“Gus” was the Animation Prize Winner and Silver Yowie recipient at The Blue Mountains Film Festival on Saturday night!
The night started with drinks and canapés on Scenic World's viewing deck, overlooking the beautiful Jamison Valley. As the sun set, we moved into the Scenic Cinema for the Finalist Screening.
The lights were dimmed and after the festival's introduction played, the Honeydew Studios ident appeared on screen. “Gus” was the first cab off the rank. Having only watched the film with an audience once before, I was a little bit nervous. As the film began to play, however, the audience’s response was overwhelmingly positive, and the anxiety quickly subsided. It felt great knowing “Gus” was entertaining the crowd. Four other films followed, all of which were amazing, so I felt very honoured to have “Gus” screen with them.
After the screening, many of us took the opportunity to take a toilet break before the Awards Presentation. While I waited in the crowded men’s room, I overheard discussions about the night's screenings. Perhaps it was the setting, but many of the gents were quite impressed with "the farting kid one". I couldn't help but smile.
We made our way into the Skyway Restaurant for the Awards Presentation, hosted by Kitty Flanagan. All the festival officials were there, including the judges and special guests Tiriel Mora ("The Castle") and David Stratton ("At The Movies"). After a quick introduction, it was on to business. The first award, presented by David Webster (Ambience Entertainment) and Andrew Macarthur (Blue Mountains Mazda) was the Silver Yowie Animation Prize. They opened the envelope and announced “Gus” the winner. The crowd cheered as I made my way to the stage. I don't care much for the limelight, but the atmosphere was so genuinely supportive and people were proud to get behind the farting kid, figuratively speaking of course, that I wasn’t as nervous as I was expecting. Maybe it was the alcohol, or the mountain air, but as I held the Silver Yowie (which is rather heavy) and blurted out a bunch of thank-yous, all I could see was a room full of smiles. It felt great.
After the Awards Presentation, the celebrations continued. Groups of us jumped into a glass bottom cable car and took a ride above the Jamison Valley. Katoomba falls and the surrounding cliffs were lit up around us, but the black of night made it difficult to see the ground 300m below. I'm still not sure if that was a good or bad thing!
The celebrations moved on to the Fairmont Resort, where I was staying, but having been up since 4 and spent most of my day on delayed planes, trains and automobiles I was quick to call it a night as the next day would likely be the same for the journey home.
I met a lot of wonderful people, and had a most memorable night. A big thank you must go to Tom Taylor and all who made the festival possible, and to the judges for awarding “Gus” the Silver Yowie!
Until next time... keep creating!