By Travis Johnson

Running at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from October 13 – 15, The Veterans Film Festival showcases a diverse range of cinematic works by and about veterans of conflict, reflecting their lived experiences through a wide range of genres and forms.

This year’s programm was selected from hundreds of entries from around the world.  Festival Director Tom Papas noted, “We have films from across the globe, from countries as far afield as Canada, Iran, Germany, Italy, Israel, Poland, the UK and USA. Some of Australia’s brightest young actors and rising star film makers are on the bill too. The idea is to expose the very personal and diverse stories of combatants, veterans, their families and communities including the elderly and asylum seekers.

“There are love stories, science fiction and animation – it’s an incredibly diverse program.”

Some of this year’s highlights include:

Biography (Israel) – A war widow tries to protect herself from painful memories, and from her aggressive neighbours.
Boat People (Germany) – On his journey from Somalia to Europe, shipwrecked Moussa is picked up by a wealthy couple on their luxurious catamaran.
Exit Wounds (Australia) – a short dramatised documentary about the resilience of a troubled man who is building a better life through playing other people.
Forgotten Hero (Australia) – A veteran returns home and visits the house of a high school sweet heart to find her son fixing his old A Model Ford in the driveway.
Hyena Road (Canada) – Three different men, three different worlds, three different wars – all stand at the intersection of modern warfare; a murky world of fluid morality where all is not as it seems.
In the Neighbour’s Garden (UK) – In the First World War, two soldiers live out their existence in either boredom or fear, until a chance discovery lifts them away from the trenches.
Ozone (Serbia) – In a near future devastated by global nuclear war, Dastagir, one of the few survivors, fights to regain his lost love and rediscover his humanity.
Red Line (Iran) – In a desert Neverland a turtle and a lizard unwillingly get involved in a war between two powers.
The Camouflage Closet (USA) – a documentary project with that explores how LGBT veterans have been affected by PTSD, trauma, and recovery.
The Ravens (Australia) – When young Ruby’s father returns unexpectedly from war, his volatile state makes it difficult for the family to reconnect.

Tickets to all sessions are $15 and are selling fast, with opening night film Hyena Road, directed by and starring Paul Gross, already sold out. For info and tickets, go to the official site.



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