COVID or no COVID the seventh Winton Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival is up and running.
Over 150 people attended the opening night on Friday which was a sold-out success even if the film itself didn't go quite to plan.
Barely ten minutes before the film was due to start festival director Mark Melrose told the audience that projector problems meant they could not show the intended opening night film Slim and I about Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McLean though that was rescheduled to later in the week-long program.
Instead they brought another movie "off the bench", the documentary Tommy Emmanuel The Endless Road, the life story of the Australian guitar legend.
MC Pete Lewis said as a replacement it was appropriate as Mr Emmanuel played at the opening of the original Waltzing Matilda centre in the 1970s and lobbied hard for a replacement building after it was destroyed by fire in 2015.
Mr Lewis said it was a tremendous effort to get the festival up and running after it was postponed from June due to COVID and Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett welcomed visitors to town.
Rain threatened to interfere with proceedings but the weather behaved on the night apart from the occasional gust of wind that reared up to remind viewers they were in an outdoor threatre.
The festival continues all this week.
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