Short film festival to curb drinking culture at UOW Residences

Short film festival to curb drinking culture at UOW Residences

Winning film by UOW student portrays consequences of heavy drinking on education

On Tuesday night, August 27, University of Wollongong (UOW) hosted an inaugural film festival to raise awareness about safer drinking practices among students living on campus.

ResFlix – A Phoney Film Festival, was open exclusively to UOW students in residence, and the finalist screening featured 12 films shot on smartphones or tablets under two minutes in length. Each film addressed the theme Dial It Back (dial back your drinking).

The winning submission titled Party, sleep, uni, repeat portrays the negative consequences of excessive drinking on a student’s experience at university.


“It presents to the audience how poor decisions are affecting a student’s attentiveness in class, and their grades,” Resflix winner and Kooloobong Village resident James Sutherland said.

Mr Sutherland won $1000 for his entry and said the competition had likely attracted so many entries because the theme resonated with students.

“Personally I felt like I could make a connection to it,” he said.

“We’ve all just moved out of home, we’re young adults making decisions without the input of others.”

Runner Up Swapnil Bhatnagar, Winner James Sutherland and People's Choice Winner Maria Ortiz on Tuesday night.

There were entries from Marketview, Graduate House, Weerona College, Bangalay, Campus East and Kooloobong Village residences.

Mr Sutherland said the film festival had created awareness about the issue; there were a number of conversations about drinking among his peers at Kooloobong while they were creating the film.

The free event which attracted close to 300 students and staff to the UniHall on Tuesday grew from an idea by Marketview resident Shamila Ebadi.

UOW Safe and Respectful Communities Manager Ron Fogarty was supportive of the concept from the start.

“We take the safety and wellbeing of students very seriously and thought this would be a fun and engaging way for students to talk about the issues,” Mr Fogarty said.

“We were pleased to see so many students engaging with the topic, and seriously considering the impact of heavy drinking on their health and wellbeing.”

Resflix at UniHall on Tuesday night.

In a survey, 95 per cent of attendees said they felt the event was effective in generating a conversation about safe drinking practices.

“We will continue to look for opportunities like these to ensure our students are informed and safe.”

UOW Accommodation Services Director Nigel Pennington said the evening showcased the creativity and sense of community that exists in our student residences, while delivering an important message around creating safer drinking practices.

Red Frogs and Alcohol and Drug Education Specialists also supported the event.