Wollombi Classic Film Festival

The inaugural Wollombi Classic Film Festival weekend is just around the corner. The event, held on February 26 to 28, will feature 6 classic films screened across 2 picturesque locations. 

Festival goers will be treated to 6 classic films at 2 stunning venues, including outdoors (night) in the Grays Inn Garden and indoors (day) at the 1845 built St Michael’s Church right in the heart of picturesque Wollombi village. Both screening venues give visitors an opportunity to soak up the ambiance of a town fittingly referred to as the jewel in the crown of the Lower Hunter Valley.

The festival program is eclectic, spanning 40+ years of classic cinema and includes Australian classics Strictly Ballroom and Picnic at Hanging Rock plus 4 other cinematic gems including A Place in The Sun, Rebel Without a Cause, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Chinatown.

The festival opens with a garden cocktail party from 6:30pm Friday featuring live music from Gareth Jay, canapés from Café Wollombi and complimentary Noyce Brothers Wine till 8pm, and Strictly Ballroom to close the night.

For more information visit


The Films


Grays Inn Garden | 6.30pm | Friday 26th February 2016

Opening Night with cocktail party including live music, canapés & complimentary wine till 8pm

This Australian romantic satire is good, old-fashioned popcorn entertainment with a message for us all. Beyond the gaudy sequins and cryo-vac like spandex, this quirky, fast paced exaggerated Aussie comedy exposes the need for self-expression and freedom.

The story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies the rules to follow his heart, Strictly Ballroom is a colourful, fun-filled romp of a comedy featuring the likes of Barry Otto, Paul Mercurio, Tarra Morice and Bill Hunter. It originated as a short play that Baz Luhrmann, devised with a group of fellow students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 1984. It drew upon Luhrmann’s personal experiences as a competitive ballroom dancer under the direction of his professional ballroom dancing mother.

Epically stereotypical use of Australian characters and humour, bouffant hair, flashy sequins, feathers, masterfully stylised sets with retina damaging costumes the tale may be gaudy and frilled, but it never upstages the underlying message, remains a true blue crowd pleaser and fantastic example of Australian classic cinema.

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

St Michaels Church Wollombi | 11am | Saturday 27th February 2016

A classic film festival wouldn’t be all it could be without a performance from one of the most gifted actors of all time, Richard Burton. This film was a ‘must have’ when we sat down to pick our films for this year’s event.

Adapted from the John le Carre novel of the same name, Burton fills the screen with a sense of suspicion, cynicism & sadness that captures the European pathos of the Cold War & the spies that inhabited the espionage world.

Rich with intrigue, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is undoubtedly one of the great British spy films.

Picnic at Hanging Rock

St Michaels Church Wollombi | 3pm | Saturday 27th February 2016

Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of the standout films of what many people consider a Golden Age of Australian cinema, the 1970’s. It’s controversial cinematic formula perplexed US distributors and amused audiences worldwide and for generations  to come.

Directed by Peter Weir & starring Anne-Louise Lambert, Helen Morse, Rachel Roberts, Jacki Weaver and many other familiar Australian faces, the film captures the essence of Australia during the stifling Victorian era.

Rebel Without A Cause

Grays Inn Garden | 8pm | Saturday 27th February 2016

Cinematic heartthrob James Dean needs no introduction. Probably the most iconic actor of his generation, Dean only managed to make 3 films in his 2 yearlong Hollywood career; Rebel Without a cause, East of Eden and Giant are Hollywood.

Rebel Without a Cause comes across like a prelude to the social revolution of the 60’s. Teenagers such as Dean’s Jim Stark are filled with angst and confusion, battling amongst each other and their family structures to forge their own identities.

With a cast including Sal Mineo, Dennis Hopper and Hollywood tragedy Natalie Wood, this film shook up America in the 50’s.


St Michaels Church Wollombi | 11am | Sunday 28th February 2016

Elizabeth Taylor & Montgomery Clift – two screen icons of the Golden era. Winner of six Oscars and based upon the 1925 book An American Tragedy.

A Place In The Sun tells the story of working class George Eastman, who not only wishes to elevate himself out of his working class life, but gets the opportunity to do so when he is invited by his wealthy uncle Charles to work for the family firm. Whilst there he makes his way up the corporate ladder, but not before hooking up with a dowdy factory worker Alice played by Shelley Winters. Alice & their soon to be child becomes a weight that George can’t bear to carry and when he falls in love with the beautiful Angela Vickers played by a very gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor something has to give.


St Michaels Church Wollombi | 1.30pm |  Sunday 28th February 2016

“Forget it Jake, its Chinatown”.  And so it is in this classic 1974 Roman Polanksi directed film. A standard bearer for the Film Noir genre Chinatown features some of the greats of cinema in Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and the legendary John Huston. With multiple twists and turns Chinatown is the ultimate murder mystery with a sub-plot of greed and environmental vandalism. Nicholson as the Private Detective Jack Gitties lights up the screen with a jaded humour that can only be due to years of seeing the darkest of things in his former beat of Chinatown. We couldn’t think of a better film to finish our first Wollombi Classic Film Festival.

Written by Newcastle Live

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