to bigger film festivals,’ Loren said.
2022 will see a new addition to WEFF – panel and workshop events, presented in a hybrid online/in-person format.
‘[WEFF is] accessible, especially for having your film screened,’ Loren says, ‘so we have interest from graduating students and things like that. But it’s also good for people mid-career and more advanced, so there are some great networking opportunities.’
The 14 competition categories, including Best Film, Best First Nations Film, and Best Community Documentary Film, are sponsored by local businesses and offer cash prizes.
To find out more about the festival program, including information about free events, check out the WEFF website.