Castlemaine Documentary Festival celebrates ten years of real stories, real people, real issues and real joy

CDOC The Road to PatagoniaThis June sees the Castlemaine Documentary Festival celebrating its tenth anniversary as it presents another fresh, engaging program on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in the heart of regional Victoria.

Between 14 and 16 June, attendees can enjoy an outstanding selection of eight new Australian and international feature-length documentaries at Castlemaine’s historic Theatre Royal – the oldest continuously running cinema on Australia’s mainland.

In addition to the rich program of films, there will be Q&A sessions and audiences will have ample opportunity to engage with filmmakers, panellists and fellow festival-goers. Live music performances in the evening will ensure the Theatre Royal is the place to be this winter .

Highlights of C-Doc’s 2024 program include WINHANGANHA (remember, know, think) – a deeply insightful examination and revisioning of Australian audio-visual history by award-winning Wiradjuri poet and artist Jazz Money, with a brilliant score by Rhyan Clapham (aka Dobby).

Getting It Back: The Story of Cymandeabout the incredible career of the greatest 1970s band you’ve possibly not heard of; and Apolonia, Apolonia – a lively, captivating enquiry into art, love, sexuality, motherhood and representation, that emerges through the director’s long-term friendship with the titular French artist, Apolonia Sokol.

Starring Jerry as Himself –  this droll, fascinatingly unconventional documentary recounts the 2021 recruitment of a Florida family’s retired Taiwanese émigré father, Jerry, as a covert agent for the Chinese police – ostensibly to help them expose an international money laundering ring.

Just across the road on Western Reserve, the popular Festival Yurt will host short documentaries and activities with a focus on younger audiences – as well as the sensationally spooky interactive game, Werewolves.

The Festival’s annual showcase of regional talent – LOCALS – will kick off at 5pm on Saturday 15 June with a fabulous collection of shorts by central Victorian filmmakers. It will also be a celebration of the Festival’s impressive achievements over the past decade.

Closing out the 2024 Festival, The Road to Patagonia is a stunning, intimate, unflinching exploration of the human condition and the more-than-human world.

“Our tenth anniversary is a milestone we’re thrilled to reach. It’s testament to hundreds of connections forged between filmmakers, films and audiences since the Festival’s inception,” said C-Doc Director, Claire Jager.

“It also speaks to the enduring appeal of documentary cinema, which offers an extraordinary means of stepping into the lives of others, and brings out truths that are often more fascinating than fiction.”

“As always, there’s something here to please film-lovers of all persuasions, not to mention the pleasures that come with a wintry Castlemaine weekend – bracing country air, warming fires, and fabulous coffee, food and wine,” said Claire.

The Castlemaine Documentary Festival runs 14 – 16 June 2024. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: The Road to Patagonia (supplied)