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14 October 2020
Rock climbers across Australia tuned into a Natimuk-based event featuring regional and international rock-climbing-themed films at the weekend.
Arapiles Community Theatre, ACT, Natimuk joined with rock climbers for a virtual rendition of its annual GoatFest Film Festival.
The film festival was postponed at Easter – when the region would normally see an influx of rock climbers visit Natimuk and Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park – due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In past years, climbers and community members would fill Natimuk’s Soldiers Memorial Hall to maximum capacity to view hours of climbing entertainment.
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For the online version of the event, organisers sifted through 14 entries to decide on winners in three categories.
Melbourne-based climber Simon Madden won a ‘jury choice’ award for his video ‘Firetail’, while Matt Ray and Jimmy Stephens were winners of an ‘audience choice’ award for their video ‘Mirage’.
Natimuk youth Lani and Freya Jones and Amber, Dusty and Beatrix Schellens received a ‘kids award’ for their video ‘The Natimuk Ninjas’.
Theatre co-manager Tracey Skinner said more than 100 people purchased tickets for the Saturday night event.
“There were also people who said they couldn’t make the live event but wanted to support it and watch the movies, so some people tuned in after,” she said.
“We had quite a few submissions from across Australia and one from oversees. It was a really nice mix of movies.”
Ms Skinner said moving online helped bridge a connection among the climbing community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“GoatFest is all about community and the banter. In a normal year when you walk in it’s just buzzing,” she said.
“There’s lots of like-minded people who have a passion for climbing in one space, as well as non-climbers.”
She said moving online would allow organisers to create a multi-platform event in 2021.
“At this point we are going to aim to run the festival in April next year. Depending on restrictions we might be able to have live events, but we may be restricted with how many people can attend,” she said.
The entire October 14, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!