The Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF), which started 11 years ago (much like the town itself) has grown up a bit since then. Today, it spans across 10 days at six venues, featuring over 175 independent films and attracting filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world.
This year, the festival is celebrated by a two-minute short film that pays homage to the unique area that bears its name.
The promotional film Byron was created by acclaimed commercials director Justin McMillan of Goodoil Films (himself now a Byron Bay resident) and written by adman and poet David Nobay, the founder and creative chairman of Sydney-based creative agency Marcel.
For both men, it was clearly a labour of love:
“I’ve been bringing my family to the area every Christmas for over a decade,” Nobay said.
“Although I spend a huge amount of my time overseas on jobs, Byron remains the most precious spot on the earth for me. It’s utterly unique. I always walk away wanting to stay forever. There’s something in the light here, regardless of the season that breathes creativity back into me.
“It’s where I wrote the poem Byron. It’s where Justin and I stood on Belongil Beach and dreamed up the idea of seeing my words realised through his pictures.”
But for McMillan, a director best known as the co-director of the hit big wave film Storm Surfers 3D, this project was made all the more special because it was so local.
“Byron is my home,” he said. “It’s where I built a life for my family. It’s where I surf every morning. It’s where I feel most secure personally, yet most inspired creatively.
“Funnily enough it was BBFF that brought me to the area six years ago when I was invited up to do a talk about documentary film making after a screening of Storm Surfers. We all fell in love with the Bay that weekend and three months later we moved here.”
The resulting film is a luscious, rich and mercurial two-minute romp through the entire Byron landscape; from hinterland to ocean. McMillan even leveraged the recent bush fires that raged close to Coffs Harbour to capture incredible footage of the smouldering embers.
In all, the shoot took several days, and used up every one of McMillan’s local mates and favours. As the director recalls: “The one thing I love about the Bay is that the locals are keen to help out if you’re putting something back into the community – and the film festival is something we’re all proud to host.
“I’m really happy that Glen Cassey, Dustin Hollick, Steffan Jose and the few other locals around town all pitched in to make this film happen.”
BBFF festival director J’aimee Skippon-Volke said: “I was familiar with Justin’s work and so welcomed the opportunity to collaborate. It’s such a gorgeous piece, both visually and at the core of its message.
“We previewed it to a room of long-time locals and a few got just a little bit teary watching it. The heart of Byron I think really resonates with how so many feel about this very special place we call home.”
Byron will be screened at all film festival venues in the lead up to and throughout the festival, which runs from Friday 6 October to Sunday 15 October. Additionally, the poet and filmmakers will be holding a Q&A and masterclass at the festival. Dates and ticketing information are to be confirmed.
Client: Byron Bay Film Festival
Festival director – J’aimee Skippon-Volke
Creative agency: Marcel Sydney
Poet – David Nobay
Executive producer – Holly Alexander
Production company: Goodoil Films
Director – Justin McMillan
Director of photography – Tim Tregoning
Director of water photography – Stefan Jose
Executive producer – Glen Casey
Executive producer – Sam Long
Producer – Justin McMillan
Production manager – Dustin Hollick
Editor – Andrew Holmes
Head of production – Aborah Buick
Producer – Amy Jarman
Creative director – Garry Jacques
Grade – Greg Constantaras
Design – Kyra Bartley
Sound house: Nylon Studios
Sound – Simon Lister
Composer – Michael Yezerski
Voice – Lee Perry
Zoe Aitken (main photo) is the head of consulting at behavioural science and innovation consultancy Inventium and has over 20 years’ experience helping organisations develop customer-centric growth strategies and innovation. In this guest post, Aitken says some of the best ideas come in dark times and, suggests, COVID maybe the excuse you need to instigate […]
With its rich heritage in motor racing, The Bathurst 1000 is finally in the hands of a brand that lives and breathes the sport. To celebrate, Repco is Bringin’ the Bathurst to absolutely everything they do. The Bathurst 1000 has always been more than a race. The iconic event at Mount Panorama is a symbol […]
Sanitarium Australia and The Zoo Republic have teamed up to develop and launch a new and exciting cricket promotion, to be found on Weet-Bix packs across the nation. Building on Weet-Bix’s affiliation with cricket superstars Ellyse Perry and Marnus Labuschagne, the promotion features AR technology to bring the cricket pitch to the breakfast table.
Indago Digital has announced four new client wins, as the independent agency continues its growth trajectory. Indago’s new clients are P&N Bank, Oneflare, salary packaging company Smartgroup, and charity Kids Giving Back. The agency will handle a combination of SEO and paid search for each client. Indago’s digital managing director, Gary Nissim (pictured above), said: “The […]
Phyllis Robinson was one of the founding employees of Doyle Dane Bernbach back in 1949, the agency’s first copy chief and the first female copy chief in the United States. Robinson was a pioneer, not just for women but for the creative advertising revolution that she helped ignite, changing the face of the industry forever. […]
Mindshare New Zealand has announced its new partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation, a purpose-driven charity with a mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The partnership, which is effective immediately, will elevate Make-A-Wish Foundation’s digital marketing strategy in New Zealand. It will aim to increase and nurture donors, drive brand awareness and ultimately […]
The Australian is celebrating a decade since it became the first general newspaper in Australia to launch its digital subscription model, marking the beginning of a new economic model for Australian newspapers. Since launching, digital subscriptions have grown to represent a majority of The Australian’s total reach, paid audience and consumer revenue. In 10 years […]
PodSpot Studios, the first network of purpose-built studios founded by content creator and former breakfast radio host Dave Matthews, has launched in two new locations as it gears up for further national expansion amid Australia’s podcasting boom. PodSpot Studios is a collaboration between Matthews’ podcast production company PodSpot and the ASX-listed WOTSO Property, which owns and […]