2017 Veterans Film Festival screens in Canberra

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The Veterans Film Festival returns for a third year with a five day program running from the 18 to 22 October in Canberra.

The festival includes feature-length and short films, special screenings, film and TV previews, competitions, spotlights and retrospectives, industry events, networking sessions and discussion panels.

Festival Director, Tom Papas said the annual festival is important as it shines a light on a diverse range of topics and perspectives, promoting greater understanding of the complexities of war and its effect on veterans, their families and society.

“This year’s selection of films depict a broad spectrum of filmmaking styles and storytelling… From animated oral history of American ‘Doughboys’ to Second World War dramas, everyday veteran experiences to LGBTQ family life – there is something for everyone,” said Mr Papas.

The festival kicks off with an exclusive screening of the political drama Darkest Hour directed by Joe Wright (Atonement and Pride and Prejudice) at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The film, due for public release in January 2018, begins on the precipice of the Second World War and follows British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as he decides whether to negotiate with Hitler or declare war.

Three children seating the back seat of a car, looking bored
The Sand Box (USA)

On Saturday, 21 October, the War Widows Guild (ACT) presents the Veterans Short Film program from 4:00-6:00pm. This will be followed by a screening of the stop-motion, silhouette-animation And We Were Young which tells the story of American soldiers, ‘Doughboys’ in the last months of the First World War.

The Red Poppy Awards, which will be held on the festival’s closing night, Sunday 22 October, includes screenings of a shortlist of finalist films. Awards will be presented for: Best Feature Film, Best Australian Short Film and Best International Short Film. This year’s judging panel includes: Former Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Peter Francis Leahy AC and Iranian independent filmmaker Belal Tehari.

The Veterans Film Festival is a not-for-profit cultural organisation, whose aim is to raise awareness and contribute to our understanding of veterans’ experiences before, during and after service.

Tickets are available by visiting http://www.veteransfilmfestival.com/.

An animated character with a big nose looks shocked in front of window
War Ball (Animation)