Four Aussie films at Rotterdam
[Release by Screen Australia]
Four Australian films are screening as part of the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam which began on Wednesday January 21.
The feature Not Quite Hollywood (d: Mark Hartley) will screen in ‘Signals’, a program that focuses on specific themes and offers insight on topical as well as timeless ideas within cinema. The film had its international premiere at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, and was awarded the 2008 AFI Award for Best Documentary.
Also selected for the Signals program is the short Bigger than Big (d: Russell Scott) a seven-minute film combining cutting-edge scientific astronomical data and simulations with stunning animation to take the audience on a journey from the Moon’s surface to the far reaches of the visible universe.
Two other shorts – Julieland (d: Tintin Wulia) and Jerrycan (d: Julius Avery) – will screen in ‘Spectrum’, a program comprising topical, strong and innovative films by accomplished filmmakers and highlights of the film year.
The Rotterdam screening of Jerrycan follows on from the film’s selection for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival as well as the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. Julieland presents viewers with the impression of Melbourne’s Preston Market through the eyes of an eight-year-old girl and will have its international premiere at Rotterdam.
The International Film Festival Rotterdam has taken on a new format in 2009 with the festival now separated into three main sections: Bright Future, Spectrum and Signals. A special feature of this new format is that all three program sections will incorporate full-length films, shorts, art installations and live performances.
Running alongside the film festival is the co-production market CineMart, with one Australian project participating this year: Gin & Tonic. Written by Alice Bell, who also wrote the successful Australian feature film Suburban Mayhem (a CineMart 2005 selection), Gin & Tonic tells the story of a wealthy dysfunctional family who find an abandoned baby on their doorstep, forcing them to face up to a few home truths. Alice will also direct the film.
Coinciding with CineMart is the Rotterdam Lab, a four-day workshop to help emerging producers build on their international network. Screen Australia partners with the Rotterdam Lab and the six producers selected to participate at the 2009 Lab are Della Churchill, Paul Sullivan, Stephen Amis, John Harvey, Brian Scarce and Jason De Santolo. Harvey, Scarce and De Santolo are travelling to Rotterdam as part of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Producers Initiative, which is aimed at supporting new and emerging Indigenous producers.
The International Film Festival Rotterdam runs 21 January – 1 February 2009 and CineMart takes place 25 – 29 January 2009.
Not Quite Hollywood
Production Company: City Films World Wide p/l
Executive Producers: Bruno Charlesworth, Jonathan Shteinman, Paul Wiegard, Nick Batzias Writer/Director: Mark Hartley Producers: Michael Lynch, Craig Griffin
Distributor: Madman Cinema
International Sales: Magnolia Films
Cast: with Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Hopper, Stacy Keach, Quentin Tarantino, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Dr George Miller, Barry Humphries
Synopsis: In the 70s and 80s a uniquely antipodean wave of exploitation cinema swept the world. Shlocky, sexy and very funny, ‘Ozploitation’ became one of the most prolific and successful periods in Australian filmmaking – and yet it rarely rates a mention in the official histories of cinema. Filled with outrageous anecdotes and lessons in maverick filmmaking, and featuring interviews with celebrity devotee Quentin Tarantino, Not Quite Hollywood is a fast-moving journey through a very Australian slice of genre cinema.
Bigger than Big
Production Company: Swinburne University of Technology, Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing Director: Russel Scott
Writer: Russel Scott, Sam Moorfield, Lisa Germany
Producer: Elizabeth Stark
Narrator: Nick Stratford
Synopsis: How big is big? This spectacular film takes us on a journey from the Moon’s surface to the far reaches of the visible universe. Combining cutting edge scientific astronomical data and simulations with stunning animation, it brings the Universe to life.
Production Company: Avery & Parkyn
Writer/Director: Julius Avery
Producer: Stuart Parkyn
Co-producer: Matt Downey
Cast: Tristan Burke, Walter Currie, Kyle Taylor, Nick Tomas, Dylan Thomas
Synopsis: Five bored kids with nothing to do decide to blow something up. Paper, scissors, rock seals the fate of Nathan, who risks everything after he is bullied into making a life and death decision.
(12 mins 36 sec)
Production Company: TRAX
Producer / Director: Tintin Wulia
Writer: Julie Le, Tintin Wulia
Cast: Julie Le, Janice Deng, Vince Seconnino, Steve Berberyan, Nikola Trajkovski, Daniel Noel Matta
Synopsis: Say it – do dead rats have lungs? If they do, did Julie kill Ali Baba? Whatever it is, six times six cannot prove that seagulls do fight with pigeons. Singing Santa, magical girls, the wobbly pole and a car ride on an easy Saturday morning: a glimpse of the amazing landscapes that shape Julie’s world.
This short film presents some tales from the Preston Market, the second largest market in Australia, through the eyes of 8-year-old Julie Le, who’s parents have been running a take-away food shop there for 10 years.