September 24, 2019

In by Dov Kornits

Dave Horsley, Co-Founder and Festival Director of Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF), has been announced as the MC of the inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) – to be held across 24-25 October 2019 at Opal Cove Resort in Coffs Harbour, NSW.
Dave Horsley, Co-Founder and Festival Director of Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF), has been announced as the MC of the inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) – to be held across 24-25 October 2019 at Opal Cove Resort in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

AFIC is a brand new event and the only one of its kind in the country. It aims to discuss key national issues that are facing the broader festival industry, in addition to facilitating professional development of, and the promotion of careers in festival management.

SWIFF is an emerging giant on the Australian film festival circuit, programming a massive 65+ feature films across 100 screenings.

Co-founder and festival director, Dave Horsley, says he’s really looking forward to MC’ing the inaugural event and that the event is integral to any film festival organisers’ professional development.

“The line-up for AFIC is phenomenal. Audiences will get insights from some of the industry’s most prominent leaders on the Australian festival circuit – so I’m looking forward to helping stir that pot!”

The program comprises of two days of expert speaker sessions, workshops and cocktail party industry networking event.

AFIC features some of Australia’s biggest names in festival management, consulting and Government.

Collectively, its speakers hold 230+ years of experience cross all types of festivals, including film, music, arts & culture, food, etc.

Attendees will have the chance to learn from some of the country’s most experienced professionals around legislative changes, operational developments, event management technology advances, volunteer management strategies, and more.

“Many of the discussion topics speak to producing film festivals – the skills translate. There will be a chance for filmmakers to connect directly with film festivals as well,” said Dave.

One of AFIC’s key presenters is creative director and CEO of Adelaide Fringe, Heather Croall.

Heather, who has long involvement in film creation and film festival management, will be presenting on Adelaide Fringe’s recent major digital transformation.

Between 2012-2015 Heather produced a series of nine music archive feature documentaries for the BBC, ABC and various international festivals. They continue to play on TV and at festivals around the world.

Heather worked at the Fringe in the Star Club in the early 1990’s and also ran the film event, Shoot the Fringe. She then moved to the UK where she held the position of Festival Director of the Sheffield Doc/Fest for a decade.

In 2015 she returned to Australia to take up the role of Director and Chief Executive of the Adelaide Fringe – the Southern hemisphere’s largest Fringe festival and the 2nd oldest in the world.

AFIC founder and event director, Carlina Ericson, said this year’s conference responds directly to the current state of play in the industry.

“There are now more festivals in Australia than ever before; however, organisers are facing a number of challenges to ensure their survival. Sponsorship and funding, digital entertainment access, public safety and new legislation are all threats that organisers need to face to sustain their businesses.

“These threats are commonly featured in discussions taking place right across the country, and the launch of AFIC is therefore quite timely – providing a platform for the industry to come together to engage in professional and intelligent discussions”, says Carlina.

SWIFF co-founder and festival director, Dave Horsley agrees. “As more major events and festivals launch and develop, there’s this feeling that organisers are isolated, siloed into their strut, re-inventing the wheel on their own. It doesn’t have to be the case – so I’m looking forward to sharing what we do with others, and to pick up some pointers for SWIFF along the way,” said Dave.

Other confirmed speakers and workshop presenters include:
· Phil Tripp, former Business Development Manager of SXSW Conference & Festivals, USA
· Carol Hughes, Event Officer of Tamworth Country Music Festival
· Jon (J.C.) Corbishley FSIA, Director, The Safety Officer Pty Ltd
· Mike Hammond – CEO & Director, EMS Event Medical
· Elliot Williams – Clinical Lead, St Johns Ambulance
· Daniel Madeddu – Director, Alcohol and Other Drugs, NSW Ministry of Health
· Sam Wild, Create NSW
· Glenn Hardy, IER Pty Ltd
· Alana Hay, Director, Milestone Creative
· Leah Trafford, Australia Event Director, SailGP
· Dane Hunnerup, Australia Council for the Arts
· Chris Spencer, Director of Saltwater Freshwater Alliance
· Dan Heather, Coffs Harbour City Council’s Section Leader, Stadium and Major Events

“To summarise, every festival organiser across Australia needs to be at AFIC if they’re going to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in the industry,” says Carlina.

To view the program or to purchase tickets, visit Registrations close Wed 9 October, 2019.