by Dov Kornits

The 23rd annual Revelation Perth International Film Festival returns from December 9 – 13, screening the most interesting contemporary international and local cinema.

Kicking things off on opening night will be documentary Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, co-directed by Wayne Blair and Perth’s own Nel Minchin.

Other treats include music-themed comedy Dinner in America and low budget comedy sci-fi Save Yourselves, which both competed at Sundance.

Music documentaries have always been the festival’s forte and this year is no exception, with the Australian premieres of Julien Temple’s Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, Matt Riddlehoover’s My Darling Vivian, about Vivian Liberto, Johnny Cash’s first wife; and Beth B’s Lydia Lunch – The War is Never Over.

On the documentary front, there’s You Don’t Nomi, which will double bill with ’90s cult film Showgirls, and Canadian film The New Corporation, the sequel to 2003’s surprise hit The Corporation.

Western Australian films include murder-mystery The Xrossing, from first timer Steven J. Mihaljevich, which won best film in the micro-budget category at the recent Toronto Independent Film Festival; documentary Laura’s Choice, which won awards at AIDC, horror/comedy/sci-fi mash up An Ideal Host from Robert Woods, plus a 4 hour documentary about The Orange People, The Beloved.

Last of the film announcements is the controversial Austrian film The Trouble With Being Born, which made global headlines after it was pulled from the virtual MIFF program earlier this year.

“CV19 has devastated the film fest scene globally, but a microbe isn’t going to stop us presenting some of the most exciting, vital, vibrant and acclaimed new and international short, feature and documentary films to WA audiences,” says Festival Director, Richard Sowada.

Apart from these stellar offerings, this year will also see short films as part of GET YOUR SHORTS ON! and CITY OF VINCENT FILM PROJECT. There will also be family-friendly short films screen free of charge at Luna Cinemas Leederville daily from 10.30am. Plus, WESTRALIA, a showcase of WA content at The Backlot on Saturday 12 December.

Revelation Film Festival’s virtual reality arm, XR:WA, returns just prior to the official festival from 3 – 6 December, a conference and public exhibition, with panel discussions, a Games and Experience Emporium, trade exhibitions, workshops with keynote speakers, and this year, FourByFour; four 4-minute short films which will premiere as part of the festival.

The festival will culminate with the WA SCREEN CULTURE AWARDS on Sunday 13 December, recognising excellence across the WA screen sector in a new media environment.

“It’s a program packed with special events, industry networking opportunities, a sister online component of around 15 additional titles and some of the most acclaimed festival titles you’ll find anywhere,” said Sowada. “In the most challenging of cultural times, we’re continuing to redefine what a film festival can be – and we can’t wait to see how audiences respond.”

The full program will be revealed in November.

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