Gurrumul will show

ACADEMY Award-nominated filmmaker Feras Fayyad will be the headline act when the Castlemaine Documentary Film Festival returns to the iconic Theatre Royal with an extended program running from July 20-22.

Fayyad will attend a special event screening of his Oscar-nominated film Last Men in Aleppo.

Filmed over three years, Fayyad’s Sundance-winning documentary charts the gruelling daily struggles of the White Helmets, a group of volunteer civilians who rescue victims buried under the rubble of daily bomb strikes. 

Fayyad and his crew risked life and limb to embed themselves within the organisation and capture the story.

It is one of several high-profile events among the three full days of the festival.

The opening night gala is Gurrumul, one of the most important Australian films of the last decade.

The special event will feature the film and its director, Paul Williams, in conversation with the evening’s host, Leila Gurruwiwi.

Then, in a world first, the key musicians in the film will come onto the stage and discuss how they brought together the vastly different worlds of indigenous and western music.

Festival director Geoffrey Smith says documentary films are just as relevant today as ever.

“In an increasingly virtual world lived online, more and more people are craving the authenticity that comes from documentary films,” he said.

“Whether it be in the real-life characters, the real-life stories or the real-world problems dealt with in documentary, audiences are connecting with these films like never before.

“Our passion at CDOC is to bring these fascinating worlds populated by even more fascinating characters to audiences in central Victoria.”

Program details and tickets are available at