We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose Country SFF are based.
We honour the storytelling and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.


Directed by Wendy Champagne
80 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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The dawning of the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin 1973 – an alternative gathering embraced by activists, hippies, and radicals that changed a town (and a generation) forever.

The small northern NSW dairy town was the perfect location, surrounded by farmland and rainforest. The inhabitants (all 300 of them) hoped the event would bring young people to their struggling town. Thousands arrived, all willing to contribute to the festival, whether by playing instruments or digging drains. It wasn’t quite all saunas, nudity, acrobatics, and chilled-out bliss, however: festivalgoers faced down police interference, internal chaos, drugs and personal dramas. Nonetheless, countless participants found kinship as well as a blueprint for a sustainable life. The story of the festival is lovingly told with newly uncovered footage and interviews with festival co-founders and attendees.

Limited seats are available for patrons requiring access for wheelchairs, low vision and hearing loop. Please contact our ticketing team directly on 1300 733 733 or tickets@sff.org.au to complete your booking.
It attracted visionaries and prophets, pioneers who could see the vision and knew how to work for it and also the people who wanted to be saved, people who were falling and wanted a new kind of community to live in
Graeme Dunstan, Aquarius Festival Director
Some people said this was our Woodstock, but it wasn’t. It was anti-Woodstock. We don’t want to pay to sit and watch rockstars, we want a festival where we are the program
Johnny Allen, Aquarius Cultural Director

Special Guests

Wendy Champagne
Director, Screenwriter
Wendy Champagne is a documentary filmmaker, author and screenwriter. Starting out as a freelance radio and print correspondent, Champagne later specialised in documentary with international productions such as the French-Canadian documentary Taxi, and later the docu-series Women of the Earth (2023). Both her published and screen works have reached local and international acclaim.
Sam Griffin
Sam Griffin is a screen producer with numerous credits in groundbreaking children’s series (Fizzy & Suds), true crime (After the Night), documentary television (Going Country) and documentary features (Araatika: Rise Up!, SFF 2021). An alumnus of UTS and AFTRS, Griffin moderates talks and panels at documentary festivals and conferences, and mentors emerging filmmakers.


Fri 14 Jun
Event Cinemas George Street - Cinema 9
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Sat 15 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 3
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Presented By
Program Strand
Documentary Australia Award
Unclassified 15+
In English
Wendy Champagne
Sam Griffin
Wendy Champagne, Karin Steininger
Justine Kerrigan
Karin Steininger
World Premiere
Australian Films, Documentary, World Premieres, Environmental, Politics & Economics, Women Directors
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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