The Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the oldest in the world and is known as Central and Eastern Europe’s leading film event. Now 23 year old Australian filmmaker Luke Sullivan is heading there to premiere his debut feature, Reflections in the Dust.
Combining elements of documentary and fiction, blending factual interviews with an ominous post-apocalyptic tale, Reflections in the Dust follows a blind girl (Sarah Houbolt) who lives on the edge of a desolate swamp with her father (Robin Royce Queree), a paranoid schizophrenic clown. The film switches between talking head interviews and dramatic scenes to build a portrait of loneliness, isolation, and existential despair.
Written and directed by the 23 year old Sullivan, the film is notable for being the first Australian feature to star a disabled actress. Houbolt, who is blind and suffers from the rare Hallermann Streiff Syndrome, is a renowned circus performer who competed in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics for swimming. She is an internationally regarded advocate for disabled inclusion, and was recently invited to the United Nations to speak about the rights of women with disability.
The film will screen in the section Imagina, which is reserved for films with an unconventional approach to narration and style as well as distinctive and radical visions of film language.
The 53rd KVFF runs from June 29 to July 7, 2018, For more information, go to the festival’s official site.