Weiner [SFF2016]

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Jun 142016


In May of 2011 seven term Congressman Anthony Weiner sent a sexually explicit photo on Twitter to a woman he was following on the service. After dodging and denying, he finally admitted that he had sent the photo, and in mid-June 2011 he resigned from public office. This film should have documented his triumphant return to politics, but instead a completely different story was told.

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A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers [SFF2016]

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Jun 132016


Directed by Pakistani’s first, and now two-time, Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Saving Face and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, also screening at SFF16) and Geeta Gandbhir, A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers is an absorbing and enlightening document of the experiences of a group of Bangladeshi policewomen who join a year-long UN peacekeeping mission in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While it serves as a challenge for these dedicated and strong-willed women, willing to leave behind their immediate families to honour other family members who had either died in the same line of work, or firmly believed in it, they do experience many psychologically affecting obstacles as they shatter commonly held Muslim traditions and gender stereotypes.

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Sonita [SFF2016]

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Jun 122016


When we join Afghani teenager Sonita Alizadeh, she has spent the last 10 years of her life as an undocumented refugee Iran. She’s working part-time at a Refugee Centre in Tehran, the same place where she receives her schooling. While she may find herself in a dire situation, economically, politically, and socially, she still has dreams – dreams of music and making it big.

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In Jackson Heights [SFF2016]

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Jun 122016


In Jackson Heights is the 42nd film from 85 year-old veteran American documentarian, Frederick Wiseman. Filmed over 9 weeks in 2014, the film paints a portrait of a vibrant, diverse community in flux. Gentrification is lapping at the doors of the largely immigrant neighbourhood, and big business is squeezing out the small.

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Tickled [SFF2016]

 2016, Festivals, Reviews, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on Tickled [SFF2016]
Jun 112016


When New Zealand journalist David Farrier came across a Facebook page advertising “competitive endurance tickling”, he thought he’d stumbled across an amusing story, so he reached out to the company behind it (Jane O’Brien Media) for an interview. Little did Farrier know, this was the beginning of an exceedingly bizarre journey.

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Trailer: Tickled

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Mar 252016

Tickled is a documentary film I have been following since its early stages. I am a fan of David Farrier’s work and I supported the Kickstarter for the film. The updates to Kickstarter backers during the film’s production was like following a thriller via email – rather compelling stuff. The film screened at Sundance and received extremely positive reviews [check our Alex Billington’s great review here].


New Zealand David Farrier journalist stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn’t stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.

The film has US and NZ release dates, but an Australian release date is yet to be announced. If it doesn’t get a release beforehand, I wouldn’t be surprised if this popped up at the Sydney Film Festival. Either way, we’re eagerly anticipating the chance to see it! You can read more about the film over at the film’s website.


 Reviews  Comments Off on Sherpa
Mar 252016


In 2013 a brawl between Sherpas and client climbers at the 21,000ft base camp of Mount Everest made news headlines. The Sherpas, an ethnic group of people living in the Himalayas, have been popularised as calm, cooperative and optimistic people who were always willing to assist foreign climbers achieve their dreams of reaching the Everest summit. But, something had made the Sherpa’s express an unusual emotion – anger. A serious verbal insult, in addition to the clearer realisation that their irreplaceable services were being exploited as the industry continues to boom, and the fact that their assignment of the highest proportion of risk was not being compensated. Add in their dismay at the escalating desecration of Everest’s sacred and natural wonders as a result of heavy expedition traffic, and this was enough to send a few over the edge when disrespected and provoked. Continue reading »

The Best Films of 2015 [Andy]

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Dec 282015

Creed Movie Film Trailers Reviews Movieholic Hub

So ends another year of film. A year of ups-and-downs, but the comforts of the cinema have remained frequent. To note this year: there have been less 4.5 and 5 star films for me – truly great ones – but a consistent stream of very good films. I can’t remember a year of such incredible depth. International films were certainly weaker this year. Perhaps it was the fact that not so many were available to me, but many of my favourite films last year (Two Days, One Night, Force Majeure and Ida for example) were international films. But, American cinema has been stronger than usual year, with some terrific mid-budget productions. Selecting this 25 (a number I have liked using for some years now) was a challenge that took many hours of deliberation and jostling, so I hope you appreciate the consideration and respect the high esteem of quality I place in these films.

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