Real Film Festival 2019: Touring Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland and Port Stephens

Hunter stories will shine bright on the big screen this month when the Real Film Festival returns to the region, bringing with it an impressive line-up of guest presenters, skills workshops and discussion opportunities.

This year's festival program features seven feature-length films and 20 short, independent documentaries. Films will show in venues across Newcastle on November 15-16, Lake Macquarie on November 21, Maitland on November 29 and Port Stephens on December 5.

Sixteen workshops covering directing, vlogging, writing, acting, virtual reality, special effects and animation are also on offer as part of the festival this year.

Festival director Annette Hubber said the 2019 program offers exciting opportunities for the emerging content creators of the region to learn from screen industry practitioners and build on their own skills and knowledge.

"The workshops on offer this year are delivered by the highest level of industry professionals and we are thrilled to bring this calibre of industry to our own promising regional screen sector," she said.

"Extraordinary talent will share their insider knowledge, tips and tricks on visual effects, script development, accessible virtual reality, the changing world of television and streaming content, prosthetic wounds, directing, cinematography, acting, filming with a smartphone and vlogging."

One of Newcastle's most infamous incidents, The Star Hotel riot in 1979, has been included in a 12-part series by musician and film maker Chit Chat von Loopin Stab and Tony Whittaker from Carnivore Film.

The pair are putting Newcastle under the microscope with 12 uniquely Novocastrian stories, entitled Stories of Our Town. The Star Hotel Riot is the first documentary of the series, which will show as part of the Real Film Festival at Customs House on November 15, followed by a Q&A with Stab.

The Real Film Festival has also teamed up with Hunter TAFE and the University of Newcastle's Festival X - a showcase of students' work in the areas of design, animation, communication, theatre, music and film - which Hubber said would "support students to engage meaningfully with a sector which has real jobs and creative opportunities".

Newcastle university student Lachlan Carney will have his film, Tomaree: An Ancient Summit, a short documentary about Tomaree mountain in Port Stephens, shown as part of the festival at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music on November 16.

See the full 2019 Real Film Festival program at