Dr Richard Harris to speak at KI's 'From the Heart' film festival

SPECIAL SPEAKER: Joint Australian of the Year, cave diver and specialist in aeromedical retrieval Dr Richard Harris will be attending From the Heartland film festival as a guest speaker.
SPECIAL SPEAKER: Joint Australian of the Year, cave diver and specialist in aeromedical retrieval Dr Richard Harris will be attending From the Heartland film festival as a guest speaker.

Australian of the Year, hero of two nations and legendary cave-diving medic, Dr Richard "Harry" Harris is coming to Kangaroo Island to speak at the From the Heart film festival in August.

From the Heart is a film festival that showcases the highest calibre of film-making from around Australia, a curated program of stories that inspire, uplift and move our spirits.

As a bonus, 2019 joint Australian of the Year, cave diver and specialist in aeromedical retrieval Dr Richard Harris will be attending as a guest speaker. He will talk about his role in the infamous 2018 Thai cave rescue.

Another guest speaker will be scientist and filmmaker Niall Doran, who will talk about the making of the film Sixteen Legs and what it takes to film giant Tasmanian cave spiders.

The film festival held August 30-31 at the Parndana Town Hall is about sharing and telling stories in a way that connects the Island community and also connects KI to the wider world.

Returning to Parndana, often referred to as the "heartland" of Kangaroo Island, for its second year in 2019, the festival is dedicated to the filmmaker and inspiring interest in science.

Films showing this year include Sixteen Legs, Arachnophobia Featurette, New Island Home, Saving Warru, Death of a Rose and Disconnected.

Scientist and filmmaker Niall Doran, who will talk about the making of the film Sixteen Legs and what it takes to film giant Tasmanian cave spiders. Photo Joe Shemesh

Scientist and filmmaker Niall Doran, who will talk about the making of the film Sixteen Legs and what it takes to film giant Tasmanian cave spiders. Photo Joe Shemesh

Sixteen Legs tour coordinator Katrina Wills is excited about the upcoming festival.

"After the success of the 2016 Sixteen Legs exhibition in Parndana it makes sense to bring the documentary over," she said. "Anyone who saw the exhibition needs to see the documentary. As a caver myself this is an extremely exciting project to be involved in."

"The love life of giant prehistoric cave spiders the size of dinner plates that have outlived the dinosaurs, it doesn't get any sexier than that! For those that aren't a fan of spiders the documentary also showcases the jaw-dropping environments in which they live."

Film festival coordinator Sarah Kemp of Smart Future Creative is equally excited about the 2019 event.

"We have a really fantastic line up of films to show at this years festival including three locally made films," she said. "The festival aims to act as a catalyst for content generation that is meaningful and impactful."

New Island Home ventures into the inner sanctum of the Dudley Football Club, telling the story of their partnership with the Clontarf Foundation to bring Aboriginal lads to the Island and into their team.

This will be shown alongside Death of a Rose and Disconnected by emerging Kangaroo Island filmmaker Isaac Doman.

This year, the festival is also expanding the format to include film introductions and audience Q&A with the filmmakers themselves. Providing intimate access to the process of film creation and the telling of stories that catch our hearts."

The From the Heart Film Festival will be August 30-31 at the Parndana Town Hall, with tickets going on sale in July.

All profits from the festival will be donated to the Parndana Progress Association to go towards the Parndana Town Hall new lighting project.

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