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5:45PM - 28th Oct 2017

World Premiere

Special Festival Guests, director Kim Beamish and producer Pat Fiske, will introduce the film and will be present for Q&A after the screening.

Oysters are “the canaries in our estuaries”: sensitive creatures that react to subtle changes in climate and water quality, and prone to predators that multiply in warmer water. From Kim Beamish, the Canberran who made The Tentmakers of Cairo (shown at CIFF in 2015), this observational documentary focuses on an oyster-farming family at Merimbula on the south coast of NSW, and their travails with officialdom, climate change, and the vagaries of small business survival. OYSTER is both a romantic vision of tranquil beauty and a life close to nature, and also a thoroughly engaging story of human endeavour against odds that are slowly but surely escalating. Beamish’s collaborator, producer Pat Fiske, is attending CIFF for this screening and also for her film Rocking the Foundations (Sun 28 Oct at 1pm). AP




Kim Beamish has been trying to make films for a while and has been learning from those he worked with and from the mistakes he has made each time. OYSTER is a film he, along with producer Pat Fiske, think fits well into the good side of his filmmaking. After finishing THE TENTMAKERS OF CAIRO, Kim was looking for the next film and visited an idea that was even bigger than Ben Hur (the original of course). Out of this came a smaller idea to revisit a family friend, Dominic Boyton, and ask if he and his camera could spend a few years with Dom and his family. The answer was yes and the Boytons generously and at times nervously opened their lives to the camera. A few million oysters later and Kim and Pat produced OYSTER.


Pat Fiske has been producing and directing documentary films since the early 1970s and has been a prominent member of Australia’s independent filmmaking community. Her films have won many awards and screened in countless film festivals around the world. In 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Stanley Hawes Award for her outstanding contribution to the documentary industry in Australia at AIDC in Perth.  In 2001-2002 she was Documentary Consultant at SBS Independent for 18 months. Pat was Co-Head of the Documentary Department, AFTRS from 2002 to 2008. Credits as producer and/or director include the award-winning documentaries: Rocking the Foundations, Business Behind Bars, For all the World to See on Fred Hollows, Australia Daze, Following the Fenceline, Selling Sickness, River of no Return, Scarlet Road and Love Marriage in Kabul. Her most recent films are Footprints on Our Land: Aunty Agnes, Ngunnawal Elder and this year, Oyster with Canberra director, Kim Beamish.