Flopfest is the film festival for everyone. Starting in a share house backyard, the festival has grown a loyal following and in 2020 will screen at the North Perth Town Hall to its biggest audience yet!
Encouraging anyone to get involved and make a film, Flopfest was started to celebrate the little guy and create a welcoming, laid back atmosphere. It’s the film festival for those who want to enjoy a laugh, beer and good time.
Flopfest is happening on November 13 and it’s getting a kickstart as is the latest recipient of the ALBY MADE Community Arts grant. We caught up with the festival’s Ben Yaxley for a chat about humble beginnings, this year’s event and how the ALBY MADE grant will help out.
WHAT’S FLOPFEST ALL ABOUT?
Flopfest is an amateur community film festival where anybody in WA can make and submit something. You get people of all ages and backgrounds submitting weird and wonderful stuff
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO ACHIEVE WITH THE FILM FESTIVAL?
To celebrate people who make their own entertainment, regardless of permission. We want to hammer the point that you don’t need a budget, film degree or good equipment to make something great. It’s not the technique that people revere, it’s the dang spirit.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN AND WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION COME FROM?
Probably that Simpsons episode where Springfield has a community film festival, and Barney Gumble submits a poignant arthouse film, while Hans Moleman submits ‘Man getting hit by football’. Both of those sorts of submissions are common at Flopfest, and we like the variety.
WHAT TYPE OF FILMS CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE THIS YEAR?
A big mixed bag of vibes and genres, but as always, there’s plenty of comedy, animation and anti-humour. We always get excited to show the really left of centre stuff, like the 12 second phone recording titled “Sandra’s Dog Movie”, or a high school media project about littering sent in from India. Lately, it seems that the real place for finding and sharing spontaneous, amateur videos is the ‘stories’ function on social media. Like, providing you have a phone and an idea, it’s the platform with the least number of obstacles for making and dispersing dumb shit: a true folk medium of 2020! So, there’ll be several videos in that weird skinny portrait mode, but it makes us feel very clever and modern to include them.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MORE MEMORABLE FILMS YOU’VE FEATURED IN YEARS GONE BY?
The winning film last year featured the Australian Liberal Party being teleported out of office and into the land of Minecraft. Past winners include a grainy VHS recording of three young men preparing an aspic jello salad using only their feet; and a high school girl documenting her trip to Sizzler over horribly loud mid-2000s club bangers.