Laughs from many lands

Whitsunday Times - - CHILL. -

LOVERS of a good laugh need look no fur­ther – Over the Fence Com­edy Film Fes­ti­val is com­ing to town.

Fes­ti­val direc­tor Greg Cof­fey said they aimed to find come­dies that made au­di­ences think as well as laugh.

“We had a beau­ti­ful film last year that was ac­tu­ally about racism,” he said.

“It was about how an Arab was con­stantly ha­rassed.

“It was a beau­ti­ful com­edy but it also took you to the depths of what that guy felt and that’s what we have this year.” The of­fer­ings this time around in­clude such in­ter­est­ing ti­tles as ‘Acro­pho­bia’ and ‘5 Ways to Die’ which are the fes­ti­vals first ever en­tries from Puerto Rico and Cyprus re­spec­tively.

The fes­ti­val theme this year is Love, Angst and Other De­cep­tions, but Mr Cof­fey said it wasn’t him or his team that had cho­sen it.

In the third year of the fes­ti­val an over­rid­ing feel­ing emerged among the sub­mis­sions Mr Cof­fey said.

“And ev­ery sub­se­quent year we’ve no­ticed that there’s a theme that stands out and we didn’t ask for it or cre­ate it; it cre­ates it­self,” he said.

The fes­ti­val it­self came about in a sim­i­larly or­ganic fash­ion.

As a stu­dent film maker, Mr Cof­fey said he was com­pelled to cre­ate highly in­tense films.

At the screen­ing of one such film Mr Cof­fey hap­pened to be seated be­hind the wife of his uni­ver­sity tu­tor and her friend.

“She saw my film, which was about the end of hu­man life on our planet, and at the end she turned to her friend and said ‘why did he make it?’, and through that I saw that if I had in­jected hu­mour into it she would have en­joyed it, but also would have got­ten my mes­sage,” he said.

From there the fes­ti­val has snow­balled, start­ing out ex­clu­sively as a West­ern Aus­tralian film fes­ti­val, be­fore mov­ing na­tional and now in­ter­na­tional.

The fes­ti­val now re­ceives hun­dreds of ap­pli­ca­tions each year from around the globe, with only the 12 best be­ing se­lected for au­di­ences’ en­joy­ment.

LAUGH FEST: A still from 'Young Heart' by Aus­tralian duo Chris­tian and Dean Kennedy to be shown at the 2015 Over the Fence Com­edy Film Fes­ti­val.

GIG­GLES: Bri­tish direc­tor Mark Playne's sub­mis­sion for Over the Fence 'Love at First Sight'.

FUNNY FILMS: A scene from 'Voice Over' from direc­tor Martin Rosete which will screen at the Over the Fence Com­edy Film Fes­ti­val.

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