THE streets of Warrnambool will become a cinema on Friday night with the running of the penultimate Laneway Festival.
Fourteen temporary screens will be set up around the CBD for the inaugural Silver Ball Film Festival, showing 32 films made by local directors who run the age range from nine-year-olds to retirees.
And if that's not enough, there will also be about 60 "Charlie Chaplins" on hand to direct from one screen to the next, plus a giant Silver Ball replica showing movies about Fletcher Jones.
Organised by south-west arts collective F Project with support from Warrnambool City Council, the event will be followed on Saturday night by an indoors screening at Lady Bay Resort, where 22 of the films will be shown to judges with the hopes of sharing in $2000 worth of prizemoney.
F Project president Emma Charlton said the film festival's theme of "Keeping The Ball In The Air" had inspired an assortment of film subjects but perhaps not surprisingly one subject had proven to be recurring.
"We thought people might take (Keeping The Ball In The Air) thematically but there are a lot of films about the Fletcher Jones silver ball," Dr Charlton said.
"Then there are films about coping, such as a doco about Rotary House, and there are some films about the environment and 'keeping the environmental ball in the air', so to speak."
Twenty-seven of the films were made in workshops run earlier this year in conjunction with Deakin and TAFE.
To be eligible to share in the $2000 prizemoney, films had to be G-rated and fit the theme, with the 32 entries whittled down to 22 films to go before the judging panel.
Two non-G-rated films will be screened on Friday night in Brophy's theatrette - the only indoor screening of these films.
Three Warrnambool businesses - Capricorn Records, the Independent Traders Market and Wines Patisserie - will host silent films in their windows, nine projectors will show films on laneway walls around the CBD, and a giant five-metre-tall silver ball replica housing TV screens will show documentaries about Fletcher Jones.
The festival is expected to go ahead from 7pm no matter the weather, with waterproof projection boxes used to protect equipment, Dr Charlton said.