SFF adds more talks

01 June, 2010 by IF

Press Release from The Lantern Group

Following on from the welcome release last week of renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi after two and a half months inside Tehran’s Evin prison, Sydney Film Festival turns its focus to the highly topical subject of alternative Iranian cinema. Announcing a strong panel line-up for an in-depth look at making films against all odds, this discussion follows the 2pm screening of No One Knows About Persian Cats at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 12 June.


SFF is also excited to announce that French director Julie Bertucelli and Australian producer Sue Taylor will participate in an Official Competition talk on Sunday 6 June about their film The Tree, which was the Closing Night selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Judith Ehrlich, Director of the Academy Award-nominated The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, will now join in conversation with renowned ABC News Radio journalist John Barron, directly after the screening on June 10. This follows the announcement that Judith Ehrlich will give this year’s Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture on the role of documentary film as a lens on the state of war on June 11.

Saturday 12 June 3.45pm – Sydney Opera House FREE
Against the Odds – Alternate Iranian Cinema

In this highly revealing seminar, panelists will discuss how Iranian filmmakers manage to get their vision on-screen in spite of the odds.

Iranian cinema has earned many international accolades since Abbas Kiarostami took home a Golden Palm in 1997 and Jafar Panahi a Golden Lion in 2000. But the stories of the difficulties besetting Iranian filmmakers wanting to work outside the proscribed boundaries for ‘Islamic’ cinema – censorship, bannings and subterfuge – are legion. Jafar Panahi’s recent jailing was allegedly because he was making a film against the regime.

This year Sydney Film Festival screens two highly political films, both banned in Iran. From diaspora filmmaker and artist Shirin Neshat, Women without Men will screen in Official Competition at SFF on 10 and 11 June. No One Knows About Persian Cats, screening 5 and 12 June, delves into the Iranian underground music scene. Filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi has gone into exile since the making of this film.

Hosted by Anne Demy-Geroe, former artistic director of the Brisbane International Film Festival for 18 years, and annual attendee at the Fajr Film Festival in Tehran for the last decade. She is a PhD candidate in Iranian cinema at the University of Queensland.

Participating panelists include Dr Michelle Langford, who teaches Film Studies at the University of New South Wales. She is currently researching the allegorical dimensions of Iranian cinema and has published on both Iranian and German cinemas. Granaz Moussavi is an award-winning poet published in 8 languages internationally. Her first feature, My Tehran for Sale, set in the Tehran underground arts scene, won an IF award for independent spirit in 2010 and is the first Iran/Australian co-production. She is currently completing a doctorate at UWS on the Aesthetics of Iranian Poetic Cinema. Amin Palangi is a filmmaker working on a feature documentary about war pilgrimages in Iran. Currently, he is also a PhD candidate at the Australian National University investigating the role of the filmmaker in making a dramatic documentary.

This talk immediately follows the 2pm screening of No One Knows About Persian Cats on 12 June at the Sydney Opera House (Playhouse).

The first screening of No One Knows About Persian Cats on 5 June will be followed by a live performance by leading Iranian musicians Ravi also at Sydney Opera House (Playhouse).

Sunday 6 June 12pm – Statement Lounge FREE
The Tree
Official Competition

Julie Rigg (ABC Radio National, Movietime) talks to director Julie Bertucelli and producer Sue Taylor about The Tree (screening at SFF on 5 and 6 June), the French/Australian co-production that was selected as Closing Night film at Cannes Film Festival this year.

Julie Bertucelli started her film career as an assistant director, working with acclaimed directors such as
Krzysztof Keislowski, Bertrand Tavernier, Otto Iosseliani and Emmanuel Finkiel. She has also directed several highly regarded documentaries. Her feature debut, Since Otar Left went on to win several major awards including the Grand Prize at Critics Week, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004 and a Cesar Award for Best First Film.

Sue Taylor’s credits cover the full range of production, including documentary (Vegie Wars, Diamond’s Are A Girls’ Best Friend, Fungimentary) children’s dramas (Minty, WildKat, Southern Cross, Timetrackers), mini-series (The Shark Net), telemovie (3 Acts of Murder) and feature film (Last Train to Freo). She has been nominated for several AFI and Logie awards and was awarded the SPAA Drama Producer of the year in 2004.
This talk immediately follows the 10am screening of The Tree at the State Theatre.
Thursday 10 June 4pm – Statement Lounge FREE
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Pathway: Fire Me Up

John Barron (ABC NewsRadio) talks to co-director, co-producer, co-writer Judith Ehrlich whose documentary The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg was nominated at this year’s Academy Awards® and screens at SFF on 10 and 14 June.

Judith Ehrlich teaches documentary film at Berkeley City College and over two decades has made dozens of prize-winning educational films and radio documentaries on subjects such as the peace movement, education, citizen participation and low-income housing. Judith co-produced and co-directed the award winning PBS documentary, The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It (2001), a story of men guided by principle to take the unpopular position of pacifism in the face of World War II.

Presenter John Barron joined ABC NewsRadio in 1999 where he has produced several documentary specials including: "The Day the War Ended", marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and "Korea: The Forgotten War”. He is currently working on a documentary film about the 2008 US Presidential Campaign.

Judy’s visit is kindly supported by the United States Studies Centre.

This talk immediately follows the 2.05pm screening of The Most Dangerous Man in America at the State Theatre.

The 57th Sydney Film Festival runs from Wednesday 2 June – Monday 14 June 2010. For more information visit www.sff.org.au

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