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Free access is a new focus

A free community screening and a large display at Masterton District Library have been added to this month’s annual Wairarapa Autumn Film Festival.

Organiser Jane Ross says it is important to utilise community facilities and provide free access to film.

The festival hosts a line-up of film screenings, guest speakers and community activities, that are local at heart.

Ross says the kaupapa of the film festival is celebrating local film makers, so all films will have a Wairarapa connection in some way.

This year films feature the creative talents of Jemaine Clement, Barry Barclay and Dame Gaylene Preston among others.

The background philosophy for the Wairarapa Film Festival, according to Ross, and what sets it apart from others like it, is guest speakers are always attached to the screenings to talk about the behind-the-scenes.

“I absolutely love being able to talk about film as art, but also film as a form of social engagement. So that’s why I always wanted to have film people present.”

Ross says the film festival also allows audiences to see the films on a big screen as the directors intended them to be seen.

“It’s deeply gratifying for any film maker that their films are having a screening how it was intended.”

Talent development company ‘The Outlook for Someday’ will be running a Rangitahi Youth Filmmaking Workshop for young people who have a demonstrated interest in leadership, filmmaking or sustainability.

The workshop is hosted by director-actor Chris Widdup, who will teach students the film making process, and act as an ongoing mentor.

Ross says the people of Wairarapa and beyond should come along to the festival and take the opportunity to be swept up in storytelling.

    The Wairarapa Film Festival is running from May 25 – 28.

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