In 2020, Renae Hardie Braovich founded RHB Films to give a voice to those who are not always heard or seen in mainstream films. She recognised there are many talented and underrepresented people who, through various circumstances, lack the means for their voice to be seen or witnessed creatively.

A resident of Rockingham for over 30 years, Renae also wanted to develop a community project which positively highlighted the region. Rockingham is more than an aquatic playground — it has a rich history, an exciting future, and a diverse culture, giving the community a generous beating heart.

Combining the two thoughts, Rock The Boat Film Festival was born, and the development of it began, as did the hope of inspiring as many community members as possible to share their stories through a more accessible short film festival. By the end of the first year of this festival, this vision had become a reality.

In 2022, the success of the event was overwhelmingly positive, with a sense of unity and inspiration that was felt by many. From there, people from other regions expressed to Renae the hope of her bringing Rock The Boat Film Festival to their respective communities. This is what she did, setting sail from Rockingham to include Kwinana and Fremantle in 2023, with the intent of keeping Rockingham the home, or “anchor” of the event.

The second year of the festival saw all three regions having their own screenings at local theatres in October, and then, in November, filmmakers, family and friends from all three regions finally united at our Gala Awards Night in Rockingham to celebrate the achievements of this festival’s storytellers. Yet again, we can say with confidence and pride that this was a great success.

In early 2024, the City of Rockingham acknowledged Renae as a Nominee in the Australia Day Community Citizen of the Year Awards for her dedication to developing and organising this festival, and for the impact it’s had within the community. Renae is honoured and humbled by this recognition, and is currently hard behind the scenes, as she has done for the previous two years, project managing and planning Rock The Boat Film Festival’s 3rd season in 2024.