Hot off the acclaim garnered for his short Sengatan, Australian actor/filmmaker Frank Magree and actor/producer Paul Henri return with the tense, Vietnam POW thriller Run South, a harrowing character study that distorts the parameters of morality when under extreme circumstances, which will premiere in Australia at Flickerfest.
The latest short film from writer/director Madeleine Gottlieb attracted Yael Stone and Emily Barclay to play sisters in this highly personal comedic drama, which will have its NSW premiere at the 31st Flickerfest International Short Film Festival.
All Circles The Moon And Dirt Shines In The Sun, a video installation directed and edited by Wahyu Al Mardhani and Chris Cochrance Friedrich,offers a glimpse into the rituals and local customs of Indonesian culture.
Covid upheavals revealed many fault lines in Australian society. One of those was shown in the Government deciding that there should be a more severe lockdown for the outer Western Sydney region, which underscored its difference from the rest of the city. For those not familiar with the relevant social geography, this outer western Sydney region contains higher than average levels of immigrants, unemployment and poverty.
The sense of both pride and feeling of being looked down upon are equally represented in this experimental feature. It is experimental in having six different directors filming the linked stories of eight different local writers. It starts, in the first ‘mini-film’, with a baby being snatched from a hospital ward. It then freewheels through various adventures; some of them comic, some of them deeply sad. All of them show a grounding of everyday life and the often-ignored struggles of ordinary people.
The film opened the recent Sydney Film Festival to a very warm reception, but one noticed, also, that there were many members of the audience that were involved in making the film. After all, it is a massive joint effort. In its way, Here Out West, as per the title, is a statement from, and about, a whole region. It is saying “we are here, deal with us”. Whether general audiences will be as predisposed is a moot point.
There are two obvious elements to a project like this. Even assuming you can make the story hang together, there is bound to be a considerable unevenness in tone. In terms of the performances, it is not that the many first-time film actors are bad, it is just that they don’t always seem totally comfortable onscreen.
The directors too, show levels of in/experience. The section directed by Leah Purcell (the actor who has moved into directing and whose The Drover’s Wife also played at the festival) has quite a lot of energy to it. Another strong contribution comes from Ana Kokkinos (who made the brilliantly raw Blessed (2009)). Perhaps it is too much to expect every contribution to be of the same standard. Looking back, the film may well be remembered for launching several new talents and that on its own might be enough.
Recently awarded Best Feature Film at the Mobile Motion Film Festival in Switzerland and Best International Feature Film at the Ojo Movil Film Festival in Peru, Darcy Yuille's Melbourne made thriller, shot entirely on smart phones, will screen next year at Sydney's SF3 Film Festival.
Short film Lost Boy has been making waves across the festival circuit, taking out Best Short Film at the 2021 St Kilda Film Festival (and qualifying for the Oscars) and landing its writer/director Peter Skinner a nomination for Best Director from the Australian Directors’ Guild.