SWIFF Announces 8th Festival

SWIFF is back in 2023 - and returning to Bellingen

Coffs Harbour-based creative film and screen collective Screenwave has announced the 2023 Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF), hosting 16 days and nights of film screenings, live music performances, and special events between April 20 and May 5 next year, with the limited presale round of SWIFF’23 festival passes now on sale.

Helmed by husband-and-wife Festival Co-Founders Dave Horsley and Kate Howat, and with the support of Australian screen icon Jack Thompson as SWIFF’s Festival Patron Chair, SWIFF’23 is anticipating 12,000 ticketed attendees across festival dates.

In some major news for the festival, SWIFF is adding a third screening venue into the fold to accommodate a continued swell in audience numbers, with the festival confirmed to be back in Bellingen for the first time since 2020 in a cultural milestone for the festival.

Since that time, Bellingen Memorial Hall has been undergoing a once in a generation multi-million-dollar restoration and renovation project, increasing raked cinema seating capacity, improving lighting and sound facilities, changing front of house layout, and amenities, adding a foyer lounge, reception bar, and gallery, in addition to critical accessibility upgrades to the historic venue.

Bellingen Memorial Hall will join the Coffs Harbour Education Campus (CHEC) festival site and the Jetty Memorial Theatre as screenings venues.

The Coffs Harbour and Bellingen arts scene is surging in due to an influx of creatives moving away from capital cities for a regional lifestyle, and SWIFF has been the forefront of forging new creative collaborations within the local sector. The region is becoming a vibrant creative industries hub, bolstered by Coffs Harbour’s new $450m Pacific Bay Film Studios on the horizon.

“We are heading into one of the best film release schedules in years for world cinema, independent films, and documentary features – making for a very exciting festival program line-up. It’s a joy to connect with film lovers from around Australia each year and welcome them to our arts-loving paradise of Coffs Harbour and Bellingen,” said Festival Director Dave Horsley.

The full SWIFF’23 festival program of films, events, and experiences will be announced in March.

For more 2023 festival information and presale pass purchases, visit www.swiff.com.au.

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