Sydney Film Fest to redefine Aussie films

09 May, 2008 by IF
By Rachael Turk & Simon de Bruyn
In her second year of programming the Sydney Film Festival, Clare Stewart is seeing a redefinition of what it means to be Australian, with yesterday’s festival launch revealing a broad range of local films in the program.
“One of the things that struck me about the entries this year is how Australia is playing in different ways in the international context,” she told Inside Film.
“The Chinese co-production Children of the Silk Road in every way feels like a big international film. This is alongside a film like Son of A Lion, almost the complete antithesis but equally fascinating. They push that notion of what Australian filmmaking is.”
Yesterday saw the official launch of the Sydney Film Festival at a packed Customs House, which complemented the 12 in competition films announced last week – including Nash Edgerton’s The Square and Matt Newton’s Three Blind Mice.
“We also have a special event like The Eternity Man at the Opera House, the world premiere of Julian Temple’s filmed version of opera. Again stylistically different of what an Australian film is and technically sophisticated in a live opera sense,” she said.
“Another trend that has been emerging is the way that films are taking inventive approaches to their storytelling in the likes of Men’s Group and Lake Mungo , in which the more nimble forms of technology become embedded in the narrative approach.


Men’s Group takes a Mike Leigh type approach to improvising and developing scripts with actors to the nth degree. Lake Mungo takes all of the possibilities of working across various formats to create an intriguing fictional mystery film in a documentary like style. I respond to that sense of play and immediacy.”