Hail, Black & White & Sex, to screen at Rotterdam International Film Festival

17 January, 2012 by Danii Logue

Two Australian features have been chosen to screen at the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Hail, by Melbourne director Amiel Courtin-Wilson, will screen as part of the Spectrums selection (which celebrates powerful, innovative forms of cinema), while John Winter’s Black & White & Sex will be shown as part of the Bright Future program (which celebrates the stand out work of debut directors).


The culmination of Courtin-Wilson’s six-year collaboration with ex-prison inmate turned actor, Daniel P. Jones, Hail is a semi-fictional narrative about Jones’ attempts to return to society and his girlfriend (played by real-life partner, Leanne Letch) after his most recent stint in jail.

“I was honoured when I heard the news as Rotterdam is really the perfect festival for a debut film like Hail,” Courtin-Wilson said. “It is truly humbling to be recognised and placed on the world stage of cinema.”

Hail is produced by Michael Cody through Flood Projects and will be distributed throughout Australia by Madman. Screen Australia, Film Victoria and the Adelaide Film Festival funded the film.

Black & White & Sex is the directorial debut of producer John Winter (Rabbit-Proof Fence), and tells the story of Angie, a sex worker played by eight different actors, as she is interviewed by a documentary filmmaker.

“Rotterdam is the ideal place for the film’s international premiere. It’s such an honour,” Winter said. “I can’t wait to see it with a European audience and see how they respond to such a frank conversation about sex and sexuality.”

These will not be the only Australian films to screen at international film festivals this year. Four Australian short films will be screened as part of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Generation program.

Kiss by Alex Murawski and The Wilding by Grant Scicluna will compete in the Generation 14plus category while Billy Pleffer’s BINO and Matthew Moore’s Julian will compete in the Generation Kplus category.

Produced by Annmaree J Bell and starring Remy Hii and Sophie Lowe, Kiss explores the ramifications of a young boy’s first kiss. The Wilding produced by Jannine Barnes tells the story of a relationship between two inmates in juvenile detention.

BINO is about a thrill-seeking albino boy’s chance encounter with an Irish Wolfhound. Julian explores a day in the life of a nine-year-old boy and is produced by writer/director Matthew Moore and Robert Jago.

“It is a really strong year for Australian shorts, a real highlight and we are thrilled to be able to screen so many in the Generation context,” said Maryanne Redpath, director of the Generation section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

The 41st Rotterdam International Film Festival will run from January 25 to February 5, followed by the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, which will run from February 9-19.