The Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air (BOFA) Film Festival will feature 15 feature films including two drive-in screenings, 20 documentaries and 35 shorts as well as four one-day action master classes and two half-day actions sessions.

Held  in Launceston, the sixth annual festival will run from Wednesday November 4 to Sunday November 8.

“Part of what makes BOFA so special is that we always try to make it more than just a chance to see compelling cinema,” says festival director Owen Tilbury. “BOFA is about getting inspired and seeing the world differently. So whatever your BOFA is – whether it’s features, docos, food-films, family films, offbeat films, eco films or movies that convey profound ideas– there is a chance to engage and discover this year.”

Before the official opening night  will be a “Creating Community Change” action session on November 4, which will showcase the best practice in community change processes. There will also be a screening of Frackman, which follows ordinary Australian’s caught up in a multinational ‘gas rush.’ Its central character, Dayne Pratzky will discuss the role of film as a vehicle for change.

Produced by Tassie locals Roar Films in partnership with Ireland's Tile Films, Death or Liberty, directed by Steve Thomas, tells the compelling story of the political radicals and insurgents, regarded as the “terrorists” of their day, who were exiled to Australia from all points of the British Empire. It was these radicals, arriving in chains, that formed the basis of our democracy.

Australian muso Mick Thomas, who created the soundtrack for Death or Liberty, will be BOFA’s special guest on opening night and perform with his band The Roving Commission.

BOFA will screen Mustang, this year’s winner of the Cannes Directors Fortnight Europa Cinemas Award, a  Turkish drama which depicts the life of five young orphaned sisters whose innocent interactions with male classmates lead to their oppression under the draconian rules of their guardians. Variety described Mustang as “a beautifully mounted story about the demonization of young female sexuality.”

Other critically lauded films will include My Love, Don’t Cross That River, the bestselling Korean film of all time, from first timer Jin Mo-young  which follows Jo Byeong-man and Kang Kye-yeo who have been married for 76 years.

Tomm Moore’s animated tale Song of the Sea, the story  of a boy who finds out his sister is a selkie – a mythical Irish sea creature – was Oscar nominated and won the audience award at Melbourne International Film Festival.

Brazilian-French film Amazonia  is the tale of a a capuchin monkey born and raised in captivity who finds himself lost in the wilderness of the Amazon Jungle.

Independent comedy Tangerine was shot totally on iPhone, telling the story of a trans-gender hooker who finds out that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail. With the help of her best friend she sets out to find him and teach him and his new, straight lover a lesson.

For the documentary-inclined there is Iris, a portrait of Iris Apfel, a 93 year old fashion icon with a quick wit, sharp tongue and a penchant for dropping insightful and hilarious one line musings on the world. In true style the film will be followed by a bubbles and brioche social event.

A series of vivid eco-films will also be screenedy. Sherpas: the True heroes of Everest, delves into the history and culture of the Sherpas who guide climbers to Mount Everest, with donations raised at the screening being sent to the Nepal earthquake relief. The Pearl Button guides viewers through the stories of Chile’s past and the synchronicity of geography, history and the physical universe.

Tasmanian classic The Tale of Ruby Rose will screen as a retrospective at the festival, followed by a Q&A with writer/director Roger Scholes. The film captures Ruby’s story of isolation and anxiety. In the wild and lonely wilderness of the Tasmanian highlands, Ruby is overcome by her fears – concocting elaborate and mythical stories to survive.

This year BOFA will partner with the International Women's Development Agency in presenting this year’s Big Picture Discussion. The free session will tackle the controversial topic of The Ethics Of Australian Aid In Developing Countries. Using excerpts from powerful short Walk Selina and the insightful film The Opposition, the session will discuss the important question – how can we ethically build sustainable industry in developing countries in the light of reducing Australian aid and the systemic corruption in many such societies?

Action sessions this year will feature a number of short films used to encourage and stimulate opinion leaders to engage in new topics and innovative ideas. Tasmania’s poor health outcomes will be addressed in a Sharing the Bounty Action Session. By evaluating the local food economy and the value of Tasmanian produce, the session will highlight how we can innovate and “share the bounty” of our food system with those most in need of it locally and elsewhere.

Aspiring filmmakers are invited to the “Maximizing Impact and Money for Indie Film Makers” master-class, where industry professionals will share the tricks of the trade and explaining how to maximize the impact (on audiences and in making change) and money (both investment and financial returns) by using the Impact Producer process and new distribution mechanisms.

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