North Bellarine Film Festival returns, celebrating great independent film this November 

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


North Bellarine Film Festival returns, celebrating great independent film this November 

High Ground, Still Image
1 / 5

Attention movie buffs: this is one film festival you need to snag tickets to.

Returning to the beautiful Bellarine region for its sixth iteration, North Bellarine Film Festival is a two-day celebration of all there is to love about independent film.

Giving local cinephiles something to truly sink their teeth into, the festival has been bringing great cinema to the Geelong region since 2017, regularly hosts film nights and events at various times and venues throughout the year and culminating in the main showcase in November each year, providing a full-fledged entertainment experience. That time has now come and the NBFF has put together another powerhouse program for 2022. 

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Set to the stunning backdrop of Drysdale, on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula near Geelong, film lovers, filmmakers and entertainment-loving locals alike will immerse themselves in the magnificent program once more on Friday, November 18 and Saturday, November 19 at The Potato Shed

Delivering a mixed bag of Australian and international films across features and shorts releases to entice audiences to the cinema, the North Bellarine Film Festival is committed to curating a brilliant program that doubles as a force of creativity and diversity, in a time when the arts communities are fighting strong in the aftermath of a couple of difficult years for the industry.

Boasting innovative storytelling and unique voices, the festival’s opening night feature film for 2022 is High Ground, directed by Stephen Maxwell Johnson and starring Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Simon Baker, Caren Pistorius, Jack Thompson and Sean Mununggurr, taking to the venue on Friday, November 18.

Set against the stunning landscapes of 1930s Arnhem Land, High Ground chronicles young Aboriginal man Gutjuk, who in a bid to save the last of his family, teams up with ex-soldier Travis to track down Baywara – the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, who is also his uncle. As Travis and Gutjuk journey through the outback they begin to earn each other’s trust, but when the truths of Travis’ past actions are suddenly revealed, it is he who becomes the hunted.

High Ground was nominated for numerous awards including the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Best Film and was the Adelaide Film Festival Best Feature Film. Check out the trailer below.

For opening night, doors open at 6:30 PM with finger foods by Pier Street Café in Portarlington and a cash bar.

From 12:30pm, the festival continues its focus on short films for the second day of the festival by screening the work of some of the best independent local, Australian and international filmmakers in its Saturday afternoon short film session. Some (or most) of these films will be ones you’ve never heard of – and that’s part of the remit of this festival. The program will feature locally produced Barwon Mansion and a Q&A session with its director, Mia de Rauch while local singer/songwriter Andrea Robertson will perform in the Potato Shed courtyard from 5:30pm. 

The finalists in the 2022 Emerging Filmmaker Award will be screened on Saturday evening. Established in 2019, the Emerging Filmmaker Award recognises Victorian filmmakers twenty-five years of age or younger who demonstrates exceptional talent and commitment to their craft. The ceremony will include the winning and finalist’s films and is your chance to see some of the country’s most promising young filmmakers at the start of their careers. Doors open at 6:30pm with finger foods by Pier Street Café in Portarlington and a cash bar.

Whether you consider yourself a movie buff, or just like to immerse yourself into arts and culture set against the incredible backdrop of the Bellarine region, or both, this one’s for you.

The North Bellarine Film Festival (NBFF) will be held on 18-19 November at the Potato Shed at 29-41 Peninsula Drive in Drysdale. Tickets are available online at the Potato Shed website, City of Greater Geelong Customer Service Centres or by telephone at 03 5251 1998.