By Jo Rittey


Take a drive on the wild side and head on down to the Coburg Drive In for a night of film, music, art and good times. The first Dead End Film Festival presented by 8a8ysteps brings you a program of short films by select film makers, bands, a DJ and visual art.


8a8ysteps is a collective started by Lucie McMahon and Charlie Freedman after they had worked on an exhibition earlier this year called fishing for some friends. Realising they both enjoyed the concept and process of that exhibition, they decided to continue to work together to produce exhibitions and cinema events in different contexts.


Lucie comes from a background in production design and worked doing art direction for a few years after University before doing post-graduate studies in screen and cultural studies. She then started writing and directing her own work. Charlie has a Bachelor of Journalism and did a year at a film school in Footscray and both these paths have led him into making short films. Together they have a vision to break away from the traditional idea of a film festival to make it live up to its name and be festive. They wanted to create aprogram and space that was celebratory and fun.


The idea for DEFF came from a film Lucie and Charlie co-directed a few months ago. They wanted to find the right context to show the film once they had finished it. The film is set on Hoddle Street in peak hour about a guy whose car breaks down which led to the ideas that they could construct a live action piece as well as the film. TheDrive In seemed like the perfect context for that. They then went on to build the festival around this film.


Charlie and Lucie are both interested in a cinematic style that has emerged recently where people use a documentary narrative hybrid. This style eschews the restraints that come with commercial filmmaking and the need for expensive gear and big production teams. The new style is a lot more immediate and more documentary in style, telling fictional narrative. Given that there are not a lot of spaces in Melbourne that are showing that style, they wanted to bring those films together in a context where they would be taken seriously.


The filmmakers they’ve come across when curating the festival are excited to show their works in a context like this. Some of them have been lucky enough to get into small festivals here and there, but any possibility to show their films is well received and through their research and conversations with people along the way, Lucie and Charlie have discovered that there is a real thirst amongst the broader public for this style of film.


In addition to the three hours worth of film on show, local bands, Sweet Whirl and Truly Holy will be playing and then there’ll be a set from Joe Brnadic from Astral Glamour (RRR). There are also the six extra cars for those who either choose not to or aren’t able to drive to the event but still want to experience the festival. Six different artists or art collectives responded to the brief to design and manufacture a sculptural vehicle that could accommodate five patrons. They also had to create advertisements for their cars which will be shown during intermission.


A lot of thought has gone into the event and there will be a lot happening on the night. Patrons can move around the space and come and go from different things that are going on around the venue. A big part of having musicians and visual artists involved in the project is to bring different communities together who might not necessarily interact otherwise.


So cuddle a friend, take in the films and the music and enjoy the big screen under the stars.


The lowdown: Friday 24th November

8.30pm – 3am

Coburg Drive In, 155 Newlands Road, Coburg

Car $35 (admits up to 5)

$20 per person/$15 concession

BYO Car book here

For supplied car book here

Tickets available on the door.





Jo is a French teacher and a freelance writer. Armed with a PhD in Medieval French Literature, an exotic New Zealand accent and a winning (hopefully) smile, she likes nothing better than sharing a meal and good conversation with friends.

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