Jul 16, 2008

The Melbourne International Film Festival has announced a stellar line up of Australian guests who will be in town to support their films during the festival.

Acclaimed Australian director Fred Schepisi will be joining Eric Bana as MIFF Ambassador, and long time MIFF Patron Geoffrey Rush will present Schepisi’s 1978 classic The Chant of Jimmie Jacksmith on Monday 4 August – introducing the film and then hosting a special Q&A with Schepisi afterwards.

Other guests will be present for the following sessions.

Week One:
Director Mark Hartley, Michael Lynch, stuntman Grant Paige and writer Everett De Roche will all walk the red carpet for the World Premiere of Opening Night film, Not Quite Hollywood;

Writer/directors Kirsty De Garis and Timothy Jolly (25-27 July) will all be celebrities soon after the World Premiere of their Premiere Fund Film, Celebrity: Dominick Dunne, about Vanity Fair special correspondent Dominick Dunne.

Rhian Skirving will be in town for the World Premiere of Rock & Roll Nerd (July 27) – a rags to riches observational documentary following Melbourne musician and performance artist’s Tim Minchin meteoric rise to international fame.

Week Two:

Stepping behind the camera, Matthew Newton (August 1) directs his first feature Three Blind Mice. Cast members Toby Schmidt, Gracie Otto, Barry Otto, Jacki Weaver and Bud Tingwell will all step out in support at the gala screening.

Continuing on from Australia’s successful horror/thriller genre assault comes Acolytes – a nail-biting thriller from Redball director Jon Hewitt (July 31-Aug 2), along with stars Joel Edgerton and Michael Dorman.

Award-winning filmmaker Paul Cox and Wendy Hughes will introduce the screening of Salvation (August 2), a satirical meditation on life’s big questions.

Mauro Colombis will be playing the piano to accompany The Corrick Collection on the August 2 screening at MIFF, courtesy of the National Film and Sound archives.

The Homegrown section this year sees a number of stand-out documentaries, including the world premiere of Lionel, director Edward Martin (August 2) will be here with his film; and director Tom Murray (August 3) joins us with In My Father’s Country, which takes us inside an adolescent rite of passage.

Charging into Melbourne for its world premiere will be The Horseman by first time director Steven Kastrissios (August 3). "The Horseman is a balls to the wall, edgy thriller. A simple, fast paced action movie – the kind people used to make in the 70’s. Think Get Carter in ‘Stubbies’ crossed with Tarantino. If you like your movies bold, hard-core and unapologetic, then keep an eye on director Steven Kastrissios", says Greg Mclean.

First time feature director Pene Patrick gets under the skin of Melbourne’s western suburbs with a tale of responsibility and hope in Playing for Charlie ( August 3 & 6). Patrick will be in town as well as the stars of the film; Jared Deparis and Shane Connor.

Not to be missed in the second week is the special event with MIFF Ambassador Eric Bana when he presents his favourite Aussie Flick George Miller’s post-apocalyptic outback Western, Mad Max 2 (5th August).

Angel of the Wind also screens in the final weekend of MIFF, Director and Melbourne local Tahir Cambis (August 9) will present his film that explores the word of acting, spirituality and national identity.

[release from Limelight PR]

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