fbpx

A Message from the Festival Director

Key Points
• On March 29, 2020 the Australian Government announced a ban on non-essential outdoor gatherings to manage and control the spread of COVID-19

• The Australian Government has indicated that restrictions are likely to take place for six months

• The 2020 Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival will be postponed to 18th – 26th September

• The festival team are continuing to follow the advice of the Australian Government and health authorities as we plan for the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival

• Festival Passes and 3 Day Festival Passes purchased for the June – July 2020 dates will remain valid for the September dates

• If you purchased a Festival Pass or 3 Day Festival Pass before 15th April 2020 and are unable or don’t wish to attend in September, you can request a full refund which will be provided

• Please check Facebook and the website regularly for updates from our team

• If you wish to receive email correspondence from the festival, please subscribe to the festival newsletter

Festival Director’s Message
The inaugural Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, Australia’s first and only Outback Film Festival, first took place in 2014 in Winton, Outback Queensland. Since this time, the festival has achieved a growth of 189% year-on-year.

Winton is a region in Western Queensland with a population of approximately 1,000 and like most of Outback Queensland, is in the midst of a crippling drought. Local businesses are ‘doing it tough’ with the main hope of survival for many being the tourism season commencing now. It is times like these that small regional areas like Winton need the support of major corporations and events.

Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is taking steps to cement Winton as a unique visitor destination and is a major focus for the Australian Film industry.

Today the Festival runs across nine days and its program includes classic and contemporary Australian films, with a particular focus on outback films, made right here in Queensland. There are cinema industry masterclasses, technical workshops, informal discussions with cinema stars, film location tours, a kid’s clubs, special film-related events and the Short Film Competition. The movie program includes over 50 films shown in different theatres around town; the 102-year-old Royal Open-Air Theatre (one of only two open-air theatres still operating in Australia), the Winton Shire Hall, the Sarah Riley Theatre; and the family-focused Opal Cinema.

We have faced and overcome many hurdles, such as the Waltzing Matilda Centre fire of 2015, and have built from the ground up an amazing event that brings visitors from across the country and around the world to heartland Queensland – generating much-needed income for our small outback towns and regions in the process.

This year, the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is facing its biggest challenge to date, with COVID-19 placing this year’s festival in jeopardy.

We are not alone, as the world’s events, tourism and entertainment industries shut down and take the biggest economic hit we have ever seen and will likely ever see in our lifetime.

Our hearts go out to other events and companies that have been forced to cancel at last minute, as we know that most of their event delivery budgets would have already been committed or spent.

We have been exploring all scenarios to ensure the festival goes ahead this year and have decided to postpone the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival to the 18th – 26th September 2020.

We believe the decision to postpone is in the best interest of our team, patrons and the Winton Shire.

We are currently in the process of identifying and working through a range of challenges with stakeholders including state and local governments, and health authorities to ensure we can bring our leading film festival to life in September.

We realise that coming to the Festival is a major commitment for everyone, so we hope this decision provides a reasonable timeframe to arrange alternate plans. For those that have already purchased tickets, these will remain valid for the September dates. If you are unable or don not wish to attend in September, you can request a refund which will be provided if tickets were purchased before April 9, 2020.

The COVID-19 situation is evolving every day and we will continue follow the advice of the Australian Government and health authorities to ensure we do our part in the fight against this virus. If there is a situation where restrictions indicate the postponed festival cannot go ahead, we will communicate this to you with sufficient time.

I’d like to personally thank everyone for their support and understanding during this difficult and unprecedented time.

Mark Melrose
Festival Director
VISION SPLENDID OUTBACK FILM FESTIVAL

If you have any questions about COVID-19 and Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival please refer to COVID-19 FAQ’s Page