Mostly docos. All heart.

We are a group of friends that love Alice Springs, love film and have a thing for jumping in the deep end when it comes to DIY projects (like a lot of people in this town!)

We think watching films together is a powerful way to build empathy and community and kick off new and interesting conversations. Alice audiences love film, but we haven’t had our own locally curated international film festival – until now!

We want to support the already impressive Central Desert film community by putting it on the map, screening locally made content and bringing film industry professionals here to share their skills.

Our program offers a small number of films that we have curated through the lens of local relevance and resonance.

We are very excited to be presenting our inaugural SSFF in 2016. See you at the movies!
– Matt, Anneke & Alex  

The Team

Alex Kelly

Festival Director

Alex has lived in Central Australia for over 12 years. She worked for 10 years with leading Australian social change arts company Big hART as Creative Producer of Ngapartji Ngapartji and was National Producer from 2012-2014.

Alex’s film works include producing Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji, production managing Coniston: Telling it True, directing Queen of the Desert and – currently Impact & Distribution Producer on This Changes Everything. In 2013 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship exploring documentary impact in UK, Canada & USA.

Alex is currently producing a TV series on social movements in Australia – How to Make Trouble and Influence People.

Anneke Rose

General Manager

Anneke has called Alice Springs home for 23 years. Her love and passion for community arts grew out of working with local artists and community groups while in the position of Promotions and Events Officer at the Alice Springs Public Library.

For over a decade she has been an active participant in, manager and producer of numerous Alice Springs community projects and events. She has worked with local arts organisations and groups, including: Cat’s Meow Cabaret, Wide Open Space Festival, Central Craft, Incite Arts, Totem Theatre and Red Hot Arts Central Australia (2010 – 2012) as the General Manager

Matt Woodham

Production & Design

Matt is a media maker, teacher and events manager based in Alice Springs. For over a decade his work across Australia has focused on building and strengthening communities through direct engagement & participation.

Matt was a creator and director of the High & Dry arts and music festival (2007 – 2009), was part of the legendary Sydney events collective Figureight, developed and managed the Lens Flair 24 Hour Film Festival between 2012 and 2015, and has won awards for his own documentary work and cinematography.

A note on curation

Picking eight films to screen shouldn’t be that hard, should it? In 2015 the SSFF team attended the world’s largest documentary film festival; International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, Holland and our Director Alex Kelly attended a swag of festivals including Sundance Film Festival, USA, True/False Film Festival, USA, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada and CPH:DOX, Denmark. Across these festivals and through independent research we estimate we watched over 120 documentaries and still we found it tricky to choose eight films to showcase at our inaugural festival.

We wanted to select films that were diverse – in terms of subject, topic, location, style and creative team, and which we felt had some connection or resonance with the Alice Springs community. We also wanted to present brilliant films that we would enjoy watching in terms of filmmaking craft, not just on the merit of their content. This meant that there were many superb films that we had to pass over as we just didn’t feel that they fit all of our criteria.

We are very proud of our selection, particularly to have a World Premiere of a documentary partially shot in our region with Night Parrot Stories, an Australian premiere of Above and Below and the fact that all eight films are Alice Springs premieres.
We welcome your suggestions for films for 2017, but due to our criteria for curating the festival we won’t be opening up to general submissions.