The Silver Ball Film Festival

In 2012, seven Warrnambool locals started a movie group called the F Project Cinema (FPC). The F Project Cinema is an off-shoot of the F Project Collective, an artist run initiative established in 2008 and inspired by the values and vision of Fletcher Jones.  

In May 2014, F Project Cinema hosted a Silver Ball Film Festival in Warrnambool.  The theme of the Festival was ‘keeping the ball in the air.' 

"My hopes for this festival are pretty simple", said Emma Charlton, F Project President and Coordinator of the Festival when she spoke to ABC Open in early 2014. "I hope people make films, I hope people come and watch them, and I hope the creative energy in this town continues to surge. But I have a more ambitious hope as well. Currently, FJ’s Ball isn’t being preserved properly. If our little film festival can draw some more attention to this, and play a role in saving it, that would be an impressive feat!"

The Silver Ball Film Festival was the culmination of a year-long project. Earlier in the year, a series of free workshops were delivered by local-filmakers at Deakin and SWTAFE for people wanting to learn how to make a 6 minute film in the categories of animation, narrative, film art and documentary. The 32 locally-made films submitted were screened in and around the laneways of the Warrambool CBD in 14 different projection places from 7pm-10pm on a cold, dark May night. The event was free, with film-trail maps along the path and 60 locals dressed as Charlie Chaplins on hand to warm the spirits and show people the way!  It was an amazing night with 500 people wandering the laneways and enjoying the films and atmosphere.  A replica silver ball restored for the occasion opened to reveal a screen running the Last Man in the Ball - a documentary about Kevin Fry who used to maintain the ball!

22 of the movies were then chosen to enter the formal judging with a chance to win part of the $2,000 prize money.  A selection of the movies are below for you to enjoy.  

The Silver Ball Screening Festival was funded by Regional Arts Victoria, Warrnambool City Council and the F Project and supported by Deakin University, South West TAFE, Warrnambool Art Gallery and fourteen local businesses.

 

Dr. Emma Charlton Silver Ball Film Festival Coordinator January, 2014 ABC Open. Photo: Emily Bissland 
 Murray Adams restoring the replica Silver Ball. Photograph by Damian White (The Standard).
32 locally made films were screened in the laneways in the Warrnambool CBD
The miniature Silver Ball with inbuilt screen in 2005 at the back of the Fletcher Jones factory just before it closed. Image Brenda O'Connor and Bluestone Magazine.

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If you would like to share images, stories or anecdotes about Fletcher Jones, the man or the business, please contact the Project Coordinator, Julie Eagles, through this website or contact via the Save the Silver Ball and Fletcher’s Gardens Facebook Page.  

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