A night at the movies

SOCIAL: Pyramid Hill residents Patricia O'Sullivan and Neil Rote, and David and Linda Wilson from Merrigum enjoyed a night out in Cohuna.

SOCIAL: Pyramid Hill residents Patricia O'Sullivan and Neil Rote, and David and Linda Wilson from Merrigum enjoyed a night out in Cohuna.

A LARGE crowd savoured the immense talents of the nation's filmmakers in Cohuna on Friday night.

The fifth annual visit of the St Kilda Film Festival to the town attracted more than 130 people to the Cohuna Memorial Hall, including locals and visitors from neighbouring communities. 

The film festival's regional tour takes in 18 locations around the state from June to August, showcasing a selection of award-winning and director's choice short films from the 100 featured at St Kilda. 

The Cohuna and District Progress Association organises the festival's visit to the town, building on the initiative started by local residents John and Bev Brown and their grandson Jake, who is the festival administrator. 

Association special events co-ordinator, Jodie Hay said the group was eager to promote cultural events to provide balance in a "sport-heavy" community. 

"We aim to bring great quality entertainment to Cohuna for a reasonable price so people don't need to travel to Melbourne," she said. 

"We have lots of members here tonight from the Gannawarra Arts, Culture and Entertainment Club, run by the Cohuna Neighbourhood House.

"We've got the Cambodia Schoolies Alternative Trip participants assisting us with the set-up."

The event also featured a screening of the video summarising the findings of the Murray Explored Bioscan conducted in the district by a team of scientists from Museum Victoria last year. 

STARS. Nick McLoughlan and Sam Baxter enjoyed a drink before the screening of their short film A Glimpse of Light.

STARS. Nick McLoughlan and Sam Baxter enjoyed a drink before the screening of their short film A Glimpse of Light.

The night was rounded out with the showing of two short films produced by former Cohuna residents – Nick Keely and Nick McLoughlan.

Mr Keely, who is in his second year studying film and television at JMC Academy, returned to the area last year to make a documentary about the Mystic Melodies group at Lake Charm. 

Mr McLoughlan's film, A Glimpse of Light, stars fellow local Sam Baxter and was made when they were both students at Cohuna Secondary College last year. 

"The film focuses on depression and anxiety, which most people feel is an undefeatable force," Mr McLoughlan said. 

"It's about a person beginning to break free, showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel." 

Mr McLoughlan is studying Film and Television at Swinburne University this year, while Mr Baxter is studying Acting at Federation University in Ballarat.

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