[Press Release by Limelight PR]

Ben Lee – Catch My Disease, a new feature documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson and, Kin, a romantic comedy from debut feature director Amanda Jane, are the latest production co-financing awards from the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund.

Seven years in the making, Ben Lee is a feature documentary about pop music, spirituality, fame, family and celebrity, Courtin-Wilson paints an intimate portrait of the 29 year-old Australian star, who recorded his first album at age 14, through a wealth of archival, performance and interview footage with Ben Lee, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Michelle Williams and others. Ben Lee’s star line-up rounds-out the MIFF 2009 Premiere Fund slate, as follows:

*Balibo, from director Robert Connolly (The Bank) and producer John Maynard (The Boys), starring Anthony La Paglia;
*Blessed, from director Ana Kokkinos (Head On) and producer Al Clark (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), starring Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto, Deborra-Lee Furness and William McInnes;
*Bran Nue Dae, from director Rachel Perkins (Radiance, First Australians) and producer Robyn Kershaw (Looking for Alibrandi, Kath & Kim), starring Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins, Deb Mailman, Nigali Lawford, Tom Budge, Dan Sultan and Jessica Mauboy;
*The Loved Ones, from debut feature director Sean Byrne and producer Mark Lazarus (Australian Rules), starring Xavier Samuel and Victoria Thaine;
*Indonesia Calling, a feature documentary from director/producer John Hughes.

Ben Lee, which is produced by Richard Lowenstein, follows Courtin-Wilson’s MIFF 2008 Premiere Fund co-financed feature documentary Bastardy, which was voted by MIFF 2008 audiences as the 8th most popular film overall and the 5th most popular documentary. Bastardy was one of several well-received MIFF Premiere Fund co-financed feature documentaries premiering at MIFF 2008, which also included:
*Rock n Roll Nerd, which was voted 7th most popular film overall and 4th most popular documentary and goes into general release later this month;
*Not Quite Hollywood, which opened MIFF 2008 ahead of its Australian theatrical release and selection for the Toronto, Sitges and London Film Festivals;
*Whatever Happened to Brenda Hean?, which is presently in Australian theatrical release and will have its overseas premiere in Paris on November 20 at 26th Festival International du Film d’Environnement;
*Celebrity: Dominick Dunne, which was voted 8th most popular documentary at MIFF 2008, then selected for the Hampton’s International Film Festival and is presently in Australian theatrical release.

Meantime, Kin is the first MIFF Premiere Fund film confirmed for MIFF 2010. With co-financing from the former Australian Film Commission (AFC) IndiVision program strand, Kin is a warm-hearted and upbeat romantic comedy taking a surprising journey into a Melbourne family’s deeply dirty laundry. Kin features an emerging team of Victorian filmmakers with Amanda Jane directing a script by Christine Bartlett and Nicole Minchin producing.

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