by Dov Kornits

The 13th annual Darwin International Film Festival [DIFF] returns with their biggest event yet, featuring a number of new initiatives, with 39 screenings across eleven nights, including Australian and international documentaries, George Miller and a special focus on First Nations filmmaking.

“Rich storytelling comes from telling a range of lived-in experiences,” says John Schier, DIFF Festival Chair. “International dramas, epic nature documentaries, and First Nations stories is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of programming we’re excited to once again offer at DIFF.

“This year, we’re celebrating a record level of Territory screen productions and also expanding how festival-goers can enjoy stories from around the world – including Aussie favourites – with our Sundown Screen that fills the Waterfront Peninsula Lawns with seats and snacks for the whole family.”

Sundown Screen is a new outdoor cinema on Darwin’s Waterfront Peninsula Lawns, offering free screening early in the day, celebrating Australian classics such as Muriel’s Wedding, Death in Brunswick and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, among others.

Like the recent Sydney Film Festival, opening night film is We Are Still Here, which sees 10 filmmakers from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific respond to the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in the region.

Australian highlights include artist Del Kathryn Barton’s feature debut Blaze, Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes’ breakout Sissy, Molly Haddon’s The Longest Weekend starring Mia Artemis, and documentaries Tiger on the Rocks about the mythical Tasmanian Tiger, Franklin from Kasimir Burgess and Audrey Napanangka from NT filmmaker Penelope McDonald. International features include Pan Nalin’s Last Film Show, US indie Emily the Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza, Peter Strickland Flux Gourmet, arthouse fave Compartment No. 6 and Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave, the animated Where is Anne Frank, and explosive documentary Fire of Love.

George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing will be presented by legendary cinematographer John Seale, whilst Mad Max Fury Road Black & Chrome will screen with an original score performed by Tom Thum (beatbox, foley, sound FX), Benjamin Walsh (percussion and drums) and Shenzo Gregorio (violin, guitar, synth).

The Best of Annecy Kids program features short films for audiences of all ages, CINEMART will see live music and film merge with #Ghostmodern, a collaboration between filmmaker Timothy Parish and music producer Kuya James (James Mangohig) and Indo futurist Tutup Mulut with live rap narration by MCs Mista Monk and Australian hip-hop legend Elf Tranzporter.

Alice Springs-shot series True Colours and MaveriX will also screen, alongside a two-day NT Screen Summit, which will bring together local and vision film industry practitioners.

DIFF 2022, Monday September 5 – 15


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