The Palace has positive reception at Telluride Film Festival

07 September, 2011 by IF

Press release from Anthouse Films

The Palace, a multi-award winning Australian short film has just enjoyed its US premiere to a sell out audience at the Telluride Film Festival, the week after being nominated for both an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA) and Best Screenplay in the Australian Writer’s Guild Awards.


Set during the opening moments of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus (a small island in the East Mediterranean), The Palace details the heart wrenching true story of a Greek-Cypriot family struggling to survive, and a young Turkish Cypriot soldier trying to retain his humanity amidst the bloodshed.

The Palace is one of a handful of shorts selected for the Telluride Film Festival, renowned for it’s relaxed atmosphere where film fanatics rub shoulders with moguls and stars.

“Of course there are other high profile festivals, with tonnes of media attention, long red carpets and all that. But Telluride purposely bucks at that notion – it is a festival for film lovers. Full stop,” says Maras.

The no-frills approach at Telluride gave Maras and his film The Palace a chance to get the film under the noses of some of Hollywood’s biggest movers and shakers.

Kristopher Tapley wrote in his “In Contention” blog – an online blog covering the Academy Awards:

“Finally it was off to the New Sheridan and Fox Searchlight’s swanky shin-dig with George Clooney and Alexander Payne in attendance. I found myself at one point engaged in discussion with Clooney, Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffrey Wells, The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy and filmmaker Anthony Maras (whose short film “The Palace” is screening here). The entire conversation pretty much centered around politics with plenty of Clooney’s trademark charm and expert storytelling skills.”

Anthony Maras, director of The Palace says, “It really is like a dream come true. So many of my favorite films, from Blue Velvet to The King’s Speech, have premiered at Telluride. It is a real honour.”

The Palace has won top honours in every competitive festival at which it has screened – taking out Best Short Fiction Film at the Sydney Film Festival, Best Australian Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival. As a result of these wins the Australian-born, Cyprus-shot production is eligible for consideration for the 2012 Academy Awards.

Maras is now hard at work on number of new projects, including an international crime drama with acclaimed Australian writer Christos Tsiolkas – whose novel Dead Europe is currently being made into a feature film by The King’s Speech producer Emile Sherman.