People and Places
Sensational outdoor cinema By Liz Rogers

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It’s back and set to be even bigger and better than last year. The Cobs Peninsula Film Festival will be held from Friday, February 9, until Sunday, February 11, on both the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, pulling actors, filmmakers and the people who love them together to forge a formidable coastal-inspired clique.

The Rosebud Village Green is the place to be from 4pm on Saturday to be part of a crowd of more than 6000 people who have two known common denominators – they love cinema and its innovators, and they love the open-air setting the festival gives them. Future filmmakers will be showcasing a range of individual and inspirational short films that are for many the beginning of a long and successful career in the industry – and it’s free.

“There were 150 entries this year,” explains festival founder and director Steve Bastoni. “And about 70 per cent of entries were comedy. Filmmakers seem to be responding to the political (nuclear threat) and emotional climate both in Australia and overseas. There’s lots of laughing to be done, but there’s thrillers and documentaries too. We all spend so much time viewing our films or television solo. A festival like this gives us the chance to watch together, react together and experience emotional responses magnified. It’s exciting.”

This year the pendulum swings, with four women and two men as judges – perfect timing considering the #MeToo movement and the rise of women supporting women in Hollywood. Funny girl Jane Kennedy, Transformers actor Isabel Lucas, director and writer Leah Purcell and Upper Middle Bogan actor Michala Banas will select the winners alongside Lachy Hulme (Offspring, the Romper Stomper TV series) and head of distribution at Madman Entertainment Nick Batzias. Watch out for the under-18 Woodleigh Emerging Film Maker Award entries. You’re in for a treat.

Mick Molloy will MC the event.

Film is not the only thing you’ll tap into at the festival. You can chow down on delicious fare from one of 10 food trucks in the food truck alley, sample a sultry Mantons Creek wine, say cheers to a hand-crafted beer from Mornington Peninsula Brewery and of course eat as much Cobs popcorn as your heart desires. There’s a local muso performing too – but that’s a surprise.

Log on to to find out more and get your tickets, and follow it on Facebook at @PenShortFilmFest

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