Four Aus docos to screen at IDFA
Four Australian documentaries have been selected to screen at the 25th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam festival (IDFA).
“IDFA is an important festival for documentaries,” Screen Australia documentary manager, Liz Stevens, said in a statement. “Each year we wait with anticipation to see what films will be selected from Australia. It’s a thrill to see these Australian documentaries lining up with the best in the world.”
Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls and Missing in the Land of Gods will compete with 14 other titles in the IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary, which carries a €12,500 award.
Blush of Fruit will screen in the IDFA Competition for First Appearance with the best debut filmmaker receiving €5,000.
The Block: Stories from a Meeting Place, an SBS Online production in partnership with the Redfern Indigenous community, will appear in DocLab. IDFA’s DocLab investigates the relationship between documentary filmmaking and new media.
Meanwhile, Alias Ruby Blade: A Story of Love and Revolution will screen in the First Appearance Competition. The story has an Australian connection: it is about Kirsty Sword Gusmão, the aspiring Australian documentary maker who went on to become a human rights activist and First Lady of Timor-Leste (East Timor). One of the producers is Australian Richard Keddie.
Australian filmmaker Wendy Dent will also premiere her new film December 25 as part IDFA's special 25th anniversary program of one minute films on the theme 25.
IDFA will screen 317 international titles next month, including 97 world premieres, from November 14-25.
The Australian films are:
THE BLOCK: STORIES FROM A MEETING PLACE
Genre Interactive/web documentary
Production Company SBS Online
International Sales SBS Content Sales Lara.vonAhlefeldt@sbs.com.au
Synopsis The Block, Sydney, Australia’s Indigenous-owned housing precinct, has reached the end of an era, its buildings demolished and its future uncertain. This interactive documentary is an online time capsule that captures the essence of the neighbourhood and its 40-year history, and reflects on it as a symbol of struggle, unity and self-determination for the Aboriginal people. The first era of the Block is documented through stories told by the people who built it and lived through its golden era and tragic decline.
BLUSH OF FRUIT
Producers Kim Nguyen, Jakeb Anhvu
Writer/Director Jakeb Anhvu
Synopsis In a modest three-story home located in the beachside town of Nha Trang, (central Vietnam) reside four young expectant mothers. These runaways are given shelter, but in return, they must care for the centre’s 18 orphaned children.
The home’s owner, Tong Phuoc Phuc, has been praised by the country’s Prime Minister for his work as an anti-abortionist and a saviour to ‘fallen’ women and their unwanted children. But there is a darker side to the home’s media-savvy front. Referred to as a ‘business’ by the mothers and their local community, donations continue to pour in, despite evidence of child abuse and profiteering.
In recent years, the Tong’s popularity has continued to grow but the truth about children’s treatment and conditions has not yet reached the wider community.
MISSING IN THE LAND OF GODS
Producer Liz Burke
Writer/Director Davor Dirlic
Synopsis An exploration of love, hope and determination, Missing in the Land of Gods is a road movie that follows Jock and Di Chambers, two Australian parents on their final visit to India in search of their youngest son Ryan, who disappeared in 2005. Last seen walking out of the ashram in Rishikesh, a holy city in the Himalayan foothills, Ryan left all his possessions and a note that read: “If I’m gone, don’t worry, I’m not dead. I’m just freeing minds and to do that I had to free my own”.
MISS NIKKI AND THE TIGER GIRLS
Production Company Iris Pictures www.irispictures.com.au
Producer Jessica Douglas-Henry
Writer/Director Juliet Lamont
Broadcasters ITVS International Call/PBS
Sales Films Transit www.filmstransit.com
Synopsis After 50 years of military dictatorship, Myanmar’s first girl-band face a tough reality – when you’re finally allowed to speak, what do you say? A fresh and funny feature documentary about a country undergoing massive change, Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls offers a unique perspective of Myanmar as it follows the fortunes of a bunch of talented girls breaking free of tradition in their search for an original voice.