Newcastle filmmakers screen work

TEAM: Stuart McBratney turns the camera on Julia Nalivaiko.  Picture: Jonathan Carroll
TEAM: Stuart McBratney turns the camera on Julia Nalivaiko. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

NEWCASTLE film-makers Stuart McBratney and Julia Nalivaiko will host an advanced screening of their seven-part reality-TV series for friends and supporters Friday night.

The pair have completed the series Back in the Soviet Bloc after 47 days filming in Russia and Ukraine in mid 2011 and a year in their Renew Newcastle suite cutting 57 hours of footage to three hours.

‘‘It’s a good mixture of feeling excited and nervous about presenting it to all the people that we know – it’s one thing to show it to an audience of distributors and sales agents and a whole other thing to show it to our friends,’’ Ms Nalivaiko said.

‘‘We really want to see their reactions and hear their response to what we’ve been doing.’’

Former television commercial director at NBN Mr McBratney and formally trained chef Ms Nalivaiko originally teamed up to create a show about cooking while camping.

The concept evolved to filming the show in Russia and Ukraine and eventually developed into chronicling Ms Nalivaiko’s experience returning to Ukraine, which she left with her parents in 1997.

‘‘It was the first time I had been back since I was a child, so I wasn’t prepared for what I was going to see,’’ she said.

The pair flew to Russia without a plan and started shooting footage on the run, focusing on everyday life, habits and issues in the area’s modern  culture.

Mr McBratney has meetings later this month  with sales agents whom he hopes will help to sell the series to networks around the world.

Festival honours movies

NOVOCASTRIANS will be treated to a collection of the most outstanding short films of the past year when Flickerfest visits the city for the first time this weekend.

‘‘Not only is it going to be a great event, it’s an opportunity to be inspired by stories that are unusual but that we can all engage with,’’ festival director Bronwyn Kidd said.

Flickerfest is an Academy accredited and BAFTA recognised international short film festival that is held annually at Bondi Beach. 

Organisers received a record 2300 entries this year and selected 116 films for competition at the 10-day festival.

Every year organisers also create a Best of Australian Shorts program to show across the country, this year at 46 venues.

Flickerfest will be held from 7pm on Saturday at the Tower Cinema, Newcastle. Tickets are $15 ($10 concession and Screen Hunter members) from