COLUMN: Different shades of us

COLLAGE OF EVENTS: My son and his friends at the big film festival; Airds High boys eloquently speaking out against domestic violence; and three of my ratbag mates from C91.3FM with Santa at Camden's Jacaranda Festival.
COLLAGE OF EVENTS: My son and his friends at the big film festival; Airds High boys eloquently speaking out against domestic violence; and three of my ratbag mates from C91.3FM with Santa at Camden's Jacaranda Festival.

Okay, I admit it...

I would not normally have attended Saturday night's big "Made In the West" film festival - which is sorta like Tropfest, but for short films made in Sydney's greater west.

But there we were, my wife Trish and I, strolling down the red carpet at Event Cinemas Liverpool. Not as movie stars... but as proud parents.

Our youngest son, Tom McGill, was the director and screenwriter of one of the 18 finalists - a short flick called Out Of Time - which he made with his talented local mates Jacinta Kezelos, Dom Colucci and Ryan Revere.

Gotta say, I loved every film shown, simply blown away by the inventiveness we have on our side of Sydney. To quote my son: "I'm just super honoured my movie was chosen alongside these."

One of my other favs was Campesinos - which won the judges', and popular, vote - by a young bloke, Matias Bolla. Congrats to him - and all the event organisers.

Legendary director Martin Scorsese recently copped a backlash because he described Marvel movies as "theme parks...not cinema".

I don't necessarily agree... but I can see his point to the extent that I've seen plenty of CGI-laden Hollywood blockbusters lately, but not one of them moved me as much, or intrigued me, as these little indy films by talented young people short on budget, but long on ingenuity.

The truly sad part is that the next shallow mass-produced offering from Hollywood, whatever it is, will have far more local viewers than these local gems.

I look forward to checking out next year's film festival.

Meanwhile...

I joined the "Driving out Violence" convoy on Friday, which travelled through Campbelltown spreading the word that there is no excuse for domestic thuggery.

It was heartening to see so many young men joining the events along the way, showing their support. But many others also attended, from firefighters and students to ethnic groups.

The fact is simple: a real manshould want to protect his loved ones; his loved ones shouldn't need protection from him.

Good to see our local cops at the forefront, particularly Senior Constable Dave Blom - a great local advocate.

Congratulations also to the Campbelltown Catholic Club which has a committee (made up of staff volunteers) who arranged yet another big golf day to raise awareness - and money - for practical ways to help local victims of domestic violence.

Moving on, I wish Wollondilly Council and local campaigners well in their fight to stop over-development of Appin. Their arguments make good sense, but unfortunately the pollies don't care about good sense.

Many of you will remember Fonzie in Happy Days trying to say the words, "I was wrong", and failing badly. Well, that's a bit like the state government saying "no" to a developer. They just can't seem to get the word out.

Finally...

That seasonal purple hue is everywhere in Macarthur, but nowhere as much as Camden, which celebrated its Jacaranda Festival.

I wasn't able to get to the main Saturday event this year, but many locals were busy posting photos of what looked like a great time.

One of the funniest was Dana, Carlie and Ally from C91.3FM with a bloke in red.

"I asked him for a sports car... apparently it's not happening," Ally noted.

One of the Facebook replies: "I'm pretty sure you all just made the naughty list with this photo." Ho ho ho.

We have a truly amazing community. Love it.

As this column prepares to go, here's a scatter of random opinions.