Aug 162015
 

maya

Back for its 6th year, and this time expanding from Melbourne to also include to Canberra and Hobart, the Environmental Film Festival uses the power of film, music and debate to unite filmmakers, environmentalists, politicians, scientists, experts, and the broader public in their desire to actively engage in issues that affect all of our futures.

The interesting and thought-provoking programme features a selection of features, shorts, panels, and even a trip to the planetarium.

Some highlights include:

CORAL: REKINDLING VENUS (Melbourne only)
A planetarium is a pretty unique place to watch a film and that’s what you’ll be doing if you attend the session of Australian artist Lynette Wallworth’s Coral: Rekindling Venus. Visit the mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, and meet bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life. Learn about how our fate is intertwined with the fate of the coral community. This film looks to be both beautiful and a little bit terrifying…how badly are we stuffing up?

HEART OF SKY, HEART OF EARTH (Melbourne only)
Filmed over a several years Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth follows six young Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas through their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment. As corporations go to the ends of the earth to extract resources at any cost, the Mayan cosmovision, in which all life is sacred and interconnected, presents a deeply compelling alternative to the prevailing worldview. The photography in the trailer for this film looks absolutely gorgeous and it’s not a setting or a culture that we see very often on film.

LANDFILL HARMONIC (Melb/Canb/Hobart)
This film won the audience award (24 Beats Per Second) at the 2015 SXSW film Festival. Set in an extremely poor community in Paraguay, the film is about an ingenious music teacher who salvages scraps from the rubbish dumps to help bring music to the children. Filmed over 5 years the film follows the children as they grow in confidence and begin to perform, first on a locally and then internationally. This document sounds like a straight to the gut, heart-swelling sorta of film. What’s a film festival without a least one of those?

 

What: Environmental Film Festival Australia 2015
When: Sept 3-10 (Melb), Sept 11-13 (Canb), Sept 18-21 (Tas), 2015
Where: Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart
Website / Full Program / Tickets: www.effa.org.au

Jul 222015
 

Theeb

Sick of winter? Want to escape Sydney but don’t have the time or money? Well thanks to the wealth of film festivals in the city, you can travel around the world from the comfort of the cinema. In the month between August 6 and September 6, there are no fewer that 7 film festivals happening in Sydney. Here’s our quick guide to what’s on.

David Stratton’s Great Britain Retro Film Festival – August 6-19
Where: Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
What: 19 classic British films, rarely seen on the big screen
Highlights: Stanley Kubrick’s digitally restored 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973); the 4K digitally restored Carol Reed masterpiece, The Third Man (1949)

Korean Film Festival (KOFFIA) – August 12-20
Where: Event Cinemas, George St
What: 20 feature from from the exciting world of Korean cinema; 4 guest sessions
Highlights: Han Ji-won’s animation Clearer Than You Think (2015); Su-won Shin’s Madonna (2015), which played in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes; Park Jin-pyo’s romantic comedy Love Forecast (2015)

Arab Film Festival – August 13-16
Where: Riverside Theatres
What 10 films from the Arab world
Highlights: Amber Fares’ all-woman race car driving team documentary Speed Sisters (2015); Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb (2015), a skillful, genre-crossing blend of a coming-of-age drama and a western

AICE Israeli Film Festival – August 18-30
Where: Palace Verona
What: 35 films across 6 categories
Highlights: Ari Foleman’s bold animation Waltz With Bashir (2008); Adam Colederon’s indie Marzipan Flowers (2014); Silvina Landsmann’s compelling documentary Hot Line (2015)

Lebanese Film Festival – August 21-September 5
Where: Bryan Brown Theatre, Hoyts Cinema Bankstown, Hoyts Cinema Entertainment Quarter, and Bankstown Arts Centre
What: Films that display of the diversity of Lebanese cinema and the many perspective through which Lebanon and it’s diaspora can be seen
Highlights: Kahil Gibran’s The Prophet (2014), the famous text brought to life by several directors in animated form; a collection of 10 short love stories, Rio, I Love You (2014); Farrah Zaine ALHashem’s Breakfast in Beirut, an experimental slice-of-life look at Beirut

Persian Film Festival – September 3-6
Where: Chauvel Cinema
What: Films from Persian speaking filmmakers around the globe
The Persian Film Festival programme will be announced soon! Be sure to check the line-up out on their website

Alliance Française Classic Film Festival – September 3-6
Where: Event Cinemas George Street and Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
What: Catherine Deneuve – Une Rétrospective; 6 of her most acclaimed films
Highlights: All the films are worth your time, but it’s hard to go past Luis Buñuel‘s Belle de Jour (1967), arguably the role for which Deneuve was most well-known for. 

Jun 262015
 

Timbuktu

The Queensland Film Festival (QFF) has announced its full inaugural programme. From July 24 to 26, the festival will bring twelve features and two shorts that demonstrate the depth and breadth of contemporary filmmaking. Three of the feature films and one of the short films will enjoy their Australian premieres.

The festival is bringing films to Brisbane that otherwise wouldn’t get a screening in the city. With its focus on films that would be otherwise unseen, it fills part of the hole left by the departure of BIFF 2 years ago. There is also a point of difference from the new Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival (BAPFF), which screens a region-focused selection of films, some of which get a cinema release.

“We are delighted to reveal the complete lineup for this year’s QFF,” said co-director Huw Walmsley-Evans. “Strong community support, particularly from Foxtel Movies, New Farm Cinemas and the Queensland University of Technology, as well as from the city’s dedicated and passionate cinephiles, has helped make this festival happen.”

As co-director John Edmond notes, “contemporary cinema is thriving around the globe, and Queensland wants to share in it.” He continues, “we’re simply grateful to be able to showcase some of the amazing films that, at the moment, would otherwise not be screened in Brisbane.”

Abderrahmane Sissako’s TIMBUKTU opens QFF, presenting a depiction of life under jihadist rule that speaks to our troubled times. TIMBUKTU provides a perfect example of the kind of work the festival aims to highlight; although it received an Academy Award nomination (Best Foreign Language Film) in 2015, and also cleaned up at France’s Cesar Awards.

Other highlights include:

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY (Peter Strickland) – An absolute must-see on the big screen for its inventive sound design and luscious production design.
P’TIT QUINQUIN (Bruno Dumont) – An absurdest murder mystery that opens with the discovery of human body parts stuffed inside a cow
JAUJA (Lisandro Alonso) – a colonialist Argentinian western starring Viggo Mortenson. The played at Cannes in 2014 in the Un Certain Regard and was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize.

For more information, head over to the official festival website or follow the fest on Twitter

The full festival line-up is after the jump.

Continue reading »

Jun 252015
 

thelobster

To help you with your selections, or possibly make it harder, we’ve listed our picks for your 10 trip pass. These are films we haven’t seen but would be seeing if we were lucky enough to be going. We’ll live vicariously through all of you I guess….*cries*. Seeing more than 10? We’ve also listed every film in the programme we have seen and can recommend. We’ve even linked to our reviews.

We’re going to assume that Opening Night is a given and take that straight out of your 10 pass. Direct from Cannes, THE LOBSTER is Greek New Wave director Yorgos Lanthimos’ English language début. Soak up the opening night buzz and be one of the first to see this film.

Our picks and recommendations for the rest of your fest are after the jump.

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Jun 182015
 

Rams

The Scandinavian Film Festival is pleased to announce its full repertoire of twenty-two features framed by the witty opening night comedy HERE IS HAROLD (Her Er Harold) and closing night film INGRID BERGMAN: IN HER OWN WORDS (Jag ar Ingrid).

The latter sees Stig Bjorkman deliver a revelatory documentary on Bergman’s personal life through her diary, interviews with family members and never-before-seen private footage, providing a captivating look behind the scenes of the remarkable life of a young Swedish girl who became one of the most celebrated actresses of American and World cinema.

Swedish-Finnish actress and well-known comedian Bianca Kronlöf will be present in Sydney and Melbourne for their opening nights and an exclusive Q&A following the screening of her film UNDERDOG (Svenskjävel), which sees her play 23-year-old Dino, who has fled the mass unemployment of her home country in search of a more worthwhile existence in Oslo, Norway, only to end up in the centre of a scandalous and intense love triangle.

Other Festival highlights include:

Grimur Hakonarson’s RAMS (Hrutar), which was awarded the top prize in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. RAMS centres on two brothers from a remote Icelandic farming valley who haven’t spoken in 40 years, but have to come together in order to save what’s dearest to them — their prize-winning flock of sheep.

Anne Sewitsky (winner of Sundance’s World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in 2011 for her début feature, Happy, Happy) returns with HOMESICK (De Naermeste), an intimate portrayal of one woman desperately trying to rewrite past emotional injuries.

Danish Academy-Award winning director Bille August’s SILENT HEART (Stille hjerte), a masterfully crafted drama where three generations of a family gather in a large isolated country home faced with a mother’s ultimate decision.
 
Check out the full programme & purchases your tickets @ http://www.scandinavianfilmfestival.com/
 

Festival dates & locations

WED 8 JULY – SUN 26 JULY: PALACE NORTON STREET, PALACE VERONA
VIC THU 9 JULY – SUN 26 JULY: PALACE CINEMA COMO, PALACE BRIGHTON BAY
ACT TUE 14 JULY – SUN 26 JULY: PALACE ELECTRIC
QLD THU 16 JULY – SUN 26 JULY: PALACE CENTRO
BYRON FRI 17 JULY – THU 23 JULY: PALACE BYRON BAY
SA WED 22 JULY – WED 29 JULY: PALACE NOVA EASTEND CINEMA
WA THU 23 JULY – WED 29 JULY: CINEMA PARADISO
HOBART THU 23 JULY – WED 29 JULY: STATE CINEMA

May 292015
 

TheWolfpack1

An Online Universe’s Andrew Buckle joins Blake Howard of Graffiti with Punctuation, on episode 78 of Pod Save Our Screen. The pair talk 2015 Sydney Film Festival must-sees and potential late Cannes additions. Listen/get the download link here.

May 262015
 

the-assassin-cannes-film-festival1

The Festival de Cannes has finished for another year, with films the second half of the festival receiving reactions from “An intensely compelling work” to, “sharp and heavy-handed”.

We haven’t included it in the list, but obviously the Palme d’Or winner Dheepan is a film to seek out. If a jury led by the Coens gave it the top prize, it’s probably special. Aus film fans will be pleased to know that Transmission Films have already picked it up for Aus distribution.

After the jump, check out the five films we are the most excited to see from the second half of the fest.

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