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Byron Bay Film Fest enters virtual realm

28 April 2016 10:31 PM, PDT

Co_Lab_Create participants make use of virtual reality head mounted displays.

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Byron Bay Film Festival 2016 will screen in "virtual realms" with the introduction of virtual reality head mounted displays for patrons.

The festival, which runs from October 14-23, will follow the lead of international festivals such Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance and establish an immersive storytelling component..

Bbff's Technical Director Osvaldo Alfaro and Festival Director J'aimee Skippon-Volke have a longstanding passion for immersive mediums having established GreenhouseFX 3D|Vr in Goonengerry, deep in Byron.s Hinterland, in 1999.

Skippon-volke said rather than jumping on the bandwagon they were hitting the ground running.

"We've developed a number of initiatives for BBFF2016 which will be held in its new timeslot of October this year which will introduce Vr to Byron Bay and its Filmmaking and Creative Communities," she said.

"This new facet to our festival really excites me as I've been passionate about »

- Staff Writer

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Oz doco Another Country to screen at Cannes sidebar

28 April 2016 9:00 PM, PDT

David Gulpilil in Another Country.

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Australian documentary Another Country has been selected to screen at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The film, directed by Molly Reynolds and starring David Gulpilil, will screen as part of Cannes Cinéphiles, one of four sidebar sections of the festival along with Critic.s Week and Director.s Fortnight, in the Cinéma des Antipodes strand programmed by Bernard Bories.

The selection comes two years after David Gulpilil won Best Actor (Un Certain Regard) at the festival for Charlie.s Country, a film from the same suite of projects.

Gulpilil is also a writer on the film along with Reynolds and Rolf de Heer.

Cannes Cinéphiles is an event organised by Cannes Cinéma and the Festival de Cannes to provide public screenings from the Official Selection, as well as films from the parallel sections.

In Another Country, Gulpilil (Walkabout, Storm Boy, Crocodile Dundee, Australia, Rabbit Proof Fence, »

- Staff Writer

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She Shoots to address gender imbalance in sound and camera

28 April 2016 5:47 PM, PDT

She Shoots launches in Nsw.

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Aftrs, Screen Nsw, Women Nsw and screen industry executives have launched a program to adress the gender imbalance in commercial unscripted television camera and sound departments.

She Shoots is an initiative of Aftrs, Screen Nsw, Women Nsw and Executive Women.s Television Group, a group of Nsw-based senior women from production companies and broadcasters, who have come together to tackle gender bias in the screen industry..

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics from 2011 reported that more than 90 per cent of all sound technicians, camera operators and directors of photography were male.

Matchbox director of unscripted content and founder of the Executive Women's Television Group, Kylie Washington, said:

.We have not identified a single female camera operator or sound recordist working in the reality and unscripted genres within Australian TV," she said..

"We want to support women coming into these roles and provide new opportunities in the industry. »

- Staff Writer

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Observance headlines Revelation Perth International Film Festival

28 April 2016 5:24 PM, PDT

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New Australian film Observance will have its Western Australian premiere at Revelation Perth International Film Festival on Monday 30 May.

Observance is the story of a grieving father returning to work as a private investigator and embarking on an unusual assignment to observe a woman from an abandoned apartment.

The film was previously selected for screening at the BFI London Film Festival and FanTasia International Film Festivals.

Observance was billed as .one of the most chilling experiences. by The Hollywood Reporter and as .sheer ambient dread. by Indiewire.

The film.s writer-director Joseph Sims-Dennett said he was honoured to have his film screening at Australian Revelations.

.Revelation has been leading Australia in discovering the next wave of international local independent films for almost 20 years now,. Sims-Dennett said.

.Revelation Director Richard Sowada said Observance was a very slick film with great respect for the language and traditions of cinema.

.It walks a very tense line between drama, »

- Staff Writer

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Maria Tran brings out the big guns in Tracer's Australian premiere

28 April 2016 4:44 PM, PDT

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Western Sydney based filmmakers Maria Tran and Trung Ly have scored an Australian theatrical release for their Us$1 million bugdet Vietnamese action flick Tracer (Truy Sat).

The film, from Korean production company Cj Entertainment and directed by Cuon Ngo, will have its Australian premiere on May 6 at Event Cinemas Liverpool.

It will then be screened in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide from the 5 May through distribution company Dreamwest Pictures.

This follows a 100 screen release across Vietnam for the high-octane martial arts action film..

Tran, whose Australian acting credits include My Place, The Story of Us and the upcoming Love Child season 3. was brought on board to fulfill the role Phuong Lua as well a supporting the production team in understanding the process of "fight story".

Maria Tran as Phuong Lua in Tracer (Truy Sat).

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Tran and Trung have been running Dong Thanh Martial Arts Centre, based in Chipping Norton for the past 2 years. »

- Brian Karlovsky

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Michael Petroni's Backtrack scores limited Australian theatrical release

27 April 2016 11:29 PM, PDT

Sam Neill and Adrien Brody in Backtrack.

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Australian psychological thriller.Backtrack, starring Adrien Brody and Sam Niell, will screen exclusively for one-week at Palace Cinemas from June 16-22.

The limited cinema release will be followed by digital and disc releases on August 3, a non-traditional pattern designed to make the film available to a broader audience across all channels without delay..

Producer Jamie Hilton said he was excited to bring Backtrack to Australian audiences, after selling the film in more than 60 countries..

"Adrien Brody gives a nuanced performance as an Australian psychiatrist, a fresh spin after so many of our stars playing Americans," he said..

"Michael Petroni and his all Australian team have crafted a world class film that is both intelligent and thrilling..

"We hope audiences will enjoy it across all release platforms and are delighted to partner with Palace Cinemas on the theatrical release...

Written and directed by Michael Petroni »

- Inside Film Correspondent

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Making a feature on a dime with Pawno's Paul Ireland and Damian Hill

27 April 2016 11:00 PM, PDT

Malcolm Kennard and Mark Coles Smith in Pawno.

Actors turned filmmakers Paul Ireland and Damian Hill met doing a play with storied character actor John Brumpton (Romper Stomper, The Hunter).

In Pawno, the pair's first feature as director and screenwriter respectively, Brumpton plays the owner of a Footscray pawn shop and Hill his employee.

Hill started writing the script during the course of the play's run, and afterwards sent it to Ireland, who agreed to direct it.

"Over a three year period we kept developing the script, cutting it down, making it tight, and raising the finance to make it independently", said Ireland.

The film was financed entirely by private donations, a process which "took a long time, but we got the right people in the end", Hill told If.

The screenwriter-star describes the gradual evolution of the script as a process of winnowing.

"We went back and forth with the characters for ages. »

- Harry Windsor

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Schepisi, McCune, Coles Smith to present at 2016 Adg Awards

27 April 2016 10:47 PM, PDT

Mark Coles Smith will present at the 2016 Australian Directors Guild Awards.

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Fred Schepisi, Lisa McCune and Mark Coles Smith will present at the 2016 Australian Directors Guild Awards - which will be broadcast nationally for the first time.

The presenter lineup also includes Catherine McClements, Lucy Honigman, Anna McGahan, Damian Walshe-Howling, Ray Meagher, Craig Monahan and Spencer McLaren.

The annual awards celebrate the outstanding work of Australian screen directors over the past year and the winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins on Friday May 6.

Nazeem Hussain will host this year's ceremony and Aurora community channel (channel 183 on Foxtel) will broadcast the awards.

Adg chief executive, Kingston Anderson, said the guild was very excited to be able to secure the broadcast of the 2016 awards for the first time.

.It is very important to profile the talented directors that Australia has across all genres and the »

- Staff Writer

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Kingston Anderson on the dominance of female doco makers in Adg noms

27 April 2016 9:13 PM, PDT

Jennifer Peedom.

The Australian Directors Guild awards will be handed out in Melbourne next Friday, and Adg executive director Kingston Anderson is feeling bullish about the work under the spotlight.

"If you look at the nominations this year, you'll notice in some categories there are five nominations", Anderson said.

"That's unusual, and that's because a lot of the judging panels said the quality of the entries was so high. They noted that over the last three years they've seen the quality go up, across television and short film particularly."

Anderson calls the trend "really exciting, and gratifying. It's clear that we're producing good people, and we're continuing to produce good people."

He sees the Adg's annual awards, presented across eighteen categories, as vital..

"You've got the opportunity to see the best of the best in directing, in anything from short films through to feature films to online content to documentary to animation. »

- Harry Windsor

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Inside Law: Dallas Buyers Club and Village cases explained

27 April 2016 8:27 PM, PDT

Sonia Borella.

Two of Australia.s top media and entertainment lawyers — Sonia Borella and Dan Pearce from.national law firm Holding Redlich — explore two recent developments in combating piracy.

Rights holders have been active recently in taking steps to counter unauthorised downloading of their films. We catch up on the final outcome in the Dallas Buyer.s Club claim, and review the first claim under the recently introduced anti-piracy legislation.

Enforcing rights in copyright material has its obstacles but compensation is not unattainable — lessons from the Dallas Buyers Club case

The owners of the film .Dallas Buyers Club. have not proceeded with their claim for payments in connection with the unauthorised downloading of the program, but the action is still an important case for rights owners.

By way of background, in October 2014, a preliminary discovery application was filed in the Federal Court of Australia (Court) by the rights holders in »

- Sonia Borella, Dan Pearce

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HBO series The Leftovers heads to Australia

27 April 2016 6:39 PM, PDT

The Leftovers.

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The third and final season of HBO drama The Leftovers is heading to Australia with plans to film and cut the show down under.

According to reports, the relocation is due to an upcoming storyline in the show.

Production will begin in Austin, Texas, where it was shot last season, before heading to Australia.

The first series, from Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, was set in a small New York suburb and shot in Westchester County.

It then moved to Texas to fit in with the story.

Based on a Tom Perrotta novel, the story unfolds in a world where two per cent of the population has disappeared.

The cast includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston and Liv Tyler.

There is no date set for the premiere of the third season.

The Leftovers is a Warner Bros series, where Lindelof has a deal which runs until 2018. »

- Brian Karlovsky

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Australian Screen Industry Group demands screen policy from government

27 April 2016 6:37 PM, PDT

Australian Directors Guild executive director Kingston Anderson.

The Australian Screen Industry Group has formally asked both sides of politics to come up with a screen policy, Adg executive director Kingston Anderson has told If.

"The Australian Screen Industry Group, which is made up of eleven guilds, has just written to the Prime Minister, to the leader of the opposition, to the Greens, requesting that a screen policy be implemented by whoever takes government", said Anderson..

"We've also sent them a two-page policy that we've developed that we're about to release publicly, which outlines the basic elements which we think need to happen in this country to advance the screen industry."

"The Screen Industry Group represents 15,000 plus filmmakers in this country. This is going to be pushed out as wide as we can, and hopefully it will fuel the debate on the screen industry in the upcoming election.".

"We're deliberately targeting »

- Harry Windsor

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Australia's audiovisual trade deficit drops for the first time in five years

27 April 2016 5:01 PM, PDT

Wentworth has been sold to 90 countries around the world.

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Australia.s audiovisual trade deficit has dropped for the first time in 5 years with exports growing by 41 per cent to $199 million..

This is a strong sign of acceptance of Australia television content around the world.

Cleverman, Upper Middle Bogan and Secrets and Lies can be added to the likes of Dance Academy, Go Back to Where You Came From, Wentworth and Bondi Rescue as some of the most notable and enduring examples of tape and format sales to come out of our market in recent years.

But what goes on in the negotiations behind these titles? What do producers need to know to ensure the best deals are being made?

Screen Producers Australia will present a masterclass for producers detailing the international business in television sales on May 17 at Fox Studios, Sydney.

The panelists will draw on their extensive commercial experience »

- Staff Writer

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Australia's audiovisual trade deficits drops for the first time in five years

27 April 2016 5:01 PM, PDT

Wentworth has been sold to 90 countries around the world.

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Australia.s audiovisual trade deficit has dropped for the first time in 5 years with exports growing by 41 per cent to $199 million..

This is a strong sign of acceptance of Australia television content around the world.

Cleverman, Upper Middle Bogan and Secrets and Lies can be added to the likes of Dance Academy, Go Back to Where You Came From, Wentworth and Bondi Rescue as some of the most notable and enduring examples of tape and format sales to come out of our market in recent years.

But what goes on in the negotiations behind these titles? What do producers need to know to ensure the best deals are being made?

Screen Producers Australia will present a masterclass for producers detailing the international business in television sales on May 17 at Fox Studios, Sydney.

The panelists will draw on their extensive commercial experience »

- Staff Writer

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Production to start in Tasmania on Pacquola and McGregor's Rosehaven

27 April 2016 4:10 PM, PDT

Rosehaven writer and creator Celia Pacquola.

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Production is set to start in Tasmania on Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor's.Rosehaven, a new eight-part comedy series for the ABC. .

From the production base at the ABC Centre in Hobart, the series will be filmed entirely on location in the state, creating jobs for 200 Tasmanians as cast, crew and extras. ..

Eight emerging screen practitioners will also be engaged by the production in training positions funded by Screen Tasmania. .

Tasmanian actors have been cast in over 80 per cent of the sixty roles in the series.

Rosehaven stars two of Australia.s most popular comedians, Tasmanian born Luke McGregor (Utopia, It.s a Date, Luke Warm Sex) and Celia Pacquola (The Beautiful Lie, Utopia, Laid), who also wrote and created the series..

The series, which will screen in the second half of 2016, is a Guesswork Television production. .

It is produced by Andrew Walker and .co-produced by Fiona McConaghy. »

- Staff Writer

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Production to start in Tasmania on Celia Pacquola's Rosehaven

27 April 2016 4:10 PM, PDT

Rosehaven writer and creator Celia Pacquola.

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Production is set to start in Tasmania on Celia Pacquola's Rosehaven, a new eight-part comedy series for the ABC. .

From the production base at the ABC Centre in Hobart, the series will be filmed entirely on location in the state, creating jobs for 200 Tasmanians as cast, crew and extras. ..

Eight emerging screen practitioners will also be engaged by the production in training positions funded by Screen Tasmania. .

Tasmanian actors have been cast in over 80 per cent of the sixty roles in the series.

Rosehaven stars two of Australia.s most popular comedians, Tasmanian born Luke McGregor (Utopia, It.s a Date, Luke Warm Sex) and Celia Pacquola (The Beautiful Lie, Utopia, Laid), who also wrote and created the series..

The series, which will screen in the second half of 2016, is a Guesswork Television production. .

It is produced by Andrew Walker and .co-produced by Fiona McConaghy. »

- Staff Writer

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Aftrs IP forum tackles copyright in the digital age

26 April 2016 11:28 PM, PDT

Nick Batzias at the World IP Day forum.

More than 100 film and television students have joined Madman head of production Nick Batzias and copyright law experts to explore issues surrounding the future of screen IP in the digital age.

The event was held to mark World IP Day, a Un initiative established in 2000, to celebrate the role of intellectual property in creativity and innovation..

Aftrs chief executive, Neil Peplow, A Month of Sundays.producer Batzias and copyright law specialist Caroline Verge shared insights on the value of creative content, making Australian films and TV and managing change in the digital age.

While the Australian Screen Association.s newly appointed executive chairman, Paul Muller, joined with executive director of creative content Australia, Lori Flekser, to host the World IP Day event at Hoyts Cinemas at the Eq precinct.

Peplow said the emphasis was the ownership of IP..

.I think it.s »

- Brian Karlovsky

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Anya Beyersdorf and Tony Rogers swap roles in St Kilda premiere Vampir

26 April 2016 8:19 PM, PDT

Anya Beyersdorf is an actress (Blue Heelers, Crownies) turned director, whose 2014 short Gayby.was made as a Masters project at the Sydney College of the Arts before touring to festivals at home and abroad.

While studying she was taught screenwriting by Blue Murder's Ian David, and "fell hard" for it.

Her new film, Vampir, was produced by Nicole Coventry and will premiere at next month's St Kilda Film Festival..

Off the back of it, Beyersdorf was also shortlisted for Sydney Film Festival's Lexus Short Film Fellowship, presided over by Judy Davis.

Vampir came out of a single image, of "a guy walking across a field", said Beyersdorf.

"I started to think how easy it is to misunderstand people, and to judge people by the way that they look, and for the consequences to be quite full on."

To play the lead role, she enlisted Tony Rogers, a director best »

- Harry Windsor

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Perry, Whoever Was Using This Bed and Young Labor headline St Kilda Film Fest

26 April 2016 6:58 PM, PDT

St Kilda Film Festival.

The St Kilda Film Festival has revealed its 2016 lineup with films including Perry, Whoever was Using This Bed and Young Labor leading the pack.

The Festival will kick off at the Palais Theatre with about 3,000 industry guests and film-lovers on the red carpet to sample a selection of the best shorts from the 2016 program..

For the second year, the St Kilda Town Hall will be transformed into a cinema to host Australia.s top 100 short films, music videos, archival footage, international programs, youth screenings and an extensive filmmaker development program.

Festival Director Paul Harris said he was delighted to announce a world-class line up of short films created by some of Australia.s most talented filmmakers..

Highlights from Australia.s Top 100 short film program include the world premiere of the Matt Day directed, Perry, starring Toby Schmitz, Ryan Johnson, Adrienne Pickering.

Perry tells the story of »

- Staff Writer

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Quinn and Churchill helm ABC's rebooted Surfing the Menu

26 April 2016 6:26 PM, PDT

Hayden Quinn and Dan Churchill in new ABC cooking show Surfing the Menu.

The ABC cooking show that launched the careers of Ben O'Donohue and Curtis Stone has been revamped with Hayden Quinn and Dan Churchill taking the reins.

The new 13-part series, Surfing the Menu, which starts on May 22, will explore Quinn and Churchill's love of cooking, surfing, fresh food, travel.

The series is a Noma Films production and is produced by Marian Bartsch and Lance Reynolds..

In this series, Quinn and Churchill head off on an adventure around Australia in a rusty 50-year-old Vw Bug, nicknamed GiGi..

On the journey they four-wheel drive in the desert, head to an outback cattle station, share a Tongan feast, learn to sail, snorkel on the Ningaloo and Great Barrier Reefs, catch mud crabs, swim with mantra rays and prove that they.re perhaps the unluckiest fisherman in the country.

They share experiences with Indigenous communities, »

- Staff Writer

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