Face to Face, Michael Rymer's drama based on a David Williamson play, kicks off the 6th annual Byron Bay International Film Festival on March 2, a 10-day event which will present 191 films from 39 countries at 5 venues.
The line-up includes 16 world premieres and 107 Australian premieres, there will be master classes from Jack Thompson, fresh from the set of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, and surfing director/cinematographer Jack McCoy; free panel discussions on extreme filming and multi-culturalism on and off screen; and workshops on topics such as going digital.
The closing night attraction on March 10 is On Borrowed Time, David Bradbury's documentary profiling veteran filmmaker Paul Cox, who is the fest's patron and who battled live cancer, culminating in a liver transplant.
There will be a fundraising screening of Cox's latest documentary The Dinner Party, which focuses on a dinner party attended solely by people who have received liver transplants.
Among the world premieres are The Skin I'm In (US), Big Bio (Singapore), Democrazy (Colombia), Private Skin (Palestine territories) and Bimblebox, an Australian doco chronicling a resident's two-year fight to prevent Queensland's 8000ha Bimblebox Nature Refuge from being swallowed by Clive Palmer's proposed China First coal mine.
The Australian premieres include I'll Make This Whole World Mine (France), Paying For It (US), Ecstasy (Canada), Sinsis (Spain), Your Highness (UK/Germany), Interview (South Korea), Malaki: Scent of an Angel (Lebanon) and The Blink of a Cursor (India).
Face to Face (pictured), which stars Vince Colosimo, Sigrid Thornton, Matthew Newton and Luke Ford, is in the running for Best Film along with On Borrowed Time, Inuk (France), Bombay Beach (US) and PressPausePlay (Sweden).
Among those attending are Hawaii producer Marie-Rose Phan-Le and co-producer Jennifer Outland from Talking Story; Miss South Pacific: Beauty and the Sea producer Teresa Tico; Inuk director Michael Magidson; Decadence director/producer Pria Viswalingham; The Skin I'm In director/producer Broderick Fox; Manufacturing Stoke director Pierce Kavanagh; and The Boy Mir: Ten Years in Afghanistan director Phil Grabsky.
That's a lot of programming and people for an event which typically sells around 8,000 tickets.
For more information go to www.bbff.com.au