Bondiwood Team:

Festival Director: Haydn Keenan
Creative Director: Billy White
Co-Creative Directors: Jay Katz & Miss Death
Bondiwood Logo Graphic Design: Kingdom of Ludd
Web Designer: Craig Small – Small Web Development
Production Company: Smart St Films Pty Ltd.

Thanks to all the volunteers and film makers who have so generously given their time and work to make BONDIWOOD happen.


Like many good ideas, this one started as a joke around the table one night. We were talking about casting and crewing a film just from people who live in Bondi. It didn’t take long to pull together a full team of high quality people for our imaginary production. Talk turned to all the work these people had turned out and as we spoke the number of feature films, documentaries, hours of TV, music videos and shorts began to pile up. It was quite extraordinary. The output of this little bay has been quite phenomenal.

From Oscar nominees, to Cannes entries, international box office smashes, music videos seen millions of times, and multi award winning features – it was a treasure trove of material. Why not put it on a screen somewhere, curated to show off the breadth of production. With the Bondi Pavilion having just had nearly $50m spent on it and the new theatre up and running that had to be the place. Waverley Council jumped at the idea and we were off and running.

But you’ve got to have a name. Something memorable, that had a sense of fun and wouldn’t be part of the pompous cultural braying you often see round these events. We went to T.I.F.T.A.F., The Institute For Titling Australian Films the country’s leading institute for coming up with the punchy titles so often lacking in this country. They gave us a mate’s rate deal and their parsing software came back with the name – BONDIWOOD. Great, in your face, up yours and a bit of street swagger.

Our plan has been to make a festival that’s democratic, fun, rejected cultural elitism and had door prizes. This is Bondi mate; scumvalley we called it before the sewage outlet was put in and the macquarie bank dickheads started moving in. Leave your pretentions at the door.

With local production mob Smart St Films as the umbrella organisation we’ve pulled together a stellar list of films to screen. The unique bit is that for nearly every one of our sessions, the filmmaker or star will be there to answer questions, talk about their genius or otherwise, but mainly be there for the community. The response we’ve had from the film industry has been incredible. People have been so generous, offering their time, their work and themselves. Unfortunately we were unable to convince Simon Baker to be a door prize! We’ve been so inundated that we have set up a couple of panels where Actors in one and Producers and Directors in the other will share their experiences and give local kids wanting to get started, some do’s and don’ts of the business. BONDIWOOD is our chance to give something back to our community.

Haydn Keenan, Festival Director