Short film festival and Starlight Cinema series on shire's 2022 entertainment agenda

Biddy Giles Park at South Village, Kirrawee, is among possible locations for outdoor movies. Picture: Chris Lane
Biddy Giles Park at South Village, Kirrawee, is among possible locations for outdoor movies. Picture: Chris Lane


A short film festival and Starlight Cinema series are to be staged in Sutherland Shire next year.

Sutherland Shire Council will stage the events in five locations, which could include Biddy Giles Park at South Village, Kirrawee, Hazelhurst, Miranda Park, Cronulla Park, Dunningham Park, Don Lucas Reserve, Parc Menai and Cooper St Reserve, Engadine.

The Starlight Cinema series of family-friendly films will be screened in late January / February and again in November, public health orders permitting.

The first event is expected to be on Australia Day.

Submissions for the short film competition will open in March, with the winner announced in July. It will be a biennial event.

Cr Jack Boyd proposed the Starlight Cinema series 18 months ago and a council working party planned to proceed in 2020-21, but deferred the initiative because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's been a difficult couple of years but I hope the Starlight Cinema can bring some joy to families as we start returning to normal," Cr Boyd said.

A council staff report said the council had developed and delivered a range of successful film projects, competitions and events in the past.

They included the Cronulla Shorts Film Challenge 1999 - 2006, which was initially held at the Cronulla Plaza Amphitheatre, later in Peryman Square and in 2004 at Dunningham Park.

"It was considered successful, attracting entries from local filmmakers, across Australia and overseas with previous winners going on to success in the film industry and some winning other film festivals across the country," the report said.

"Last held in 2006, it was terminated due to diminishing level of entries and a view that the short film area was affected by the increased use of new technologies such as mobile phones."

Other previous film festivals have been held for youth and seniors, and the Shireability event continues.

The council also previously ran Cinema Under the Stars from 2005-15 in Cooper St Reserve Engadine, and Tropfest in the Hazelhurst gardens.

"Cinema Under the Stars was very popular for many years, but was affected by weather due to its May timeslot, with only 80 attendees in 2015," the report said.

"This, combined with the advent of movie streaming services such as Netflix and Foxtel in 2015, saw the cancellation of the event.

"Tropfest in February 2016 saw a capacity attendance of 500 with very positive feedback.

"This was a simultaneous screening with the main city event and featured two local finalists. The move to Parramatta in 2017 restricted it to only one venue."