MOVIE NIGHT: headspace Mildura Youthspace Group members Emily Seymour, right, and Brody Tanner, both 21, ahead of tonight’s Laneway Film Festival. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

IN celebration of their third birthday, headspace Mildura are going ‘troppo’.

The local youth support centre will hold a Laneway Film Festival tonight as a celebration of three years since opening its doors.

A collection of short films will be screened under licence from Tropfest – Australia’s most prestigious short film competition.

Since opening in 2015, the Mildura centre of Australia’s youth mental health service has had 1600 people between the age of 12 and 25 utilise the services on offer.

Creating events that appeal to this age group is an important facet to the service, and Mildura’s Youthspace Group has been busily putting preparations in place for tonight’s event.

Movie-goers can take advantage of burgers, both meat and vegetarian, popcorn and a dessert bar, all for a gold coin donation. Heaps of prizes will also be on offer, with the ‘Golden Ticket’ door prize including VIP seating and a hamper of goodies to enjoy on the night.

The social media-based ‘like, share and attend’ prize includes over $200 in vouchers from George & Olive, Royal Copenhagen and Nash Lane.

headspace Mildura community awareness and group activities co-ordinator, Matt Spencer, said all is ready for a fun-filled night.

“We’d been thinking about what we could do that would utilise the fantastic back space we have at the headspace centre,” he said. “We decided on the Laneway Film Festival after Tropfest organisers agreed to licence the films for us.

“We will be screening about 20 films across the night, we have quite a program lined up and there will be lots of chances to see different works.

“General and family-friendly screenings will be on first before an intermission, and films that may contain more adult content will be screened later on.

“A number of the films star young actors, or were directed or produced by young people, which is great for us as our service is aimed at the 12 to 25-year age range.

“We’ve had lots of interest and contact through our social media profiles, as well as from traditional media.

“Our Youthspace Group have done a great job of shaping it into an event that people are keen to attend, and that they would want to be a part of themselves.”

Creating a safe and supportive environment for young people to seek help or advice for any issue they may be faced with is at the forefront of the headspace service.

“It’s great that we have been able to help so many young people in Sunraysia,” Mr Spencer said. “While some people may not need the service again, it’s also good when young people come back to us for extra support at a later date because they feel comfortable and have that level of trust with the workers at headspace Mildura.”

The Laneway Film Festival takes place at the headspace Mildura centre at 2/125 Pine Avenue. Gates open at 5.30pm tonight, with screenings beginning at 6pm.

For more information visit the headspace Mildura Facebook page.