About Reels

Reels Film Society is an official film society based in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia.  Reels is a member of the  Federation of the Victorian Film Societies whose patron is film critic Mr David Stratton formerly of ABC's 'At the Movies' and The Australian newspaper. The Federation is a member of the Australian Council of Film Societies, which in turn is a member of the worldwide movement of film societies.

Movies are screened once a month at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre in Mount Gambier. 

The film society is run by volunteers and is an incorporated not-for-profit organisation under Lime Stones Inc, ABN 90 261 676 809. 


As an official film society we are expected to follow the objectives of film societies around the world. These objectives are to encourage interest in film as an art and as a medium of information and education by means of the exhibition of films of all kinds. 

Selection Procedure

There is a sub-committee of a minimum of three members who research and suggest films to screen.  The society was created to screen films that generally are on the city Palace Nova / art house cinema circuit and that is the main premise, they are contemporary films that would not normally be screened in a country area.

These are the main elements we use to select a film:

* screened in capital cities in the last 12 months

* have not been screened at the commercial Oatmill cinema or at a film festival in Mount Gambier

* Guidance comes IMDb with a minimum of 6 stars rating and Rotten Tomatoes websites as well as Metacritic and our associate FVFS members. If no star rating they have been screened as part of Australian or International film festivals, eg, Lavazza Italian Film Festival. This gives us an external, independent third party to aid in selecting quality movies.

* international or Australian 'art-house' films, ie, non-mainstream

* we aim to show a diverse range, ie, would avoid showing a French comedy each month

* we do not compete with commercial cinemas, we support cinema and people going to see all sorts of films on the big screen

* balance over the year’s offerings

* genre

* language

* cultural context

* currency – it is seen as important to maintain screening offerings that are as up-to-date as is possible. We aim to replicate the offerings from Palace Nova in a rural Film Society context

* mood and feel of movie

* Movie must be available on a format that are compatible with equipment available in regions.

* screening rights must be approved prior to screening

Once the sub-committee agrees on the films we then need to determine if we can obtain screening rights and if the film has become available on DVD.


Reels Film Society previously known as Reels @ Wehl Film Society was created in August 2008 to bring art-house Australian and international films to Mount Gambier and the region. Many of the films that are shown in the art-house theatres in the capital cities, such as Palace Nova,  are not available in commercial cinemas in a lot of regional or country Australia, as there is not the population to support a profitable screening.  

Reels was established as a not-for-profit and run by volunteers to enable the screening of these films for the local community.

In the early years members enjoyed the ambience of the historic Wehl Street Theatre. In 2015, Reels Film Society relocated to the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, a centre that continues to provide a social atmosphere, a haven for good company where members can enjoy a pre-screening glass of wine and a chat. It's easy to become a member and everyone's welcome.

The following volunteers were the founding committee, originally screening films after the Blue Lake Multicultural Festival in 2007 and then formalising into an incorporated film society in August 2008:

Monica Hart - Projectionist and film selection
Anne Hinkly-Tyler - Chair, promotions, film selection
Heather Kellas - Treasurer
Alice Wright - committee member
Maureen Whitehead - Secretary, film selection

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