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Six Australian films set for world premieres at Miff

'The Butterfly Tree'..

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Miff Premiere Fund will present six world premieres at the 66th Melbourne International Film Festival (Miff), including Greg McLean.s survival thriller Jungle.

The festival runs August 3-20; the full program will be launched on July 11, with general public individual session tickets on sale from July 14..

The six premieres are:.

The Butterfly Tree, the feature debut of director Priscilla Cameron, is a coming-of-age tale of love and loss tinged with magical realism, starring Melissa George, Ewen Leslie, Ed Oxenbould and Sophie Lowe.

Naina Sen.s The Song Keepers chronicles the hidden musical legacy of ancient Aboriginal languages and German baroque songs that are being preserved by the Central Australian Aboriginal Women.s Choir.

Eddie Martin.s Have You Seen the Listers? is a moving personal account of the artistic and commercial rise of Australia.s most renowned street artist, which came with a deep personal cost.

In Westwind: Djalu.s Legacy, director Ben Strunin portrays Yolngu elder Djalu Gurruwiwi.s quest to pass his people.s ancient song lines and culture to the next generation — with a little help from global pop star Gotye..

Rabbit is a chilling fairytale feature debut from director Luke Shanahan in which identical twins are linked by more than just DNA, starring Alex Russell and Adelaide Clemens.

The opening night selection, Jungle stars Alex Russell and Daniel Radcliffe in a thriller based on the real-life story of adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg.

The Premiere Fund, which offers minority co-financing to new Australian narrative and documentary theatrical features that then premiere at Miff, has invested in a total of 56 projects. To celebrate the anniversary, Miff will have retro screenings of three classics:

Balibo (2009), Robert Connolly.s political thriller starring Oscar Isaac and Anthony Lapaglia. Bastardy (2008), Amiel Courtin-Wilson.s impressionistic portrait of the life of Indigenous arts personality Jack Charles.. Blessed (2009), Ana Kokkinos. drama about families, love and loss, starring Frances O'Connor, Miranda Otto, Deborra-Lee Furness, William McInnes, Sophie Lowe, Harrison Gilbertson and Reef Ireland.

Meanwhile www.miff.com.au will feature a new dedicated Premiere Fund page outlining all 56 investments along with a link to a new iTunes page where many of those films can be purchased..

Among the notable milestones over the 10 years:

Nearly 32 per cent of the fund.s films had female directors (versus Screen Australia-reported industry average of 16 per cent). Nearly 59 per cent had female producers (versus industry average of 32 per cent). 41 per cent included youth themes.. 27 per cent had elements portraying Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Communities (CALDs), with 5 per cent having Cald creative principals (director and/or producer(s). 16 per cent included Indigenous themes and/or characters (including Bran Nue Dae), and nearly 7 per cent had Indigenous creative principals. 13 per cent included Lgbti characters and/or issues, with 18 per cent involving Lgbti creative principals. Some 50% of Premiere Fund movies were helmed by first-time directors.

Miff Premiere Fund executive producer Mark Woods said, .The talent we have been able to support has been incredible — 19 per cent of Premiere Fund films are directed by alumni of Miff emerging director workshop Accelerator Lab and 48 per cent advanced their funding at Miff.s film financing event 37ºSouth Market — so we really do feel like we come on a long journey with these projects..
See full article at IF.com.au »

Oz director Grant Scicluna takes Downriver theatrical

First-time director Grant Scicluna has mined the depths of darkness in his new feature,.Downriver.

The film was inspired by a question over a few drinks with a friend.

Scicluna was aiming for the most explosive beginning he could find.

.I went home and had drinks with a friend and we were talking about things and stories and trying to find the most dramatic explosive type of set and we inevitably stumbled upon murder, and then the murder of the child at the hands of another child seemed the most explosive place to start a story,. Scicluna said..

.I started developing it from there and it took a long time. We have been writing it for over seven or eight years, so it has changed a lot since then. That.s really where it began, that.s where ideas often do just out of a conversation and a question. .

Despite the darkness of the film,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Apsa awards honour Apichatpong Weerasethakul at Carriageworks

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's.Cemetery of Splendour.

Tomorrow, March 17, will see the presentation of the 2015 Asia Pacific Screen Awards prize of Best Feature Film Award to renowned Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for his film Cemetery of Splendour.

Marking their tenth year in 2016, the Apsa awards acknowledge excellence in the world.s fastest growing film region: comprising 70 countries, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world.s film output.

In 2015, 39 films from 22 Asia Pacific countries and areas received award nominations.

Weerasethakul will be presented with his award at Sydney's Carriageworks at 10am tomorrow, after which there will be a preview of the filmmaker's most recent installation work for Sydney's Biennale - Home Movie.

Apsa also nominated Downriver's Reef Ireland for Best Performance by an Actor, Molly Reynolds' Another Country was nominated for a Best Documentary Feature Film prize (won by The Chinese Mayor), and Blinky Bill The Movie was nominated for Best Animated Feature.
See full article at IF.com.au »

'The Assassin' leads 2015 Apsa nominations

'The Assassin' leads 2015 Apsa nominations
The Assassin will compete for best feature at this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards on Nov 26.Scroll down for the full list

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s festival hit The Assassin, which won him best director at Cannes this year, has been nominated for three prizes at this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The film will compete for best feature, achievement in directing for Hou Hsiao-Hsien and achievement in cinematography for Mark Lee Ping-Bing.

Other nominees in the best feature category include multi-territory co-production Cementery Of Splendour, Korean feature End Of Winter and Japanese/French drama Journey To The Shore.

Elsewhere, France’s foreign language Oscar submission Mustang received a best youth feature film nod, while Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look Of Silence will compete for best documentary.

A total of 39 films from 22 countries have received nominations.

The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 26 November at City Hall, Brisbane.

Full
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'The Assassin' leads 2015 Aspa nominations

'The Assassin' leads 2015 Aspa nominations
The Assassin will compete for best feature at this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards on Nov 26.Scroll down for the full list

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s festival hit The Assassin, which won him best director at Cannes this year, has been nominated for three prizes at this year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The film will compete for best feature, achievement in directing for Hou Hsiao-Hsien and achievement in cinematography for Mark Lee Ping-Bing.

Other nominees in the best feature category include multi-territory co-production Cementery Of Splendour, Korean feature End Of Winter and Japanese/French drama Journey To The Shore.

Elsewhere, France’s foreign language Oscar submission Mustang received a best youth feature film nod, while Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look Of Silence will compete for best documentary.

A total of 39 films from 22 countries have received nominations.

The awards ceremony takes place on Thursday 26 November at City Hall, Brisbane.

Full
See full article at ScreenDaily »

LevelK to launch Hong Kong office

  • ScreenDaily
Scandinavian sales outfit LevelK is expanding eastward.

On the eve of this year’s autumn markets, Danish company LevelK has announced that it is bringing on board Derek Luí to to run a brand new office in Hong Kong.

Luí brings extensive experience within the business, including a recent stint at UA Cinemas/Lark Films Distribution, where he was focused on the Cinehub film acquisition and distribution.

“The Hong Kong office is a reflection of LevelK’s growth and a continues commitment to optimize our cooperation with current and future business partners,” said LevelK CEO Tine Klint of the new Asian bridgehead and of Luí’s appointment.

LevelK’s new films in official selection at Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 10-20) include the world premiere of Stephen Page’s Spear, billed as “a visually stunning tale of a young Aboriginal man as he takes a journey through his consciousness to awaken his spiritual self,” and, as an
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Downriver review: handsome but deeply unsatisfying small-town drama

Despite the best efforts of cast and crew, this prodigal son drama starring Reef Ireland is let down by an implausible set up and tangled central premise

Morose small-town dramas that tell stories about questionable characters potentially involved in a dormant mystery – often with an undercurrent of sexual exploration – became something of a cliche in Australian cinema long ago.

Even though it encapsulated all those things, Simon Stone’s electrifying directorial debut The Daughter provided a timely reminder not to write off films on the grounds of sharing a familiar premise. If the execution is right and the story is compelling, the drama will likely feel fresh and interesting.

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

Melbourne 2015 Review: Downriver Needs A Paddle

Downriver, the Australian feature debut from Grant Scicluna, certainly showed signs of promise: a dour but intensely quiet rumination of redemption set in a murky bush town filled with questionable characters. It certainly has the ingredients for an intriguing, mystery-fuelled thriller. It is unfortunate, then, that the film squanders this to focus on blandly delivered exposition as the protagonist James (Reef Ireland) literally visits the people from his past, searching for the body of a boy he killed in his youth down the river.What is most disappointing here is the wealth of material and intriguing plot that is side-lined by a tame screenplay filled with catharsis that comes off completely dry. Instead, flickers of mystery are buried under clunky delivery and forceful confrontation that turns quasi-violent...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Heath Ledger Scholarship winner named

When Matt Levett was nominated for this year.s Heath Ledger Scholarship along with 17 other rising talents, the actor didn.t fancy his chances amongst what he described as a .an intimidating. line-up.

So he was both stunned and stoked to win the award presented on Monday night Us time in Los Angeles.

The 2009 Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (Waapa) graduate says the $US10,000 cash prize will enable him to further his ambitions in Hollywood.

.It will give me the ability to stay longer and give me a foot in the door,. says Levett, who first went to the Us last September/October, when he signed with the Gersh Agency. The runners-up are fellow Waapa graduate Emilie Cocquerel and Lily Sullivan, who each get a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles and a scholarship to attend Masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.

On behalf of the judges,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Heath Ledger Scholarship finalists

Rising young actors who.ve appeared in Unbroken, The Water Diviner, Deadline Gallipoli, Anzac Girls and The Code are among the finalists for the 7th annual Heath Ledger Scholarship.

In all 20 are in contention for the prize which includes two round-trip flights to L.A., a two-year scholarship at the Stella Adler Academy, $5,000 worth of visa and immigration services and $10,000 cash.

Presented by Australians in Film, the winner will be announced in Los Angeles on June 1. Two runners up will each receive a round-trip ticket to La and a scholarship to attend masterclasses at Screenwise Film & TV School for actors in Sydney.

Previous recipients were Cody Fern (The Last Time I Saw Richard), James Mackay (The Dressmaker, The Tomorrow People), Anna McGahan (Anzac Girls, House Husbands), Ryan Corr (The Water Diviner, Wolf Creek 2), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows, The Rewrite) and Oliver Ackland (Party Tricks, Blinder).

The finalists were selected
See full article at IF.com.au »

Four-year funding pledged for Miff Premiere Fund

Victoria's Napthine Coalition Government has agreed to invest $3.8 million in the Melbourne International Film Festival.s (Miff) Premiere Fund over the next four years.

The announcement in the lead-up to the state election this Saturday has been widely welcomed by filmmakers and distributors.

.I strongly believe our industry in Victoria and Miff is elevated by the significant opportunities the Miff Premiere Fund provides," said Seph McKenna, head of Australian Production at Roadshow Films, which released the fund-supported Bran Nue Dae, These Final Hours and the upcoming Paper Planes.

Lizzette Atkins, who produced Sue Brooks. Looking for Grace starring Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell with the fund.s assistance, said, .It is imperative for the state of filmmaking in Victoria that both the Miff Premiere Fund and Miff 37ºSouth Market continue to thrive..

Since taking office in December 2010, the Coalition Government has committed more than $9.5 million to Miff for the festival,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Rare screen role for Helen Morse

Helen Morse and Robert Taylor will join Reef Ireland and Kerry Fox in Downriver, an Australian mystery drama that aims to court controversy.

The feature debut of writer-director Grant Scicluna, the film is due to start shooting in Victoria on November 5.

Ireland (Puberty Blues, Wentworth, Blessed) will play James, a teenager who is sent to prison for drowning a little boy when he was a child, although the body was never found.

In an attempt to uncover the truth, he takes dangerous risks to find redemption and return the missing body to the grieving mother.

Fox plays his mother. Taylor, who stars in Us TV.s Longmire, is cast as her new boyfriend who is unaware she has a son. Morse is a reclusive dog lover who holds the key to the mystery.

It.s a rare screen role for Morse, who has worked almost exclusively on the stage since
See full article at IF.com.au »

Film Victoria supports eight projects

Film Victoria is investing $1.14 million in three features and five TV projects through its new assigned production investment program.

Combined these projects will create employment for around 400 creatives, cast and crew and generate an estimated $11.8 million in production expenditure in the State, according to CEO Jenni Tosi.

.Under our assigned production investment program, which came into effect in July, Film Victoria.s equity, copyright and recoupment position is assigned to the producer, giving screen production businesses access to an increased level of returns and a greater financial capacity to develop new ideas and expand their output,. she said.

.The diversity of projects in this round reflects the significant production activity taking place in Victoria right now . activity that is being driven by our talented local screen practitioners." The projects are: Downriver, Happening Films Jannine Barnes, producer Grant Scicluna, writer/director

The plot follows a teenager, James (Reef Ireland) who serves
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Australia backs Blue Dog, Downriver

  • ScreenDaily
Screen Australia backs Blue Dog, Downriver
Sequel to local box office hit Red Dog wins Screen Australia backing alongside a thriller starring Kerry Fox.

Government agency Screen Australia is to back Blue Dog, the second in a planned trilogy that began with Red Dog, which grossed $21m on its 2011 release to become the country’s fourth biggest independently-financed local film in the territory.

Termed an “origin film”, rather than a prequel, Blue Dog will see director Kriv Stenders return for the sequel, which will be written by Saniel Taplitz and produced by Nelson Woss. Cast have yet to be attached.

It will follow the early events leading up to Red Dog’s discovery on the road to Dampier and his ultimate rise from ordinary dog to Australian legend.

Produced by Woss Group Film Productions, domestic and international sales will be handled by both Roadshow Films and new player Good Dog Enterprises. Executive producers are Su Armstrong, Joel Pearlman and [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Red Dog turns Blue in origin story

The creative team behind Red Dog is reuniting for Blue Dog, an origin story which will serve as a stand-alone film and form part of the franchise that will continue with Yellow Dog.

The canine caper was one of two features, TV drama Glitch and nine multi-platform projects that secured the final round of funding from Screen Australia in the current financial year.

The other film is Downriver, a mystery inspired by real events that will mark the feature directing debut of writer- director Grant Scicluna.

Screen Australia is investing more than $4.5 million in these 12 projects, triggering production worth more than $25 million. CEO Graeme Mason noted the value of Australian stories was reaffirmed at Cannes with Australian film sales to international territories more than doubling the volume of sales made there last year.

Nelson Woss, producer of the Dog franchise, has formed Good Dog Enterprises, a distribution company that will
See full article at IF.com.au »

AiF announces the 2013 finalists for Heath Ledger Scholarship

  • IF.com.au
Australians in Film President Andrew Warne has announced the fifteen finalists for the 2013 Heath Ledger Scholarship. The Scholarship is named after Oscar-winning Australian actor Heath Ledger, who tragically passed away in January 2008, and has the full support of the Ledger family and friends. Of the final fifteen, an esteemed panel will choose one winner and two runners-up, who will be announced in Los Angeles on June 12. The overall winner will received Usd$10,000 in cash, a return ticket to Los Angeles, a one-year Scholarship to Stella Adler Acting School in La, a trip around California for two a Showcast & Breakdown Services VIP casting package and $5000 worth of visa and immigration services. The runners up will round-trip ticket to Los Angeles plus a Showcast VIP casting package. The 2013 finalists are: Hannah Barlow, Elizabeth Blackmore (Home & Away), Laura Brent, David Coussins, Ashleigh Cummings (Puberty Blues), Georgia Flood (Wentworth & House Husbands), Geraldine Hakewill, Andrew Hazzard (Home & Away), Will Howarth,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Puberty Blues cast revealed

Ten has revealed a big name cast for its Cronulla period drama Puberty Blues.

Many of the actors have worked with the Southern Star production team on previous shows. The producers of the series – which will go beyond the book Puberty Blues and potentially leave the door open for ten to do further series – will be Imogen Banks and John Edwards. Filming for the current series of Offspring has just wrapped.

The cast includes Claudia Karvan (The Secret Life of us, Love My Way, Spirited), Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, Underbelly), Susie Porter (Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, East West 101), Dan Wyllie (Love my Way, Animal Kingdom), Susan Prior (All Saints, Animal Kingdom), Rodger Corser (Rush, Underbelly, Spirited), Ashleigh Cummings (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Tomorrow When the War Began), Brenna Harding (Packed to the Rafters, My Place), Sean Keenan, Ed Oxenbould, Charlotte Best, Katie Wall,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

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