2023 Castlemaine Documentary Festival – No One Has The Last Word

CDoc-Into-the-Ice-photo-by-Lars-H-OstenfeldThis June, the 2023 Castlemaine Documentary Festival (C-Doc) will celebrate the connection between filmmakers, films and audiences and the lure of documentary storytelling in the heart of regional Victoria on Dja Dja Wurrung country.

Now in its ninth year, C-Doc will run from 16 – 18 June at the iconic Theatre Royal in Castlemaine, mainland Australia’s oldest continuously operating cinema.

The festival brings an outstanding selection of eight Australian and international feature-length films, along with stimulating panel discussions and conversations where viewers will have the chance to engage with filmmakers, panellists and other festival-goers. A selection of films will also be available to view online.

Several Australian films will premiere at the festival including Trained To See – 3 Women and the War, Equal the Contest, The Thief Collector and Weed & Wine.

“We are calling this 2023 edition of the Castlemaine Documentary Festival – No One Has The Last Word,” said Festival Director, Claire Jager.

“The films in this year’s program are as entertaining as they are authoritative and generous, challenging our preconceived notions and norms, and inviting us to step into the lives of others and see their worlds.

“Audiences will have the chance to enjoy great immersive storytelling that exposes the range and layered depths of the people we are and the lives we inhabit, from the local to the global, past and present.”

“From the exhilarating tension we feel as we see what’s happening deep beneath the ice caps, to the maverick Elvis-singing teacher who arms his young charges with lessons from Plato.”

“The coming together of ancient cultures in a surprising take on our colonial past, the women trailblazers at the forefront of the birth of photojournalism, and the unravelling intrigue of secret double lives in a wildly entertaining film about a 1980s art heist,” said Jager.

This year C-Doc introduces a second venue – The Yurt – a beautiful micro-cinema located in easy walking distance to the Theatre Royal. The Yurt features an alternative program of family-friendly sessions across the Saturday and Sunday mornings and enticing programs for young people in the afternoons and evenings. It will also host an immersive interactive parlour game, Werewolves, for more daring festival-goers.

C-Doc’s closing night will see the extraordinary early silent masterpiece, GRASS – made in 1925, accompanied by a live music score by ZÖJ – a Ballarat-based duo featuring the exquisite voice of Gelareh Pour and Persian Kamancheh, with Brian O’Dwyer on drum kit.

GRASS is testament to the sheer forces of nature and the human spirit as we witness the annual migration of the nomadic Bakhtiari tribe into Iran.

Fifty thousand people and half a million animals make the perilous journey each year in search of fresh grasslands, crossing a raging river torrent nearly a kilometre wide and traversing over an impossible terrain up sheer snow-covered mountains to finally descend to their winter pasture.

C-Doc runs from 16 – 18 June 2023 at Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal. For more information, including full program and to book tickets, visit: www.cdocff.com.au for details. Tickets are now on sale!

Image: Into the Ice – photo by Lars H. Ostenfeld