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Sydney Film Festival closes with honours for Leah Purcell, 'The Pink House'

Leah Purcell accepting the Sydney Unesco City of Film Award..

Sydney Film Festival closed last night, with Ildikó Enyedi.s On Body and Soul awarded the $60,000 Sydney Film Prize..

The film from the Hungarian director has previously also won the Berlinale Golden Bear, and follows an unconventional romance between two co-workers who discover that each night they have exactly the same dreams.

Accepting the award Enyedi said: .It was such an amazingly strong competition. It.s marvellous that.such a film can move so many people, it gives me so much hope in cinema and in human communication.

Sydney filmmakers Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Claire Haywood were awarded the $10,000 Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary for The Pink House, about the last brothel in Kalgoorlie.

In a joint statement, the jury, which was made up of Ramona S. Diaz, CEO Documentary Australia Foundation Dr Mitzi Goldman and Amin Palangi said:.

"Amongst ten noteworthy films,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Margaret Pomeranz heads up bid to restore Weaving-Crowe breakout Proof

The National Film and Sound Archive's (Nfsa) crowdfunding campaign to restore Proof, Jocelyn Moorhouse.s 1991 film, is in its final days..

Written and directed by Moorhouse,.Proof.is the story of Martin (Hugo Weaving), a blind photographer. Andy, played by Russell Crowe, is the only friend Martin trusts to describe his photos to him.

The film launched both Weaving and Crowe.s careers onto the international stage, and was also Moorhouse.s breakout as a director. Proof premiered at Cannes, where it won the Golden Camera award, and has also won a host of AFI awards, including best film, director, screenplay, lead actor and supporting actor.

Since mid-May, the Nfsa has been asking Australians to pitch in $25,000 through a Pozible campaign to help restore the fim into a pristine digital format that can be shown in modern cinemas.

Funds raised by the campaign, now in its final days, will partially
See full article at IF.com.au »

The Daughter review – small-town Australia haunted by the past

A family’s long-buried secret is unearthed in an Ibsen adaptation marked by fine performances

Very loosely based on Henrik Ibsen’s play The Wild Duck, this solid drama is transposed to contemporary Australia and a community blighted by a dying logging industry. Christian (Paul Schneider) returns home to attend the marriage of his father (Geoffrey Rush), but in doing so unearths a long-buried secret that has ramifications for the family of his best friend, Oliver (Ewen Leslie). The sense of communities rent apart by spectres from the past is reminiscent of the work of Ray Lawrence, the director of Lantana and Jindabyne. And it’s perhaps no coincidence that director Simon Stone appeared as an actor in the latter. Other influences include Terrence Malick, particularly in the use of sound and the way fragments of dialogue bleed across scenes. The melodrama of the third act is mitigated by the quality of the performances.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sff 2016 boasts five Australian feature premieres, Mel Gibson in conversation

Alex Russell in Ivan Sen's Goldstone.

The full Sydney Film Festival line-up was unveiled this morning by Sff director Nashen Moodley, with five Australian feature premieres and eight Aussie documentary premieres.

In a coup for the festival, this year's Talks program at Sydney Town Hall's Hub will include a free talk with Mel Gibson, whose Blood Father is playing at the fest, as well as in-conversation events with Australian filmmakers such as Ivan Sen.

Sen's Goldstone, the festival's opening night film, will also feature in the official competition..

Other Aussie premieres include Abe Forsythe's Cronulla black comedy Down Under, Craig Boreham's queer drama Teenage Kicks, playwright Stephen Sewell's directorial debut Embedded, and Craig Anderson's thriller Red Christmas, starring E.T.'s Dee Wallace.

Also in the line-up are Aussie titles that premiered overseas last year, such as Beast, the McKeith brothers' Manila-set boxing drama that comes
See full article at IF.com.au »

Bliss rewatched: a dark, controversial but amusing vision of purgatory

Originally scorned by audiences, director Ray Lawrence’s shocking Kafkaesque comedy starring Barry Otto became an arthouse sleeper hit

The DVD synopsis of director Ray Lawrence’s debut film Bliss describes it as a “controversial Australian film that both shocked and thrilled audiences at the 1985 Cannes film festival”.

Shocked and thrilled is one way to put it; another would be to say that the audience walked out in droves. The first screening resulted in a legendary shuffle to the exits: some 400 people abandoned Lawrence’s strikingly atmospheric adaptation of the author Peter Carey’s novel, recipient of the Miles Franklin award in 1981.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Time Machine: Wolverine Jackman and Wife and Iron Man Downey Jr and Wife Plus Oscar Winner Kidman and Husband Singer Urban on Red Carpet

Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness, Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban at the Oscars Wolverine Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness at the Academy Awards Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness, along with Best Actress nominee Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban, are pictured above arriving at the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Stage and screen actor-singer Hugh Jackman was the Oscar ceremony host a couple of years ago, while Nicole Kidman was a 2011 Best Actress nominee for her performance as a bereaved mother in John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, co-starring Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest. More on Kidman further below. Recent Hugh Jackman movies The most recent film efforts of the Sydney-born Hugh Jackman were Gavin Hood's X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), in which he has the (second half of the) title role, and Baz Luhrmann's epic romance Australia (2008). Co-starring Nicole Kidman,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Director scores two Adg Awards nominations

Matt Saville has been nominated in two categories at the 2015 Australian Directors Guild Awards, for his feature Felony and an episode of Josh Thomas. ABC-tv comedy Please Like Me.

The other nominees in the feature film category are Sophie Hyde for 52 Tuesdays, Jennifer Kent for The Babadook and Robert Connolly for Paper Planes.

There are two nominees for Rake for TV drama series: Jessica Hobbs and Rowan Woods. Also in the running are Shawn Seet for The Code, Geoff Bennett for Love Child and Kevin Carlin for Wentworth.

Kate Dennis and Peter Salmon are both nominated for Secrets & Lies in the TV miniseries category, together with Tony Krawitz (Devil.s Playground). and Ian Watson (Anzac Girls).

The telemovie award is a toss-up between Samantha Lang for Carlotta and Jeffrey Walker for Jack Irish: Dead Point.

In the 30th year of Neighbours, Chris Langman has been nominated in the TV drama
See full article at IF.com.au »

Producers urged to tell universal stories, and better

To have any chance of international sales, Australian films need to be original, bold, tell universal stories and be extremely well executed.

That.s according to some international sales agents whom If interviewed as part of our ongoing series of articles on the state of Australian cinema and ways to reach audiences more effectively.

While their views may sound obvious, they say that too often Australian films are failing on most if not all counts.

Michael Favelle of Odin.s Eye Entertainment agrees with the premise that producers should go big or small and avoid middle budget films, as If canvassed last week, but he sees a deeper problem.

.Yes there is a challenge in recouping and financing mid-range films but where we are failing more often is in original films with clear and compelling premises or stories with universal appeal,. says Favelle, the international sales rep for Canopy, Forbidden Ground,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Mystery Road wows UK critics

Ivan Sen.s Mystery Road has been warmly received by the UK critics as the Outback thriller began its cinema roll-out, and the Us release is set for October.

The detective story starring Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Kwanten, Jack Thompson, Tony Barry, Robert Mammone and Tasma Walton opened on seven screens in London, Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Sheffield last Friday, making a respectable £8,400 ($15,000).

Producer David Jowsey told If the UK distributor Axiom Films plans to expand the release to 28 cities through the end of October.

Typifying the warm critical reception, the Observer.s Mark Kermode declared, .This atmospheric Australian thriller is closer in tone to the measured, brooding unease of Ray Lawrence's Jindabyne than to the visceral thrills and spills of Greg Mclean's Wolf Creek.

.More interested in unpicking the broiling tensions of outback Queensland than in tying up the loose ends of his straggle-threaded whodunnit plot,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Mystery Road review – stylish Aussie thriller that rises above pulpy cliche

Aaron Pedersen excels as an indigenous Australian cop caught between two worlds in Ivan Sen's evocative outback thriller

Despite playing out in locations with such evocative names as Massacre Creek, Slaughter Hill and the titular Mystery Road, this atmospheric Australian thriller is closer in tone to the measured, brooding unease of Ray Lawrence's Jindabyne than to the visceral thrills and spills of Greg McLean's Wolf Creek. More interested in unpicking the broiling tensions of outback Queensland than in tying up the loose ends of his straggle-threaded whodunnit plot, writer-director Ivan Sen (who also shoots, scores and edits) goes walkabout through the minefield of contemporary Australian culture, offering an evocative snapshot of an unravelling crime scene – social, racial and economic.

Charismatic Aaron Pedersen stars as detective Jay Swan, returning to his small-town roots after a stint in "the big smoke", which has merely widened the chasm between him and his former peers.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Nz's Emma Slade set for UK Pfm

  • ScreenDaily
Nz's Emma Slade set for UK Pfm
Emma Slade, Steve Kearney, Briget Callow-Wright heading for the UK’s Production Finance Market.

Sales agents from across the world yesterday voted New Zealand’s Emma Slade as the producer at the 37º South Market who most deserves a spot at the UK’s Production Finance Market (Pfm) in October, plus $1,860 (A$2,000) in travel assistance.

Runner-ups Steve Kearney and Bridget Callow-Wright from Australia also won places – but no cash.

Organizers said 2,203 meetings were held as part of the eighth edition of the co-financing film market, which is part of the business arm of the Melbourne International Film Festival (Miff).

Slade will be seeking a sales agent for The Love Of Humankind, the lead project in her slate, during her visit to London.

The “vodka-fuelled tragicomedy about unrequited love” is to be directed by comedian Danny Mulheron (Fresh Meat) from a script by he and Brian Sergent.

Based on a stage play, her one-liner
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Crouching Tiger,' 'Howards End,' 'Talk to Her': the best of Sony Pictures Classics

  • Hitfix
Sony Pictures Classics honchos Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have been feted up one side and down the other lately. The duo celebrated 20 years of Spc in 2012 and have received awards from the Museum of the Moving Image and the Gotham Awards as of late. Tonight they will receive the Los Angeles Film Festival's Spirit of Independence Award as the love keeps pouring in. Given that we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Fox Searchlight — another crucial entity in the indie film space — it seemed like we were over due for a similar appreciation of Sony Classics' 22 years of output. The interesting thing, though, is that unlike Searchlight, there isn't necessarily anything outwardly identifiable about Sony Classics films as, well, "Sony Classics films." They all have a strong whiff of good taste but they don't have the heavy marketing footprint of some of the studio's contemporaries. Barker and Bernard's cinephile passion is always evident,
See full article at Hitfix »

Adg salutes Mordaunt, Woods, Perkins

Kim Mordaunt, Rowan Woods and Rachel Perkins were among the winners in the Australian Directors Guild awards presented in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum on Friday night.

Mordaunt took the Adg award for best direction in a feature film for his debut film The Rocket. The best direction in a telemovie gong went to Woods for The Broken Shore.. Perkins won the prize for best direction in a TV drama series for Redfern Now series 2, episode 2, Starting Over.

The Adg Awards celebrate the outstanding work of Australian screen directors in the past year in 16 categories including film, television, multiplatform, music and advertising. .The winners include some of the industry.s most experienced directors such as Ray Lawrence, Rowan Woods, Geoffrey Nottage and Rachel Perkins, but also reflect the incredible new talent rising through the ranks who are working across the various screen platforms,. said Adg executive director Kingston Anderson. The
See full article at IF.com.au »

Kim Mordaunt heads Australian Directors Guild Awards

Kim Mordaunt heads Australian Directors Guild Awards
Hong Kong – Kim Mordaunt and his Laos-set charmer “The Rocket” was awarded the Australian Directors’ Guild award for best direction in a feature film.

Mordaunt received the prize on Friday at a ceremony and dinner in Sydney.

The film, which premiered in Berlin in February 2013 has become one of the most rewarded films of the past year. Its awards haul includes a Crystal Bear from Berlin and a trio of prizes from Tribeca in 2013.

The Adg prize for best direction in a telemovie was won by Rowan Woods for “The Broken Shore.” Rachel Perkins won the award for best direction in a TV drama series for “Redfern Now” (Series 2, Episode 2, “Starting Over”).

The feature documentary award was presented to Sophia Turkiewicz for “Once my Mother.” The film will be released theatrically in Australia in July.

Khoa Do won the award for best direction in the TV mini series for “Better Man
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Kim Mordaunt heads Australian Directors Guild Awards

Kim Mordaunt heads Australian Directors Guild Awards
Hong Kong – Kim Mordaunt and his Laos-set charmer “The Rocket” was awarded the Australian Directors’ Guild award for best direction in a feature film.

Mordaunt received the prize on Friday at a ceremony and dinner in Sydney.

The film, which premiered in Berlin in February 2013 has become one of the most rewarded films of the past year. Its awards haul includes a Crystal Bear from Berlin and a trio of prizes from Tribeca in 2013.

The Adg prize for best direction in a telemovie was won by Rowan Woods for “The Broken Shore.” Rachel Perkins won the award for best direction in a TV drama series for “Redfern Now” (Series 2, Episode 2, “Starting Over”).

The feature documentary award was presented to Sophia Turkiewicz for “Once my Mother.” The film will be released theatrically in Australia in July.

Khoa Do won the award for best direction in the TV mini series for “Better Man
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Nominees announced for Adg Awards

  • IF.com.au
Female directors have dominated the Documentary Feature category of the 2014 Australian Directors Guild Awards, whilst Home & Away has muscled out any other competition for TV Drama Serial. The nominees, announced this morning, cover 16 categories across film, television, multiplatform, music and advertising. This year has seen the Adg receive more entries than ever before, making the judging process a difficult one. .In the TV drama category, the documentary feature category and the feature film categories especially, the caliber is really high so that.s why there are so many nominations,. says Adg Executive Director Kingston Anderson. .The judges take it very seriously and fully understand the recognition the awards can bring.. In the feature film category, Baz Luhrmann was unsurprisingly nominated for box office hit The Great Gatsby alongside strong contenders Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket), Ivan Sen (Mystery Road), Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man) and Zak Hilditch, whose film These Final Hours,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Geoffrey Rush: A Career Retrospective

The cinematic adaptation of Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel The Book Thief is out in UK cinemas today, check out our review here. To celebrate the transition of this moving tale from page to screen we’ve taken a look at the much celebrated career of the film’s leading man, Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush.

With a screen career spanning over thirty years, Rush has become recognised as one of the finest actors of his generation, winning a host of top awards and starring in some of the stand-out films of the last few decades. It would take a substantial amount of time to document all of his finest achievements in film, but here are a few of our favourites.

Shine (1996) dir. Scott Hicks

Arguably the performance that put the Australian actor on the world map, Rush was awarded the much coveted gold statue for Best Actor at the
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Producers unveil strategic alliance

Morrissey Molloy Entertainment, Garry Charny.s Spotted Turquoise Films and Michael Gudinski.s Mushroom Pictures have unveiled a joint venture which aims to produce at least six films.

The first two projects are Boys in the Trees, a drama starring Harrison Gilbertson and Alice Englert, and Wake Up Dead, which has Alex Russell and Luke Ford attached.

.We each bring different skills and strong national and international contacts to the joint venture,. Charny tells If. The .matchmaker. was Maura Fay casting agent Marianne Jade, who is casting both films.

"She suggested we get together for a cup of coffee and we realised we were each producing a film we liked and respected,. said Molloy, who is developing Boys in the Trees for the co-venture between Mushroom and Morrissey Molloy.

Wake Up Dead is the first Australian film from Spotted Turquoise. Charny produced Ray Lawrence.s Jindabyne in his former role as head of April Films.
See full article at IF.com.au »

The top 25 underappreciated films of 2001

Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 5 Dec 2013 - 06:54

Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2001, and a vintage year for lesser-seen gems...

Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke may have seen 2001 as the year we'd head off to meet alien intelligences in the depths of space, but in reality, its cinematic landscape was dominated by fantasy rather than extra-terrestrials. Rowling and Tolkien dominated the box office, with Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and The Fellowship Of The Ring earning almost $1bn each, while Monsters, Inc and Shrek thrilled old and young audiences alike.

At the other end of the spectrum of success, 2001 was such a vintage year for movies that we had to whittle our usual selection of 25 films down from an initial selection of more than 40. This is why the decision was made - with heavy heart - to exclude some of our favourite films,
See full article at Den of Geek »

R.I.P. Robin Clifton

Robin Clifton.

Robin Clifton, one of Australia.s most respected and successful location managers, died last Friday after a long illness. She was 71.

Born in New Zealand, Clifton worked as location manager on dozens of films and TV dramas in Australia, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands and China.

Clifton entered the industry in the early 1980s, working initially on TVCs. Her first feature was Bliss (1985), produced by Tony Buckley and directed by Ray Lawrence. She later collaborated with Buckley on Poor Man.s Orange (1987), the miniseries adapted from a Ruth Park novel, and the telemovie Heroes. Mountain (2002), the saga of Stuart Driver, who survived the 1997 Thredbo tragedy.

.Robin knew how to read a script from a director's point of view,. Buckley tells If. .No mean feat. A true professional with class. She is going to be very sadly missed..

Buckley hailed her as a .location manager par excellence. Difficult location?
See full article at IF.com.au »
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