Kino #100 – A Foray into the Filmmaking Community

Every month or so, film maker’s, actors/actresses and film connoisseurs get together for a screening of short films. 14th Nov was the 100th Kino; and to celebrate it, I was given the privilege of being the projectionist for this amazing group of people. Set in the heart of Redfern, the event was only a walk away from the train station and parking was easy to find in the back streets in the surrounds.


As I arrived, the volunteers had come in as well and started helping. Busily running around was our host, Sam. He got us all together for a briefing before the event begins. Samuel Hilton,  passionate about film and its place in the Australian arts scene, began Kino back in 1999. The first event was done in Montreal.


Kino centres around creatives who like to collaborate and get their hands dirty, creating film. Most of the film makers are either attending film or acting school, or are planning to very soon. Some are experts in other fields such as audio and lighting too. It takes a team with varied skills to make great viewing.


Back in 1999 A group of film students decided that if the world was going to end with Y2K, they had to get started on shooting and screening films straight away. Since then, Kino has spread around the world, becoming a global filmmaking movement arriving in Sydney in 2006.

“Kino sets the pace by providing challenges, themes and restrictions to the artists palette”, says Sam, “After all, it is often the restrictions in the medium that make things really interesting.”

During Kino 100, the challenge was to incorporate ‘live audio’ into a short film. The creatives came up with some very entertaining results. From live sound effects, to a former lover’s monologue, with the winners that night taking home the prize for a comedic piece that centred around the idea of consumption of meat in food. This is film, so I can only describe so much – you just have to go there and see it for yourself.

Some other examples of interesting challenges set at previous Kino events were films with a live soundtrack element films inspired by Star Wars for May the Fourth, films that raise awareness on organ donation, silent films, and films that present an Australian idea of Canada.

My first experience of Kino was Kino #76; and twenty something screenings later, here I was being a part of it. That’s how really easy it is to be immersed in the Kino life. The people were friendly, approachable, sociable and very interesting to say the least. The spirit of Kino has been thriving and growing, and with it the authenticity in the community has remained.


While Kino has been doing consistently well, we heard of the news that Tropfest, a now familiar name amongst the public, will be cancelled this year. However, though this sudden, dissapointing and sad end was an opportunity for Kino to come forward and be in the spotlight.

Kino’s current venue is perfectly placed, and tonight, it was packed. With an art gallery, bands and DJ’s out the front; a bar on the side and pizza being shared; intermission was a great opportunity to catch the artists and ask them about their recent work. At the event, I bumped into some familiar faces from the first Kino I went to and it was a pleasure to hear them tell me how they’ve progressed. The opportunity to work with passionate film makers and the access to top equipment to do it makes Kino a great place to start.


Featured film maker Angela Toomey was just one of those. I recalled meeting her first at Tropfest. An inspired poet, she talked to me about her forays into spoken poetry as we watched short films at dusk. 


This night, she revealed her innermost thoughts in a provoking short film for Kino 100, which is incidentally also her application submission to film school. The events that Kino ran, and its community, nurtured her drive to both make an present this film that night, and the opportunity to present to a small close knit community made it just a little less nerve wrecking. To see artists like herself find their footing and reaching milestones is something Kino enjoys.



I’m sure by now you’re itching to find out how to get to an event and view these films Kino describes as “guerrilla cinema”. You can join the community on the Kino facebook page.

Kino Kabaret is an upcoming Kino event, where the creatives get together to make a film in a very short time frame. The intermingling of ideas with people and their skills means people can step up to different roles and learn from each other in a melting pot of film potential. They then screen these on the Kino Kabaret night.

In the coming week, the Kino Kabaret screening is happening again. For more details on how to attend the screening, go to You can get tickets here

– Paul Pearlstone

Photographer: Kautilya Velpula
Edited by Sarah Battle

Disclaimer: Paul Pearlstone was present at Kino in the capacity of a volunteer, and was an invited guest of Kino Sydney.