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Six Australian films set for world premieres at Miff

21 June 2017 11:06 PM, PDT

'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.. »

- Don Groves

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Amanda Hood gets a fast-tracked Hollywood education

21 June 2017 6:07 PM, PDT

Writer-director Amanda Hood in La..

One of four recipients of the inaugural Metro Screen Fellowship, administered by the Adg, Amanda Hood travelled to Los Angeles in April to attend The Hollywood Field Trip where she pitched her projects to producers, managers, agents and executives.

.We have water with lime, water with cucumber, or water with lime and cucumber. Which would you prefer?.

And so, our .water bottle tour. of Los Angeles had begun. Five vetted filmmakers from around the world, armed with three projects each and a wonderfully enthusiastic guide in our host, Andrew Zinnes, we would spend the next five days pitching to Hollywood.s elite.

Fourteen meetings were scheduled over five days with agents, managers, producers and executives, as well as with working directors and screenwriters. The main goal was not to sell our scripts, but to establish relationships with these people, because in Hollywood, .all that matters is who you know and who knows you.. Talent is a given. And despite what the tabloids would have you believe, no one is an overnight success. It.s all about the long game.

Establishing relationships in Hollywood is .kind of like dating., a producer sitting next to me at a well-known Californian sushi place confided. .You meet up, you suss out the person and ask yourself a series of questions. .Can I trust this person? Can I see their commitment, their passion, their talent? Can I see us working together in years to come?. If so, you jump into bed with them, or, more specifically in my case, option their script..

(The 2017 Hollywood Field Trip participants (l-r): Julian Roberts, Debbie Moon, Katharine McPhee, Amanda Hood and Ian Martin.).

The great thing about The Hollywood Field Trip is that you get to start these relationships in, as Andrew put it, .warm rooms.. Warm, as opposed to say, having an executive fall asleep halfway through your pitch or having a producer get out of their seat and walk straight out of the room — stories I heard first-hand from writers. Our rooms were so warm in fact, that most of the Hollywood pros asked to read our scripts, gave us feedback on our pitches and offered lengthy advice on career strategy and how to make it in Hollywood as outsiders..

And so, as a way of paying it forward to my fellow Aussie filmmakers, here.s a snippet of the most important things I learnt in L.A:

1. There is no one way of making it in Hollywood; everyone has found a different way in. Your job as a filmmaker is to carve your own path, to keep going no matter what, to work on your craft every day and to keep the faith that your persistence and talent will pay off. And when you do get representation, don.t ever rest on your laurels. Keep expanding your network of producers, investors, other writers and directors, building your contacts from the ground up, because the majority of your paid work will come from nurturing these connections.

2. When you.re starting out in Hollywood, it.s important you submit writing samples in the same genre. I was told this repeatedly on the trip, that people want to .know your brand., to make it as easy as possible for managers and agents to .sell you. to the studios. .Oh Tina, yes, she.s that fantastic comedy writer.. .Oh George, he.s the expert on all things sci-fi.. If you want the industry to take you seriously, pick a genre and stick to it. Then, once you.ve had success, you can always cross over to other genres because now you have leverage.

3. .Baby writers., a term that was thrown around a lot in Los Angeles, are emerging writers (it has nothing to do with age). If you are a baby writer, the best way of breaking into Hollywood is to get represented by a good, .hungry. manager, preferably one who has sold projects in the past, who has an .in. with studios and producers — someone who will help you build your career and your craft..

4. In order to get a manager (and that in itself is no easy task), you must have at least three strong writing samples (TV pilots or feature films) in the same genre (see above), along with a kick-ass query letter. To find managers. contact details, get a paid subscription to IMDb Pro. Being part of The Hollywood Field Trip meant we were able to bypass the query letter stage (where you are competing with thousands of other screenwriters) for those we met, because it got us in the same room as talented reps whom, after hearing our pitches, wanted to read our work. .

5. Living in La is optional, to a point. Some reps were adamant; .You.ve got to.be here to take meetings because most jobs come up at the last minute.. Other reps told us they like working with writers and directors who live abroad because .They offer a fresh perspective. But they must be willing to come to La for meetings 2-3 times per year.. .After hearing the pros and cons, my opinion is this: when you.ve spent enough time working on your craft and you have at least three solid scripts under your belt, only then should you think about moving to La. In the meantime, it.s far cheaper to work on your scripts/short films from home, with access to cheap or free rent and the support of loved ones..

All in all, the Hollywood Field Trip was an incredible opportunity to learn about the business, to learn how to behave in a Hollywood meeting and to practice pitching to industry heavyweights. But perhaps the best part of all was getting to know the other extraordinarily talented filmmakers on my trip as we roared up the 405 highway in our eight seater mini-van, sharing hotdogs, jokes and stories about home.

For anyone interested in taking part in the Hollywood Field Trip, the program runs twice a year in April and October. I highly recommend it, but make sure you have at least three finished scripts and a willingness to learn how the business works.

And finally, I.d like to express my utmost gratitude to the generosity of the Australian Director.s Guild and Metro Screen for sending me on this career-defining trip to Los Angeles. Thank you, thank you, thank you! »

- Amanda Hood

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'Hounds of Love' director Ben Young on the transition to a studio feature

20 June 2017 11:32 PM, PDT

'Hounds of Love'.

Writer-director Ben Young is back in Australia for a short break and Q&A screenings of his debut feature 'Hounds of Love' after wrapping principal photography in Serbia on Universal.s sci-fi feature 'Extinction', which stars Michael Peña and Lizzy Caplan. If puts some questions to him.

Hounds of Love has had rave reviews since the premiere at the Venice Film Festival and has been invited to screen at 30 film festivals around the world. But the film is only playing on six screens here and has grossed about $130,000. .Were you hoping for more or is that the best you could expect with a limited release?

It.s done very well on a per-screen average but the disappointing thing is that it is not an easy film to find. People read a review or they see a media spot on TV and think they would like to see it and they look at the big cinemas. websites and it.s not there so they forget about it. It.s pretty much what I expected. Australian films don.t have a tradition of doing incredibly well in their own country, which is a shame.

Congratulations on the Awgie Award nomination for best original feature film. You are up against Hacksaw Ridge. How do you rate your chances?

If I was a betting man I think it would be about 1,000 to one against me..

Sometimes the underdog gets up, so the odds may not be that long.

I have seen Hacksaw Ridge and it.s a very fine film. Just to be nominated against that is a huge honour and privilege.

You wrote the role of the female lead in Hounds of Love for Emma Booth but she turned it down and then only accepted at the very last minute. What happened?

I wasn.t very happy about that because Emma has been one of my best friends for about 20 years. Her agent talked her around but by then we had a list of great people we were considering so we asked her to test for it and she genuinely won it.

Playing a serial killer was quite a departure for Stephen Curry, who is one of Australia.s funniest actors. Why him?

One of my favourite films is One Hour Photo where Robin Williams takes a very dark turn. It is so much creepier in so many ways when a comedic actor makes a dark choice. It made a lot of sense because I had one big doubt, .What if the audience doesn.t buy that Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings) gets in the car with this couple?. So I thought who in Australia would not get into a car with Stephen Curry?

The violence in the film prompted some walk-outs. You expected that?

I knew some people would react. I saw Snowtown in a general session and some people walked out. In some ways what we suggested was even more confronting. If you don.t know what it is before you buy the ticket that.s a bit strange.

You just finished shooting Extinction, the saga of a guy who tries to save his family from an alien invasion. .How did you get the gig?

The day after the Venice premiere my phone exploded. I ended up with a fantastic agent in UTA and management in La in Thruline. .UTA organised two or three private screenings to which they invited Hollywood big wigs. I got a bunch of offers and Extinction was one of the scripts in which I saw the most potential. The producers liked where I wanted to take the draft and I did have some dramatic ideas about the changes I was fairly insistent would happen. We were all on the same page and it all happened really quickly.

How did you handle the transition from an ultra-low budget Australian film to a studio feature which cost $US20 million?

The filmmaking process is exactly the same but it.s just a lot bigger. There are nine producers and there were more assistants on the set than the entire crew of Hounds of Love. You are a lot more supported because they have a lot more money. .The biggest learning curve for me was that it is not my film. It is a product that I am being employed to make with the idea of making someone some money one day. It felt somewhere between directing Hounds of Love and directing a television commercial. Dealing with the studio was a lot easier than I expected..

But you got your own way on the film you wanted to make?

It.s 90 per cent there. There were some things they would not let me do but that was fine and there were other things they did let me do. I was working with really smart producers who had strong arguments as to why. .But we did have a three and a half hour phone call about whether Michael Peña should have his sleeves rolled up or down. That.s the nature of working in America.

You will do post on Extinction in L.A. Is that your base now?

I have a two-year visa so I will be there until Christmas but I will definitely be back for Christmas. There is a film I want to do with an Australian production company in Victoria next year. .I am talking to a big American company about a one-for-you, one-for-me deal where they would finance a smaller idea of mine if I did a bigger idea of theirs. .It.s a matter of going wherever the people I can work with are. I have to hope that people continue to want to work with me. It can all happen for you overnight and go away overnight. .

Q&A events

Sydney - Friday 23 June at 6.30pm at Dendy Newtown

Melbourne - Saturday 24 June, 4.15pm at Cinema Nova

Perth .- Sunday 25 June, 4.50pm at Luna Leederville »

- Don Groves

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Sydney Film Fest: 'Ali’s Wedding', 'Roller Dreams' the people's choice

20 June 2017 10:23 PM, PDT

'Ali's Wedding'.

Sydney Film Festival.s audience awards were announced today, with Aussie films topping both categories.

Jeffery Walker.s feature debut Ali.s Wedding, a rom-com.based on the life of star and co-writer Osamah Sami, has taken out best narrative feature, while Kate Hickey.s Roller Dreams, which looks at the.the Venice Beach roller dancing scene from 1978 until now,.won best documentary.

Local films Rip Tide and That.s Not Me also made the audience.s top 10 features. Meanwhile Australian docos formed half the documentary category, including The Last Goldfish, The Opposition, Barbecue, and The Pink House.

Sascha Ettinger Epstein.s The Pink House also won the festival.s Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, a $10,000 cash prize, on Sunday evening.

.The Foxtel Movies Audience Awards are the people's choice awards, and the winners reflect the most popular films at the Festival,. said Sff director Nashen Moodley.

.This year.Ali.s Wedding.and.Roller Dreams, two wonderful films that both take on remarkable true stories, have clearly made a strong impact on audiences..

.The Festival has premiered some fantastic Australian films this year. This result shows the popularity of Australian cinema at the Sydney Film Festival."

The awards were calculated from 20,000 votes.

The full list is below: The Foxtel Movies Audience Awards

Foxtel Movies Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Top Ten: 1. Ali's Wedding, directed by Jeffrey Walker (Australia) 2. Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Italy, France) 3. Rip Tide, directed by Rhiannon Bannenberg (Australia) 4. That.s Not Me, directed by Gregory Erdstein (Australia) 5. Brigsby Bear, directed by Dave McCary (USA) 6..On Body and Soul, directed by Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary) 7. God's Own Country, directed by Francis Lee (UK) 8. Sami Blood, directed by Amanda Kernell (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) 9. The Woman Who Left, directed by Lav Diaz (Philippines) 10. The Wound, directed by John Trengrove (South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands, France) Foxtel Movies Audience Award for Best Documentary Top Ten: 1. Roller Dreams, directed by Kate Hickey (Australia) 2. The Last Goldfish, directed by Su Goldfish (Australia) 3. Chauka Please Tell Us the Time, directed by Behrouz Boochani and Arash Kamali Sarvestani (The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea) 4. The Opposition, directed by Hollie Fifer (Australia) 5. Barbecue, directed by Matthew Salleh (Australia) 6. The Workers Cup, directed by Adam Sobel (UK) 7. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana (Canada) 8. The Farthest, directed by Emer Reynolds (Ireland) 9. The Pink House, directed by Sascha Ettinger Epstein (Australia) 10. It's Not Yet Dark, directed by Frankie Fenton (Ireland) »

- Jackie Keast

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'Cleverman' season 2 ‘bolder, bigger', says Blight

20 June 2017 9:06 PM, PDT

Hunter Page Lochard in 'Cleverman' season two..

When Goalpost Pictures. Rosemary Blight visited Weta Worksop in Wellington to discuss ideas for the new world in Cleverman season 2, the firm.s founder Sir Richard Taylor had an inspired suggestion.

.Let.s create an iconic Hairy that no one will ever forget,. Taylor said. To play the character named Jarli the Bindawu warrior, the producers cast Clarence Ryan, who first worked for Goalpost as a teenager in the children.s series Lockie Leonard 10 years ago. He played Egg, Lockie.s best friend.

Jarli is one of several new characters which make the sequel .bolder, even bigger and better and more compelling as we put the characters under even more pressure,. Blight told If.

Directed by Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell, the six-part futuristic sci-fi drama co-produced by Goalpost and New Zealand.s Pukeko Pictures premieres at 9.30 pm on June 29 on the ABC and at 10 pm on June 28 on Sundance TV in the Us..

The story picks up with the destruction of the Zone and the Hairy people splitting up as they hide around the city in fear for their lives. Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard), the chosen Cleverman, sets out to harness his powers in hopes of bringing all the cultures together..

His half-brother Waruu (Rob Collins) shares the same vision but his methods are dubious. For Koen to realize his mission, he must defeat Waruu and the full force of the government..

The writers are Jane Allen, Stuart Page, Justine Juel Gillmer, the series creator Ryan Griffen and Jada Alberts.

Among the new characters, Luke Ford plays Dolan, who forms a relationship with Nerida (Alberts), while Taylor Ferguson (Strangerland) is Audie. Blight predicts Ferguson is destined to become a star in the Us.

The ensemble cast includes Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Frances O.Connor (The Missing), Deborah Mailman (Offspring) and Rachael Blake (Rake). Weta created all the Hairies in the new world and the props they use.

For viewers who missed the first series, it is now screening on ABC iview and the sequel will include a recap..

ABC head of scripted production Sally Riley said, .The Cleverman world expands in this thrilling second season introducing new characters and deepening relationships with our established characters. It.s an exciting ride for new and returning audiences..

Blight is happy with the 9.30 timeslot, noting that the target audience is rather younger than traditional ABC viewers, who often watch shows on their mobile phones, tablets and on catch-up.

BBC3 and Tvnz are on board again and the international distributor Red Arrow International has sold the series to a raft of other territories including Germany, Canada and South Africa. Now there are 12 episodes it will be easier to sell to the remaining markets.

The producers screened the first two episodes at the Sydney Film Festival and were gratified when audience members said they wanted to see more.

Will there be a Cleverman 3? Blight said: .We are heading into the writers. room for early development of season 3 in the next couple of weeks. We are going into the room to discover what the underlying theme would be.. »

- Don Groves

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Keo Films UK to close Australian office

20 June 2017 12:01 AM, PDT

Keo Films Australia produced 'War on Waste' for the ABC..

After delivering War on Waste, the ABC.s highest-rating show among audiences under 50 this year, Keo Films Australia is being thrown on the scrap heap.

Parent company Keo Films UK today announced the Sydney-based production office will close; nominally at the end of the year, although MD Brendan Dahill is departing shortly.

The UK company attributed the closure to an .organisational review to realign the business. and stressed it is .committed to building partnerships that ensure its shows will still be seen in Australia..

Keo Films UK chief creative officer and board director Andrew Palmer said: .This decision has not been easy, especially given the incredible successes that our Australian team have enjoyed — most recently with the ABC.s huge hit War on Waste. Operationally, however, this decision best serves our corporate interests at this stage.

.We have enjoyed a »

- Don Groves

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'Hounds of Love' and 'Hacksaw Ridge' to vie for key Awgie Award

19 June 2017 5:00 PM, PDT

Hounds of Love..

In a David and Goliath battle, the screenplays for Ben Young.s debut feature Hounds of Love and Mel Gibson.s Hacksaw Ridge will compete for the original feature film prize at this year.s Awgie Awards.

That pits a low-budgeted film scripted by Young, which has grossed $125,000 in three weeks at six Australian cinemas, against the $US40 million WW2 drama written by Andrew Knight with Robert Schenkkan, which has amassed $US175.3 million worldwide.

There is only one nomination for the feature film adaptation category so the winner almost certainly will be Luke Davies for Lion, based on Saroo Brierley.s memoir.

The 50th Annual Awgie Awards presented by the Australian Writers. Guild will be handed out in Sydney on Friday August 25.

Individual category winners will be eligible for the Major Award, given to the most outstanding script of the year. Past winners have included the writers »

- Don Groves

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Nzfc CEO Dave Gibson to step down

19 June 2017 4:16 PM, PDT

Dave Gibson..

After four years leading the New Zealand Film Commission, Dave Gibson will step down as CEO in January..

Speaking after the agency.s June board meeting, chair Kerry Prendergast said he had reluctantly accepted Gibson.s resignation..

"The change Dave affected during his tenure at the Nzfc has resulted in an organisation which is more outward looking and engaged with the industry. I know his leadership will be missed by both the staff and the film industry,. said Prendergast..

Gibson has given six months' notice to allow for time for a recruitment and selection process.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed the last few years but have always believed CEO's shouldn't stay too long in organisations like the Nzfc. I'm not sure what I'll do next, but I hope it will be as exciting and fulfilling," said Gibson..

Gibson joined Nzfc in 2014 and oversaw and the closure of the Nzfc's sales agency, »

- Staff Writer

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Abe Forsythe set to unleash zombies in 'Little Monsters'

19 June 2017 3:42 PM, PDT

Abe Forsythe..

Writer-director Abe Forsythe proved his skill at flicking the switch from black comedy to violence in Down Under, and now he.s embarking on a film which will mash even more genres.

Due to start production in Sydney at the end of October after receiving production funding from Screen Australia, Little Monsters will blend comedy, romance and zombies.

The saga follows Dave, who goes to live with his sister, a single mother, after breaking up with his fiancée. While Dave is looking after his sister.s five-year-old he meets kindergarten teacher Caroline.

Dave is soon smitten, a relationship which is tested when he volunteers to escort the kids on an excursion, where they are attacked by zombies.

Thereafter Dave and Caroline try to convince the kids they are part of an elaborate ride rather than being at the centre of a zombie Apocalypse.

The producers are Jodi Matterson, »

- Don Groves

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Spa unveils this year's Ones To Watch

18 June 2017 6:21 PM, PDT

Victorian producer Sal Balharrie will participate in Spa's Ones To Watch mentoring program this year..

Screen Producers Australia has announced the 19 emerging producers who will participate in its Ones To Watch mentoring program this year..

The participants include: Michael O'Neill (Tas), Joshua Gilbert (Wa), Georgina Isles (Wa), Nicole Miller (Sa), Ben Whimpey (Vic), Joel Kohn (Vic), Paul Andersen (Vic), Jonathon Dutton (Vic), Sal Balharrie (Vic), Drew Macdonald (Qld), Ann Megalla (Qld), Kate Paul (Qld), Ross Howden (Nsw), Abi Tabone (Nsw), Hawanatu Bangura (Nsw), Tina A.Wake (Nsw), Rebecca Ingram (Nsw), Tess Meyer(Nsw) and Tom Slater (Nsw).

The Ones to Watch program, which runs for six months, .focuses on providing one-on-one mentoring and career guidance from seasoned producers. Sbs and Screen Australia are key partners in the program, which is sponsored by YouTube..

This year, Sbs will award one of the 19 producers a $15,000 .Sbs First Look Grant. to assist in »

- Staff Writer

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Bo Report: 'Despicable Me 3' wins while 'Rough Night' misses

18 June 2017 5:51 PM, PDT

'Despicable Me 3'..

Universal/Illumination Entertainment.s Despicable Me 3 was an emphatic No. 1 at Australian cinemas last weekend, easily beating Sony.s bawdy buddy comedy Rough Night.

Illustrating the challenges facing Australian and other small independent films, director Pete Gleeson.s confronting observational documentary Hotel Coolgardie struggled to find audiences.

None of the other limited new releases including The Promise, Punjab comedy Super Singh and documentaries Whitney: Can I Be Me? and Risk made an impression.

The top 20 titles collected $17.4 million, up by 1.9 per cent over the previous weekend, according to Numero.

Co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda and featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker, Despicable Me 3 rang up a terrific $5.9 million on 456 screens, 20 per cent bigger than the second edition's debut and the third best in June for an animated title behind Toy Story 3 and Finding Dory.

Warner »

- Don Groves

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Bo Report: 'Despicable 3' wins while 'Rough Night' misses

18 June 2017 5:51 PM, PDT

'Despicable Me 3'..

Universal/Illumination Entertainment.s Despicable Me 3 was an emphatic No. 1 at Australian cinemas last weekend, easily beating Sony.s bawdy buddy comedy Rough Night.

Illustrating the challenges facing Australian and other small independent films, director Pete Gleeson.s confronting observational documentary Hotel Coolgardie struggled to find audiences.

None of the other limited new releases including The Promise, Punjab comedy Super Singh and documentaries Whitney: Can I Be Me? and Risk made an impression.

The top 20 titles collected $17.4 million, up by 1.9 per cent over the previous weekend, according to Numero.

Co-directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda and featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker, Despicable Me 3 rang up a terrific $5.8 million on 286 screens.

Warner Bros. superhit Wonder Woman fell by 41 per cent in its third weekend but fetched a hearty $3.3 million on 292, propelling its total to $20.4 million.

Lionsgate/Roadshow »

- Don Groves

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

18 June 2017 5:36 PM, PDT

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, »

- Staff Writer

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