Doco film fest set to fly

Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival general manger Scottie Charalambous and director Claire Jager ahead of C-Doc In The Clouds. The festival is set to be delivered online complete with interactive streaming of live panel sessions. Photo: Eve Lamb

Prepare to bunker down, grab a brew and settle back to soak up this year’s Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival offerings from the comfort of your own couch.
That’s the message from the creative team behind the C-Doc festival as ticket sales opened ahead of the festival that’s set to run over three consecutive nights from Friday July 17.
While Covid-19 has forced this year’s fest to shift its screenings from Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal to online delivery, the creative team is determined to ensure the event maintains both its showcase documentary films plus its live interactive panel discussions.
“Our point of difference as a festival is that we have the live events and we’re still having the live events,” C-Doc general manager Scottie Charalambous told the Mail this week.
“We’ve still really pushed to have those panels. (Festival director) Claire Jager’s worked really hard on putting the right faces in front of the cameras this time, rather than in front of the audience.
“And some of those participants will be streaming in from New York. It’ll be as close as you can get to the live performance.
“So you will still get what C-Doc is essentially about but it will just be through your tv or computer screen.
“So bunker down in the middle of winter and enjoy what we’re bringing to you.
“We’re doing it because we didn’t want to let the community down.”
It’s the annual festival’s sixth year, and the first with it’s new creative team at the helm.
Taking up the reins in January they were in full flight preparing to deliver this year’s festival with its In The Clouds theme when the pandemic struck.
The team say its been a challenge but it’s one they’ve risen to meet head on.
“You have to be nimble,” says festival director Claire Jager whose own professional background is in documentary production.
“Now its online appointment viewing. You’ll be tuning in for the night as if you’re watching a live show,” she says.
“So you’ll see the film and then there’ll be a panel discussion afterwards which will be streamed live.”
Ticket sales opened earlier this week via the festival’s Facebook space and website where the program can also be found.

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.