Australian Showcase

Before her acclaimed feature debut [Look Both Ways] (screening in MIFF this year), Sarah Watt made a name for herself as one of Australia's leading and most distinctive short-film makers. Predominantly bright, painterly animations, her short films uniquely capture the drama and extraordinary existentialism in the lives of her refreshingly humane, often female, lead characters. Poignant, emotional ... Read more
Emerging from Sydney's northern beaches in the 60's as sidewalk surfing and advancing to the urban anarchy of today, the underground evolution of Australian skating has been one ot most fascinating progressions in living history. Since those humble beginnings, the monster that is Australian skateboarding has waged a wild and unpredictable war in search of its own unique identity. ... In addition t... Read more
Japan has always had fantasy women hidden away in the secret zones of its cities. Tokyo Bound gains unique access to the dungeons, homes and lives of a select coterie who lead Japan's S&M scene. Sexy. rebellious and sophisticated, these women are calling the shots with their sexuality. ... MaxX, a young Australian, has been working in Japanese S&M for four years. Articulate and observant, she deli... Read more
Tom White AustraliaLife for Tom White (Colin Friels) isn't going too well. Signs of a physical breakdown are evident; his hands begin to shake and he cannot remember being fired from a project in the architecture firm where he works. 'Perhaps it is time for a vacation', his superiors suggest. Going to the pub for solace, Tom encounters some workmates, but quickly finds himself in an altercation an... Read more
In the desolate reaches of an Aboriginal community, is the life of a ten year old already spent? ... Amidst the physically, emotionally and spiritually empty spaces of Toomelah, one of Australia's most impoverished Aboriginal communities, ten-year-old Daniel's life is sliding toward oblivion. All but abandoned by an uncaring mother and ruinously alcoholic father, Daniel falls in with a local drug ... Read more
From the director of Mabo—Life of an Island Man, the producer of Picnic at langing Rock and based on the famous opera by Puccini, Tosca: A Tale of Love and Torture is a documentary like no other. It is 1999 and Opera Australia need a hit at the box office. They decide to stage Puccini's masterwork—about a passionate young diva caught in the political turmoil of 19th century Rome—as a lavish produc... Read more
Adelaide, 1971. Leanne (Pia Miranda), 21, has left adolescence behind and is teetering on the edge of adulthood, yet yearns for a life that she can only see through the lens of her camera. Her sister, Bronwyn (Sacha Horler), is stuck in a dead-end marriage, and feels the world closing in around her. When a charismatic beat poet, Lou, steps off a plane from America and into their lives, little do t... Read more
Troubled Minds: The Lithium Revolution Australia In a backyard shed in the 1940s, a Melbourne doctor discovered an astonishing psychiatric treatment that would change the way we think about mental illness and neuroscience. It would mark the beginning of psychopharmacology'The use of drugs to manage psychiatric conditions.A psychiatrist and ex-prisoner of war, Dr John Cade was convinced by his wart... Read more
A powerful look at how a trip to the circus became a reminder of the cruel consequences of humanity's attempt to control nature. ... In Honolulu in 1994, a circus elephant made a break for independence. Tyke stomped her way free during a performance, killed her trainer in front of the watching audience, and ran away through the city streets. ... Utilising heartbreaking archival footage and intervi... Read more
Peaceful, rustic Berkeley is a charming fishing village peopled by friendly folk, and flesh devounng zombies! When a spectacular meteor shower brings an horrific alien virus to this country hamlet, the undead rise and begin their slow, unstoppable march in search of living brains. A lone, enigmatic redneck (coming across like Clint Eastwood's grizzled 'With No Name' in baggy overalls) carries a wa... Read more
“I'd always been told that I was born before my time. Oh, surely to God, the times can just catch up.” - Florence Broadhurst In this spirited and highly original documentary, acclaimed director Gillian Armstrong fleshes out the many lives of flamboyant Australian design pioneer Florence Broadhurst. When she was found murdered in her studio in 1977, few guessed her age, let alone her origins becaus... Read more
When Hanoi was under threat of massive US bombing in 1965, students and teachers from the Conservatorium of Music fled to the countryside. There they re-established their school by building an entire campus underground, including a 500-seat auditorium and 40 special caverns for the pianos. Award-winning filmmaker Tom Zubrycki's ([Molly and Mobarak], MIFF 03) most recent documentary tells this extr... Read more
Winner of two prizes at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival (including the Teddy for Best Feature) and also selected for the Hong Kong Film Festival, Walking on Water is a refreshingly unsentimental, and even surprisingly humourous, film about people dealing with loss and grief. ... Charlie (Vince Colosimo) and Anna (Maria Theodorakis) are Gavin's two best friends. They made a pact to assist the termina... Read more
As a group of Indigenous adults argue about whether to save their government housing or their sacred lands, their children struggle with how the ancestral Dreaming makes sense in their contemporary lives filled with hip-hop and dinosaur bones. ... When the Dogs Talked mixes nonfiction and fiction in a thoughtful yet humorous drama about the difficulties Indigenous communities have living within th... Read more
What goes on in a high school classroom at Manly Community College for two hours on Wednesday nights represents a fascinating microcosm of how white Australians are dealing (or not dealing) with the coun­try's indigenous past and present. Four times a year a group of between ten and fifteen white strangers come together to participate in an eight week reconciliation study circle. These circles wer... Read more
The Widower Australia Having its World Premiere at MIFF, The Widower is a music-drama structured around a collection of quintessential Les Murray poems that tell the story of two Australian men'a father and a son'who have lost the most treasured woman in their lives. Exploring the themes of love, ageing, isolation and loss in an Australian rural setting, this evocative tale is from MusicArtsDance,... Read more
Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis were two of Australia's greatest wilderness photographers. Their work became synonymous with campaigns to protect Tasmania's natural heritage, campaigns that changed Australia's awareness of its environment forever. This insightful documentary is a wonderful legacy of their work. ... From the 1950s to the 1980s, Truchanas and then Dombrovskis used photography... Read more
Windjarrameru, The Stealing C*Nt$ blends Indigenous storytelling with modern worries over environmental degradation and substance abuse in a story about a group of young Indigenous men hiding in a chemically contaminated swamp after being falsely accused of stealing some beer, while all around them miners pollute their land. ... Director Elizabeth Povinelli and members of the Karrabing Film Collec... Read more
A year in the life of one of New York's most eclectic and vibrant artists' residences. ... From 1970 onwards, Westbeth Artists Housing in Manhattan's Far West Village became a creative experiment. Formerly the offices of the company spawned by inventor Alexander Graham Bell, the site threw open its doors to New York's artistic community, offering dancers, poets and everyone in between a place to l... Read more
Australia has made a name for itself since the 1960s for mysterious disappearances on its remote stretches of bitumen. And backpackers have often been at the centre of these chilling episodes. Based on a true story, [Wolf Creek] is the well-crafted debut feature of Greg McLean, which tracks the disappearance of a trio of backpackers and will have your pulse racing. Wolf Creek leans relentlessly on... Read more
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