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Australia's best cinematographers gear up for industry's night of nights

Stephen Page and Bonnie Elliott on location (photo credit: Jacob Nash).

Australia.s best DPs are gearing up for the 46th National awards for Cinematography, to be held at Nsw Parliament House this Saturday, May 6.

Again hosted by Ray Martin, the awards will recognize work across 18 categories — student projects, documentary, music videos, TV news and the return of the kids category, CineKids.

.We.re trying to encourage primary-school children up to the age of 15 to get involved, and these kids are coming along in leaps and bounds,. says Acs president Ron Johanson. .I think we have 30-40 members all around Australia — these fantastically talented young kids..

Last year.s expo will not be repeated, says Johanson. .We spoke to the sponsors and they felt they.d give it a miss this year because it.s close to Smpte, so we.ll probably have one next year..

Instead the Acs is
See full article at IF.com.au »

Australia's best cinematographers gear up for their night of nights

Stephen Page and Bonnie Elliott on location (photo credit: Jacob Nash).

Australia.s best DPs are gearing up for the 46th National awards for Cinematography, to be held at Nsw Parliament House this Saturday, May 6.

Again hosted by Ray Martin, the awards will recognize work across 18 categories — student projects, documentary, music videos, TV news and the return of the kids category, CineKids.

.We.re trying to encourage primary-school children up to the age of 15 to get involved, and these kids are coming along in leaps and bounds,. says Acs president Ron Johanson. .I think we have 30-40 members all around Australia — these fantastically talented young kids..

Last year.s expo will not be repeated, says Johanson. .We spoke to the sponsors and they felt they.d give it a miss this year because it.s close to Smpte, so we.ll probably have one next year..

Instead the Acs is
See full article at IF.com.au »

Safc unveils the Aboriginal Short Film Initiative as five-day workshop kicks off

L-r: Warwick Thornton, Beck Cole, Thibul Nettle, Natasha Wanganeen, Isaac Lindsey, Tess O'Flaherty, Edoardo Crismani, Kiara Milera, Georgia Humphreys, Dylan Coleman and Garth Agius.

Five aboriginal filmmakers from Sa will receive $20,000 each to make a short, along with mentoring and professional development from industry figures.

Edoardo Crismani, Isaac Lindsay, Kiara Milera, Thibul Nettle and Dylan Coleman will all receive funding and support as part of the new Safc Aboriginal Short Film Initiative.

The five selected filmmakers plus another five are this week participating in an intensive 5-day Production and Development Workshop at Safc.s Adelaide Studios. They are joined by three non-indigenous emerging producers who will be partnering on three of the projects.

The workshop is being led by writer-directors Beck Cole (Here I Am) and Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah)..

Other guest lecturers at the workshop include film editor Tania Nehme (Tanna, Charlie.s Country), and cinematographer Allan Collins (Mad Bastards,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Western outback thriller starts shooting in Winton

A host of Australian talent has descended on Winton, Queensland, as production for the contemporary Western thriller Goldstone commences.

Starring Aaron Pedersen (The Fear of Darkness, Mystery Road), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Alex Russell (Unbroken, Carrie), David Gulpilil (Charlies Country, The Proposition), David Wenham (Paper Planes, Oranges and Sunshine) and Tom E. Lewis (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Red Hill), Goldstone is the latest film from acclaimed writer/director Ivan Sen (Mystery Road, Beneath Clouds) and long-term producing partner David Jowsey (Mystery Road, Satellite Boy).

.We are proud to be supporting and investing in Queensland.s award-winning writer and director Ivan Sen and his producing partner David Jowsey of Bunya Productions,. said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira, in a statement issued to the media.

Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said Screen Queensland was investing $530,000 in Goldstone, which is expected to reap direct returns of $2.15 million
See full article at IF.com.au »

Lff 2013: Mystery Road Review

  • HeyUGuys
Beneath Clouds (2002) writer-director Ivan Sen has found a pitch-perfect niche in the crime-thriller genre with his new film Mystery Road, set in the Australian outback. This marvellously atmospheric and sumptuous-looking film has all the mellow attitude of a western, pausing to take in panoramic, burnt-orange sunrises and sunsets, while punctuated by bursts of action sequences straight out of a cowboy shootout, following mounting tension.

Mystery Road and Sen can also be credited for introducing the awe-inspiring Australian TV actor Aaron Pedersen to the international audience’s attention. Pedersen exudes an all-engrossing, controlled and authoritative presence on the big screen, not seen since the cowboy heydays of Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen or Burt Lancaster. Of Australian Aboriginal descent, Pedersen makes for a likely hero in Sen’s racially tense storylines, trying here to transcend local barriers as Aboriginal cop Jay Swan.

After the murder of a local Aboriginal girl, dumped by the roadside,
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Thought Track: The Making of Mystery Road

While attending the 38th Toronto International Film Festival, Trevor Hogg had an opportunity to chat with actor Aaron Pedersen and filmmaker Ivan Sen about their creative journey in bringing Mystery Road to the big screen...

Aaron Pedersen and Ivan Sen“I would like to think that the isolation helps out,” remarks Aaron Pedersen (Dead Heart) when contemplating why Australian actors have been able to gain Oscar glory from Russell Crowe (Gladiator), Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Cate Blanchett (The Aviator), and Geoffrey Rush (Shine). “It’s competitive in your own world and you raise the bar every time you do a TV show or theatre piece or even a film. Australia is a uniquely talented country in so many different capacities.” Pedersen, who was attending the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival to promote Mystery Road along with filmmaker Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds), is a veteran of the small screen. “The great thing
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Tiff Movie Review - Mystery Road (2013)

Mystery Road, 2013.

Directed by Ivan Sen.

Starring Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson, Ryan Kwanten, Tony Barry, David Field, Damian Walshe-Howling, and Tasma Walton.

Synopsis:

A detective returns to his outback hometown to investigate the brutal murder of a teenage girl.

As the sun fades away on a desolate road a truck comes to a halt with the driver conducting an inspection of the vehicle; the howl of a wild dog leads him to discover a bitten corpse of a young Aboriginal girl sitting upright in a concrete drainage pipe.

The murder investigation is led by an Aboriginal detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) who has returned to place of his childhood after spending time in the big city; even though he is a native of the area no one seems to want him around. Swan is completely isolated and disconnected from the outback community which includes his teenage daughter and alcoholic ex-wife.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Well Go USA Picks Up Mystery Road For North America As Director Ivan Sen Prepares His Chinese Sci-fi Loveland

Ivan Sen's modern Western Mystery Road opened the Sydney Film Festival this week to early critical acclaim, and following the premiere came news that Well Go USA has picked up North American rights for an early 2014 release. Starring Aaron Pedersen, Hugo Weaving, Jack Thompson and Ryan Kwanten, Mystery Road is the story of an indigenous detective who returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a young girl. You can watch the trailer below, which clearly channels a No Country For Old Men vibe.In more recent news, Sen (who has also made the more arthouse efforts Toomelah, Dreamland and Beneath Clouds) is off to China soon to start preparing for Loveland, an "action-romance-science-fiction" according to the Smh, to be shot in China with American and...

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

Mystery Road - Sydney film festival review

Ivan Sen's unflinching, insightful film about Aboriginal life in rural Australia features a revelatory central peformance from Aaron Pedersen

Aboriginal detective Joe Swan, returned to his small town after a stint in the city, finds himself investigating the murder of a teenaged Aboriginal girl in this crime thriller by ambitious, independent filmmaker Ivan Sen. As the town's secrets are unravelled, a sometimes awkward plot is eclipsed by Sen's cinematic craft, stellar performances and insights about the intricacies of race relations in rural Australia. This subject matter can be often piously handled but thanks to Sen's deft touch, here the more difficult political messages do not patronise the audience.

Swan's personal choices, which have left him estranged from his daughter and created a complex, bitter relationship with her mother, are also symptomatic of his relationship with the broader Aboriginal community. He has returned to a town in which he is now a complete outsider.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Wrapping Cannes 2011. Un Certain Regard

High time to round up the films at this year's Cannes Film Festival that never saw entries of their own and send them on their way. Today: Un Certain Regard.

"Bakur Bakuradze's The Hunter seems like a ficticious version of Raymond Depardon's Modern Life, a trilogy on farming that was screened in Cannes in 2008," finds Moritz Pfeifer, who also interviews the director for the East European Film Bulletin. "With no soundtrack, no professional actors, little dialogue and a minimalist plot, the film depicts the daily life of Ivan (Mikhail Barskovich) as he peacefully runs his pig farm in one of the less populous areas of northwestern Russia…. Clearly, Bakuradze wants to depict an alternative world, and the spirit of his film is more utopian than its hyper-realistic images suggest."

Grumbles the Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt: "There is maybe 10 to 15 minutes of actual story located within this 124 minute slog,
See full article at MUBI »

Toomelah screens at Cannes

Ivan Sen’s new feature film, Toomelah screened over the weekend at Cannes in official selection for the Un Certain Regard category which recognises young and emerging artists, producing daring and innovative works.

Toomelah follows the story of a ten year old Aboriginal boy, Daniel (Daniel Connors), and his fledgling career as a drug runner for local dealer and gangster, Linden (Christopher Edwards), in an outback town.

When Linden and his gang are sent to jail as a rival gang, led by Bruce (Dean Daley Jones) fresh from jail moves violently in to Toomelah, Daniel is left with few options, but an opportunity to clean up his act.

Variety‘s Alissa Simon gave the film mixed reviews. “Earnest acting by the cast of amateurs creates a certain monotone that isn’t helped by the editing — or lack of it… However, more expressive than any performance are the faces of the locals,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Bad box office not the same as bad films

Margaret Pomeranz delivered a powerful keynote speech at the opening of the Spaa Conference yesterday in Sydney, and Encore has the full transcript of her meditation on the state of Australian film and television – and why Government and audiences should appreciate the arts a little more.

I’m extremely grateful to Spaa for inviting me to give this keynote speech today. It is the Hector Crawford Memorial Lecture and I want to honour the man today. Hector put Australian television on the map, he made Australian accents acceptable in the media. Do you remember when we could only stomach New Zealanders reading our news because they sounded more English than us? Brian Henderson was a prime example. But more than that Hector validated Australian writers, Australian actors, directors, designers, a whole Australian infrastructure, Some of those people are still working today. In a very significant way Hector created an industry,
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Michael Madsen Learns to Be, Zoe Kazan Explodes, and More New on DVD

  • IFC
Michael Madsen Learns to Be, Zoe Kazan Explodes, and More New on DVD
"Being Michael Madsen" (2010)

Directed by Michael Mongillo

Released by Midnight Releasing

While not as distinguished or meta as "Being John Malkovich," expect this mockumentary about the "Reservoir Dogs" star to be equally surreal as Madsen recruits sister Virginia and "Kill Bill" co-stars Daryl Hannah and the late David Carradine to co-star in this film that sees him accused of murder. Rather than sit idly by, Madsen turns the table on the paparazzi photographer fueling the allegations by hiring a trio of filmmakers to follow his every move.

"Beneath Clouds" (2002)

Directed by Ivan Sen

Released by Cinema Epoch

This Australian drama stars Dannielle Hall and the late Damian Pitt as Lena and Vaughn, a pair of strangers thrown together by circumstance to travel across the country to Sydney where Lena hopes to learn more about her long-absent father and Vaughn hope to leave behind his criminal past and see his ailing mother.
See full article at IFC »

Visit Films' Ryan Kampe and Sylvan Tron Introduce Baxter Bros.

The New York-based duo behind Visit Films -- the International Sales Agents responsible for such films The Myth of the American Sleepover, The Taqwacores, Trash Humpers, The Freebie and Aaron Katz's Cold Weather, are getting into the distribution game with the newly launched division called Baxter Brothers Film Releasing. Fox Searchlight and Focus Features need not worry, as Ryan Kampe and Sylvan Tron are likely going to stick to what they know best -- smaller films looking for an entry point into the U.S. A DVD release have been laid out for Ivan Sen's Beneath Clouds or Dia Sokol's Sorry, Thanks, and I wouldn't be surprised if they break the bread next year.
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Aussie-themed fare dominant in AFI noms; 10 for 'Fence'

Aussie-themed fare dominant in AFI noms; 10 for 'Fence'
MELBOURNE, Australia -- The Phillip Noyce-directed drama Rabbit-Proof Fence has emerged as the most-nominated film for the upcoming Australian Film Institute awards, which will be handed out Dec. 7 in Melbourne. Nominations, which are voted on by members of the AFI, were set to be announced today in Sydney. With noms in 10 categories, Rabbit-Proof Fence, which chronicles the attempt of three Aborigine girls to escape from government authorities in 1930s Western Australia, has been the most commercially successful homegrown feature this year, with boxoffice of around $4 million. In the best film category, Rabbit-Proof Fence, which Miramax will release next month in the United States, is up against three other features exploring indigenous themes: Australian Rules, which screened at Sundance earlier this year, contemporary road film Beneath Clouds and The Tracker, from Rolf de Heer (Bad Boy Bubby, The Quiet Room). Walking on Water, a bittersweet comedy exploring the aftermath of a death in contemporary Sydney, also figured prominently, picking up nominations in nine categories.

'Rules' tops Aussie critics' noms

'Rules' tops Aussie critics' noms
MELBOURNE, Australia -- The race-relations drama Australian Rules, which screened at Sundance earlier this year, leads the nominations list for the Australian Film Critics Circle Awards with eight, including a nom for best film. The winners will be announced at an Oct. 31 ceremony in Sydney. Other titles featured prominently in the AFC choices are fellow best film nominees Walking on Water and The Tracker (seven nominations each) and Rabbit-Proof Fence (six nominations). In the best actress category, Toni Collette (Dirty Deeds) is up against Danielle Hall (Beneath Clouds), Everlyn Sampi (Rabbit-Proof Fence) and Maria Theodorakis (Walking on Water), while the best actor contenders are Vince Colosimo (Walking on Water), David Gulpilil (The Tracker), Guy Pearce (The Hard Word) and Nathan Phillips (Australian Rules). Nominated for best director are Tony Ayres (Walking on Water), Rolf de Heer (The Tracker), Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence) and Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds). More than 50 critics are eligible to vote for the awards, which have become the curtain-raiser of Australia's awards season.

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