It’s been quite the busy couple days in the land down under. I’ve been all over the place, from surfing to bridge climbing to bar tours, bike tours and concerts. Experiencing everything that makes Sydney special has been the goal, and I can now see why the “Best Jobs” job as a Chief Funster is located in Sydney, NSW.
Today is festival day! A day full of glitz, glam, fame, film, lights, camera, action and pure magic. Every minute of my day has been planned, and fun is to be had at each stop. I am extremely lucky that throughout my time in Sydney, various festivals and events are taking place. I would be attending three of the many events that Sydney puts on annually, all in one day!
Sydney Film Festival
First on the agenda was the Sydney Film Festival. The Sydney Film Festival is an annual event in the heart of Sydney and runs for the 2013 season from June 5-16th. It is one of the world’s longest running film festivals and is a major event on the NSW calendar. This morning I would be heading over to the State Theatre to see a screening of the film, William and the Windmill.
William and the Windmill tells the compelling story of a young Malawian boy who builds a homemade windmill by hand. Despite` the famine and drought, William is able to fight the odds, trials and tribulations to successfully build a functioning windmill to supply energy to his village. His story gets noticed, and he is invited to give a TED talk about his creation, which leads to William receiving dizzying success. The story goes through William’s life during the creation of the windmill, the various aspects of his life following the windmill (media appearances, book signings, public speaking events) as well as his entrance into University as a student.
At first glance, I wasn’t as excited about this particular film. I generally chose films under the genre of romance, comedy, action or thriller; something that will either play with my hearts strings, or keep me on the edge of my seat. A movie such as William and the Windmill would be looked over in an instant. To my surprise, I ended up loving the film. I found that it gave me a chance to put myself in William’s shoes, and imagine what I was doing at the age of 19. Even if someone gave me step-by-step instructions, with all the materials provided, I still wouldn’t be able to build a windmill. William had a special gift, and was able to use his inner drive and find scraps and random materials to put together this work of art.
I found it really cool that he would use flattened beer caps as washers before securing nuts to the windmill. He would also use parts of damaged bikes as part of the wheel. Not only did the construction of the windmill blow me away, the way he handled his instant stardom complimented his character as well.
It was such a unique experience being able to attend the Sydney Film Festival. Hundreds of feature films, documentaries, short films and animation pieces are being put on display throughout the week and I highly recommend if you are in the Sydney area, to go check it out before June 16th.
With lights being on from 6pm to midnight every night from May 24th – June 10th, ViViD Sydney is a MUST-SEE event if you are ever in Sydney. Imagine yourself in a world of neon, with lights flashing all around you and interactive games and activities to create your own ViViD. Colouring the city with creativity and inspiration, ViViD is a one of a kind event unique to Sydney, Australia.
I was lucky enough to experience my first ViViD last year while I was studying on exchange in Australia. I remember participating in lighting up the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia alongside Georgia, Hayley and Scott. This year, I took more of a bystander’s approach and let ViViD happen in front of me. I made my way down to Circular Quay around 6pm and I was able to take in ViViD before heading to the night performance at the Sydney Opera House. During ViViD, the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge circulates through a series of colour arrangements and patterns.
For those interested, a new exhibit has been introduced and visitors are able to help manually light up the bridge. Controlling the look of one of the city’s most famous landmarks sounds pretty neat if you ask me! No matter where you look, the entire Sydney Harbour is lite from left to right, up and down and everywhere in between. ViViD is one event you should put on your bucket list, as it will bring heaps of light to you for the rest of your life.
Bangarra Dance’s BLAK
Following my time wandering the Sydney Harbour, I made my way over to the Sydney Opera House for the evening performance of BLAK put on by the Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Bangarra Dance Theatre breaks the silence with Blak, a physical and edgy production, drawn from the artist’ urban perspective, telling the stories of Indigenous Australia in a powerful and moving work of dance theatre.
The artistic director and choreographer of Blak, dig deep in the layers of the Indigenous Australian culture to deliver a piece of art that crosses over the world of men and women, old and modern and exposes the universal yearning for spiritual connection. (From the Blak Program Guide)
Growing up as a dancer, and studying it in depth throughout my high school years, I believe I have a better appreciation for a piece of art than most. The strength, commitment and passion seen amongst the group of dancers was incredible. With the performance sectioned off into male dancers, female dancers and closing with the entire ensemble – a great deal of endurance, strength and fitness was required for a successful delivery. I was extremely impressed and inspired by the work of the dancers throughout this performance and give my recommendation to anyone interested in indigenous culture, and dance theatre.
After spending 5 incredible days in Sydney, I can’t wait to find out who will be Tourism Australia’s next Chief Funster. They are in for the ride of their life working and playing in a city like Sydney. With opportunity and excitement at your fingertips – I couldn’t think of a better place for fun to happen.
Sydney, you have been amazing. I have had a permanent smile on my face since the moment I arrived, and you will leave me with the memories to carry along with me as I continue my travels throughout the rest of Australia. I leave for Cairns, Queensland bright and early tomorrow morning, where I will be White Water Rafting, going on a Jungle Safari through Port Douglas and the Daintree as well as Jungle Surfing in Cape Tribulation.
It’s time for a change of pace as I move away from the exciting concrete jungle of Sydney, and experience the Park Ranger life in Cairns, Queensland.
Until next time,
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