After a two-year break, the West End Film Festival (WEFF) is back, and for the first time, entirely online.
For the whole month of August, people can now stream more than THREE hours of high quality, current, Australian-made short films, animations, and music videos from their mobile, computer, or smart TV.
As usual, this year’s WEFF program covers a range of storylines and themes. What about a zombie apocalypse board game bordering on the real? Or a smart-talking yet nurturing home AI interface, or an incredibly unique approach to rental security and, of course, the relationship between lemons and…. big dreams. There are also serious topics, including the journey of a young Aboriginal boy out of his community, a community gardening experiment, and an engaging reversed gender take on bodily autonomy. This, mixed with animations and a collection of awesome music videos, makes it a diverse program that will appeal to Australians from all walks of life.
WEFF is being shared through Vimeo on Demand until 30 August for just $12 per session for the two sessions.
With over ten years of sold-out events, WEFF has become vital for Brisbane audiences keen to check out high-quality short films by Australian filmmakers. It has also become an important event for filmmakers, providing a platform to showcase short films with social impact.
After COVID forced the complete cancellation of the festival in 2020, this year’s event was planned to take place in early August at West End’s newest arts centre, Metro Arts. However, the recent lockdown quickly changed those plans as organisers scrambled to find new options for the event.
“The lockdown completely threw us, we were literally days from holding our free community screening event in West End, with the main festival program taking place the week after, when the announcement came. Luckily we were able to transition quickly,”said Festival Director Steph Vajda.
WEFF’s Marketing Coordinator, Ari Balle-Bowness, feels that while it would have been satisfying to have been able to screen the program for live West End audiences. However, WEFF is happy to offer great films to local Brisbane audiences and it is now in reach of audiences around Australia and potentially, the world.
West End Film Festival is an event by West End Community Association.
“WEFF has become a really significant event for the local community, and so it’s just great that our team has been able to move the program online so quickly to ensure the festival’s viability and also to make sure that selected filmmakers can have their films shown to audiences,” WECA President Seleneah More said.
The transition online hasn’t been without its hiccups. When the Premier announced the Queensland lockdown, WEFF was forced to design a suitable online platform to showcase the films and engage in intensive communication with filmmakers, funders, sponsors, and the team.
“It was stressful,” Steph Vajda said.
“We’re only a small team, and after the 2020 festival was cancelled, we had less resources to work with this year as far as funding and sponsorship. Filmmakers whose films we’d chosen for our Official Selection program were incredibly supportive, giving quick permission for WEFF to go online”
“We have such great funders, sponsors, and this is an amazing community, so after pulling together we’ve managed to not only make sure that existing ticket holders had online access to the whole program, but we’ve also given ourselves a chance to trial online sales. We’re really enthusiastic not only about the value for money our program offers but also about offering a significantly bigger audience the chance to watch such high quality Australian-made shorts.”
How to Watch
Vimeo on Demand is a simple website to navigate and only requires a quick sign up to access the WEFF 2021 short film program. The program now runs until 31 August 2021.
The complete program can be found at www.westendfilmfestival.com.au/programme/ .
To purchase tickets, viewers should go to www.westendfilmfestival.com.au/weff21