RUBEN GUTHRIE to open Sydney Film Festival 2015

 2015, Festivals, News, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on RUBEN GUTHRIE to open Sydney Film Festival 2015
Apr 162015


Australian film Ruben Guthrie will have its world première as the opening night film of the 62nd Sydney Film Festival on June 3rd. The film is the directorial début of award-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor Brendan Cowell, who adapted it from his own critically acclaimed theatre production. The film, produced by Kath Shelper, was shot on location all over Sydney. The cast includes: Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Harriet Dyer, Jeremy Sims, Brenton Thwaites, Aaron Bertram, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson.

The synopsis of the film is as follows:

Life is good for ad man Ruben Guthrie – he leads a party boy lifestyle, has a model fiancée and lives in a house on the water. He’s at the top of his game, until some drunken skylarking lands Ruben at the bottom of his infinity pool, lucky to be alive. His mum hits the panic button, and then his fiancée leaves him, but not before issuing him one final challenge: If Ruben can do one year without a drink, she’ll give him another chance…
Ruben Guthrie is the story of one man not only battling the bottle, but the city that won’t let him put it down.

Tickets will go on sale for the film and opening night party at 9am Thursday 16 April via

The full festival line-up will be announced next month.

Netflix launches in Australia & New Zealand

 News  Comments Off on Netflix launches in Australia & New Zealand
Mar 242015


After years of stories reporting Netflix was launching a local service, it has finally happened. Today Netflix launched Netflix Australia and New Zwaland with pricing plans starting for A$8.99 per month for Australia and NZ$9.99 per month for New Zealand  (one month free trial available). Those in Aus who have internet through iiNet or one of their subsidiaries (such as Optus), will get the added bonus of Netflix being unmetered – meaning it doesn’t count towards your data usage. Take note though, those using a VPN to access Netflix US etc will still be charged – this only applies to Aus customers directly accessing Netflix Aus/NZ the old-fashioned way.

Netflix’s Australia and New Zealand offerings will be different, with Stuff reporting that Kiwis will miss out on the likes of Downton Abby and season 3 of House of Cards, which are/will be available in the Australian catalogue.

It’s said that more than 200k Australians are thought to be accessing Netflix via VPN. How many will change? Well, that entirely depends on how quickly the Aus/NZ Netflix catalogue grows. It’s never going to have everything the US Netflix has due to licensing deals and issues acquiring local rights, but there is still potential. Considering the cost of US Netflix + VP is about US$13 per month, the Aus/NZ pricing does come out considerably cheaper, especially when the appalling exchange rate is taken into account.

It’s fantastic that film & TV lovers in this part of the world finally have legitimate access to the service, and if nothing else, it’s going to shake up the local market and provide some much-needed competition.

If you sign up to Netflix, let us know what you think of the offerings.

First films announced for Sydney Film Festival 2014

 2014, Festivals, Sydney Film Festival  Comments Off on First films announced for Sydney Film Festival 2014
Apr 022014

The 61st Sydney Film Festival today announced 32 of the more than 180 films to be featured in this year’s event in advance of the full program launch on Wednesday 7 May.

Most exciting for me is Xavier Dolan’s fourth feature film, Tom At The Farm. The film premiered at TIFF last year and I’ve been aching to see it ever since. In Tom At The Farm, A young man attends the funeral of his gay lover in rural Quebec, only to find himself trapped in a dangerous dance of lust and sadistic impulses with the deceased’s brother. Dolan won the Sydney Film Festival Prize in 2010 for his second feature film, Heartbeats.

Other titles I am excited about are features: Joe (David Gorden Green), Frank (Lenny Abrahamson), 2014 Golden Bear Winner Black Coal, Thin Ice (Yinan Diao), Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? (Michel Gondry) and The Unknown Known (Errol Morris).

For Robert Altman fans, now is the time to get excited. The 61st Sydney Film Festival will feature a special eight film retrospective, with the director’s film-making son Michael Altman attending the festival as a special guest. Michael will introduce several of his father’s films and participate in the extensive talks programme.

A list of the 32 films announced (including synopsis) is after the jump.

For more information about the festival, films and tickets, visit

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Mardi Gras Film Festival 2014

 Festivals  Comments Off on Mardi Gras Film Festival 2014
Jan 162014

From cheeky laugh-out-loud comedies, to insightful, honest takes on LGBTIQ life and culture, Queer Screen is proud to announce a diverse, quirky and exciting program for the 21st Mardi Gras Film Festival, this February from Thursday, February 13th to Sunday, February 23rd at Event Cinemas George Street, Sydney.

One of the most respected Queer Film Festivals internationally, and now in its 21st year, the 2014 program features no less than five world premieres, with 19 films also making their Australian première.

The 2014 program features one of the most fabulously diverse schedules in the festival’s 21 year history, covering a wide range of LGBTIQ issues. Out in the Line-Up, The Battle of the Sexes and The Rugby Player all explore gays in sports, while the hot topic of religion takes focus in Vicky – The Gay Gene Comes to Australia. Bullying takes a heartbreaking turn in Valentine Road, a documentary about Larry King, a 15-year-old boy who was killed by another boy at school for giving him a Valentine’s Day card. Larry’s murder made international headlines and brought issues of gender expression and sexual identity of teenagers to the global spotlight.

Films direct from this year’s Berlin Film Festival include 52 Tuesdays, Quick Change and Test, with 52 Tuesdays also playing at The Sundance Film Festival this month. 2014 will also be the first time that a kids film will be screened as part of the festival, with Disney classic Beauty and The Beast, presented by Rainbow Kids and babies. There will also be four short film categories as part of the festival, including My Queer Career, Australia’s richest prize for queer short films.
For information about all the fabulous films, events and tickets, please visit:

An Online Universe has a new look!

 News, Site news  Comments Off on An Online Universe has a new look!
May 162013



So you might have noticed something a little different…that’s right, we’ve got a shiny new design! I really wanted to make the site sleeker  faster and easier to navigate. It’s also now more mobile friendly. For most devices, the site should automatically resize to suit the device that you are viewing it on.

The features menu contains all of non-review posts, like ‘The Best Film Set In…” and coverage of various awards. At An Online Universe we love film festivals! We love them so much they now have their own dedicated drop down menu. Just because the festival isn’t listed in the drop down menu, doesn’t mean we haven’t written something about it. Simply click on ‘festival’ to read all of our posts related to film festivals. The same deal goes for the ‘features’ and ‘reviews’ tabs.

Thanks so much to our designer Kimba McG for the amazing site makeover. You can check out more of Kimba’s work (and maybe hire her for your site redesign) at

Huge thanks also to my good friend Tom Eastman who looks after the “engine room” of the site and keeps everything humming along nicely.

We hope you like the site and we’d love to hear your feedback.

Oh, and by the way. Can you name all 18 films in our film header? They are from films that I absolutely adore.

Thanks for your support and we hope that you continue to enjoy what we do. It’s all for the love of the movies!
By Sam McCosh

 Posted by at 18:26  Tagged with:

Melbourne International Film Festival 2012 Programme Launched

 2012, Festivals, Melbourne Int'l Film Festival, News  Comments Off on Melbourne International Film Festival 2012 Programme Launched
Jul 112012


Australia’s biggest annual film event, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has launched it’s 61st programme, with an amazing array of films ranging from home-grown Australian gems, to Cannes award winners.

From the official website:

The Melbourne International Film Festival launched its 61st program last night, announcing P.J. Hogan’s Mental will close the Festival on Saturday 18 August.

“How wonderful that we are able to book-end the 2012 MIFF with what will surely be two of the biggest Australian films of the year, in The Sapphires and Mental. Featuring an incredible ensemble cast, P.J. Hogan’s new film is as outrageously fun as it is smart and moving,” said Artistic Director Michelle Carey

After the jump, check out more details on the films and tickets.

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