FilmFest Australia 2009

In addition to the films below, there will be a free screening of Tropfest - the largest short film festival in the world. A selection of the films - marked On Tour - is currently making its way around the UK. For dates and venues read our

Cactus Cactus
Cactus and The Cars That Ate Paris
$9.99 (Country: Israel, Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Tatia Rosenthal; Writer: Etgar Keret, Etgar Keret, Tatia Rosenthal; Stars: Tom Budge, Joel Edgerton, Leon Ford, Samuel Johnson, Claudia Karvan, Jamie Katsamatsas, Anthony LaPaglia, Ben Mendelsohn, Henry Nixon, Barry Otto)
Stop-animation film tackles the age-old question of the meaning of life.
Screening with short film Chicken Of God
The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (Country: Australia; Year: 1994; Director: Stephan Elliott; Writer: Stephan Elliott; Stars: Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, Terence Stamp, Rebel Penfold-Russell, John Casey, June Marie Bennett, Murray Davies, Frank Cornelius, Bob Boyce, Leighton Picken)
Groundbreaking cult classic about a transsexual on a cross-country trip to Alice Springs. Scheduled to celebrate the film before the stage version opens in the West End.
Come in your most flamboyant finery, say organisers, there will be a prize for most dazzling diva.
Australia (Country: UK, Australia, US; Year: 2008; Director: Baz Luhrmann; Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Stuart Beattie, Ronald Harwood, Richard Flanagan; Stars: Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Brandon Walters, Bruce Spence, Jack Thompson, Bill Hunter, Ben Mendelsohn, John Jarratt, Jacek Koman), Trailer
Sprawling epic sees English toff and drover bond over cattle and kids.
Featuring an exclusive pre-recorded introduction to the film by director Baz Luhrmann
Bitter Springs (Country: UK, Australia; Year: 1950; Director: Ralph Smart; Writer: Monja Danischewsky, W.P. Lipscomb, Ralph Smart; Stars: Tommy Trinder, Chips Rafferty, Gordon Jackson, Jean Blue, Michael Pate, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Nonnie Piper, Nicky Yardley, Henry Murdoch)
Vintage drama about racial conflict between a group of settlers and an indigenous tribe.
Centenary Tribute to Chips Rafferty
Bitter & Twisted (Bitter And Twisted) (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Christopher Weekes; Writer: Christopher Weekes; Stars: Noni Hazlehurst, Steve Rodgers, Leeanna Walsman, Gary Sweet, Matt Newton, Christopher Weekes), Official Site
This quirky, multidimensional drama of longing and loss starts with the death of a young man and flashes forward three years to assess the toll it took on his parents, brother, and ex-girlfriend. A vivid style and nuanced performances add unusual charm to this confident debut.
Screening with short film 296 Smith Street. On Tour
Unfinished Sky Unfinished Sky
Unfinished Sky and The Horseman
The Black Balloon (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Elissa Down; Writer: Elissa Down, Jimmy Jack; Stars: Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Toni Collette, Erik Thomson, Gemma Ward, Lloyd Allison-Young, Nathin Butler, Lisa Kowalski, Firass Dirani, Aaron Glennane, Andy Meritakis)
An insightful family drama, about a young man who must deal with more than his fair share of troubles, like his autistic brother. Also, young love and being a new boy in school.
Screening with short film fOUR
The Bold, The Brave & The Best: Celebrating 30 Years Of Australian Animation (Country: Australia; Year: 2009)
Showcase, featuring shorts by famous Australian animators including Sarah Watt, Adam Elliot, Wendy Chandler and Oscar-winner Bruce Petty. Curated by Oscar-nominated animator Anthony Lucas (Jasper Morello).
Broken Sun (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Brad Haynes; Writer: Dacre Timbs; Stars: Rudi Baker, James Bishop, Galvin Scott Davis, Katie Ditchburn, Steve Dodd, Kentaro Hara, Kuni Hashimoto, Jai Koutrae, Sam O'Dell, Robin Queree)
The story of ailing WW1 veteran and Japanese PoW escapee imprisoned by the positions into which world events have thrown them.
Screening with short film Ali & The Ball
Cactus (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Jasmine Yuen-Carrucan; Writer: Jasmine Yuen-Carrucan; Stars: Travis McMahon, David Lyons, Bryan Brown, Shane Jacobson), Official Site
A kidnapper takes his payload cross country into the Aussie outback.
Featuring a Q&A with director Jasmine Yuen Carrucan. On Tour
The Cars That Ate Paris (Country: Australia; Year: 1974; Director: Peter Weir; Writer: Peter Weir, Keith Gow, Piers Davies, Peter Weir; Stars: John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies, Danny Adcock, Bruce Spence, Kevin Golsby, Chris Haywood, Peter Armstrong)
Trouble brews for a stranger in a town where car crashes seem to be a little too frequent.
Rats And Cats Rats And Cats
Rats And Cats and Dying Breed
The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith (Country: Australia; Year: 1978; Director: Fred Schepisi; Writer: Fred Schepisi, based on the novel by Thomas Keneally; Stars: Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Ray Barrett, Jack Thompson, Angela Punch McGregor, Steve Dodds, Peter Carroll, Ruth Cracknell, Don Crosby, Elizabeth Alexander)
The son of a white man and an Aboriginal woman is pushed to the limit by racism and spirals into violence.
The Cheaters (Country: Australia; Year: 1930; Director: Paulette McDonagh; Writer: Paulette McDonagh; Stars: Marie Lorraine, Arthur Greenaway, John Faulkner, Josef Bambach, Nellie McNiven, Elaine de Chair, Frank Hawthorne, Leal Douglas, Stanley Court, Reg Quartly)
Silent film classic charts a story of romance and crime.
With live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney. Showing with Paula McDonagh shorts: Don Bradman - How I Play Cricket and The Mighty Conqueror - Phar Lap
Death Defying Acts (Country: UK; Year: 2007; Director: Gillian Armstrong; Writer: Tony Grisoni, Brian Ward; Stars: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Saoirse Ronan, Jack Bailey, Aaron Brown, MacKay Crawford, James Fiddy, Martin Fisher, Tim Frost, Campbell Graham)
Harry Houdini falls for a gypsy 'psychic' in an Edinburgh-set period romance.
Screening with short film The Ballad Of Betty And Joe
Donkey In Lahore (Country: Australia; Year: 2007; Director: Faramarz K-Rahber), Official Site
An unusual love story that follows the quixotic courtship of Brian, an ex-goth puppeteer from Australia, and Amber, the traditional Muslim girl he met and fell in love with in Pakistan. Can this unlikely couple survive the challenges they are about to face?
Dot And The Bunny (Country: Australia; Year: 1984; Director: Yoram Gross; Writer: Yoram Gross, John Palmer; Stars: Drew Forsythe, Barbara Frawley, Ron Haddrick, Anne Haddy, Ross Higgins, Robyn Moore, Anna Quin)
Cartoon outback adventure, sees Dot hunt for a lost joey.
Australia Australia
Australia and The Oasis
Dying Breed (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Jody Dwyer; Writer: Michael Boughen, Jody Dwyer, Rod Morris; Stars: Mirrah Foulkes, Leigh Whannell, Nathan Phillips, Melanie Vallejo, Bille Brown, Peter Docker, Brendan Donoghue, Elaine Hudson, Sally McDonald, Ken Radley, Sally McDonald, Sheridan Harvey), Official Site
Four friends find out something - or someone - murderous lurks in the rain-slogged Australian bush.
Screening with short film Advantage
Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Cathy Randall; Writer: Cathy Randall; Stars: Nikita Adams, Tisha Adey, Paul Blackwell, Christian Byers, Lucy Carey, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Danielle Catanzariti, Elise Champion, Toni Collette, Essie Davis)
Coming of age comedy drama Aussie style.
Screening with short film Mutt
The Horseman (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Steven Kastrissios; Writer: Steven Kastrissios; Stars: Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy, Brad McMurray, Jack Henry, Evert McQueen, Christopher Sommers, Bryan Probets, Steve Tandy, Chris Betts, Damon Gibson)
A grief-mad father tracks down the men responsible for his daughter’s death and discovers more about his daughter than a father should ever know.
Screening with short film Bella
In My Father's Country (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Tom Murray; Writer: Tom Murray; Stars: Galuma Maymuru, Will Stubbs, Dhukal Wirrpanda, Wuyal Wirrpanda), Official Site
An intimate look at the coming-of-age ceremony and way of life of the Dhuruputjpi Aboriginal community.
Lake Mungo (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Joel Anderson; Writer: Joel Anderson; Stars: Talia Zucker, Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin Sharpe, Steve Jodrell, Tamara Donnellan, Scott Terrill, Chloe Armstrong, Charles Armytage, Claire Astbury)
A family are haunted by their daughter's death.
Screening with short film Dog With Electric Collar
Death Defying Acts Death Defying Acts
Death Defying Acts and Men's Group
Lionel (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Eddie Martin; Writer: Eddie Martin, David Tiley; Stars: Lionel Rose)
Documentary about Australian Aboriginal boxer Lionel Rose.
On Tour
Long Weekend (Country: Australia; Year: 1978; Director: Colin Eggleston; Writer: Everett De Roche; Stars: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen, Roy Day, Michael Aitkens, Sue Kiss von Soly)
Getting back to nature for a sophisticated Sydney couple upsets the animals.
Screening with short film The Funk
Men's Group (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Michael Joy; Writer: Michael Joy, John L Simpson; Stars: Grant Dodwell, Don Reid, Paul Gleeson, Steve Rodgers, Steve Le Marquand, Paul Tassone, William Zappa, Matthew Waters, Leroy Page, Maria Simpson, Lily Kate Simpson, Louise McCabe, Jo Allebone)
Six men, each with heavy emotional baggage, meet once a week to talk, with unexpected consequences.
Screening with short film Small Change. On Tour
My Brilliant Career (Country: Australia; Year: 1979; Director: Gillian Armstrong; Writer: Miles Franklin, Eleanor Witcombe; Stars: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb, Max Cullen, Aileen Britton, Peter Whitford, Patricia Kennedy, Alan Hopgood, Julia Blake)
Gillian Armstrong's break-out film, set in the early 20th century, about a teen who finds her ambitions tested when she falls for an aristocrat.
Newcastle (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Dan Castle; Writer: Dan Castle), Official Site
Revolving around Jesse, a 17-year-old surfer who treads the line between success and self-destruction, Newcastle saturates the senses with magnificent surfing footage and absorbs viewers in the fresh loves and personal tragedies of Jesse and his mates.
Screening with short film Summer Breaks
The Black Balloon The Black Balloon
The Black Balloon and In My Father's Country
Newsfront (Country: Australia; Year: 1978; Director: Phillip Noyce; Writer: David Elfick, Bob Ellis, Philippe Mora, Phillip Noyce; Stars: Bill Hunter, Wendy Hughes, Gerard Kennedy, Chris Haywood, John Ewart, Don Crosby, Angela Punch McGregor, John Clayton, John Dease, Bryan Brown)
Phillip Noyce's ode to Aussie newsreel photographers.
A Northern Town (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Rachel Landers)
The residents of an Australian nursing home recall their town's history of racism and brutality.
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Mark Hartley; Writer: Mark Hartley; Stars: Phillip Adams, Christine Amor, Glory Annen, Victoria Anoux, Ian Barry, Briony Behets, Steve Bisley, Jamie Blanks, Graeme Blundell, Russell Boyd)
Documentary charting a key moment in Aussie cinema.
The Oasis (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Sascha Ettinger Epstein, Ian Darling), Official Site
AFI-winning documentary about a youth refuge in inner-city Sydney.
On Tour
Playing For Charlie (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Pene Patrick; Stars: Shane Connor, Jared Daperis, Jodie Rimmer, Mark Leonard Winter)
Story of a rugby player caught between duty and ambition.
Screening with short film Brother Boys
The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith
The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith and Hey Hey It's Esther Blueburger
Rats And Cats (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Tony Rogers; Writer: Jason Gann, Adam Zwar; Stars: Jason Gann, Adam Zwar, Anya Beyersdorf, Paul Denny, Alexis Porter, Jess Beazley, Gary Rens, Belle Leslie, Matthew Molony, Francis McMahon, Bert Labonte)
Black comedy about the ugly side of showbiz.
Screening with short film My Rabbit Hoppity. On Tour
Rock N Roll Nerd (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Rhian Skirving; Writer: Rhian Skirving; Stars: Tim Minchin)
Documentary charting the career of comedian Tim Minchin.
Salute (Country: Australia, US; Year: 2008; Director: Matt Norman; Writer: Matt Norman; Stars: Christopher Kirby, John Carlos, Paul Hoffman, Payton Jordan, Cleve Livingston, Cordiner Nelson, Peter Norman, Larry Questad, Tommie Smith, Bob Steiner)
The black power salute at the 1968 Olympics was an iconic moment in the US civil rights movement. But what price did the white man who came second, Peter Norman, pay for his beliefs?
The Square (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Nash Edgerton; Writer: Joel Edgerton, Matthew Dabner, Joel Edgerton; Stars: David Roberts, Claire van der Boom, Joel Edgerton, Anthony Hayes, Lisa Bailey, Lucy Bell, Paul Caesar, Amanda Crompton, Maree D'Arcy, Kieran Darcy-Smith)
Nash Edgerton (whose shorts we like a lot on Eye For Film) steps up to the big time with this dark thriller about a woman who rips off her hubby's ill-gotten gains.
Screening with short film The List
The Tender Hook (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Jonathan Ogilvie; Writer: Jonathan Ogilvie; Stars: Rose Byrne, Hugo Weaving, Matthew Le Nevez, Pia Miranda, Luke Carroll, John Batchelor, Tyler Coppin, Don Bridges, Jarrah Cocks, Brendan Guerin)
Hugo Weaving and Rose Byrne star in this noir thriller about a dangerous love triangle.
Screening with short film The Ballad Of Betty And Joe
Lake Mungo Lake Mungo
Lake Mungo and Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
Ten Empty (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Anthony Hayes; Writer: Brendan Cowell, Anthony Hayes; Stars: Daniel Frederiksen, Geoff Morrell, Lucy Bell, Tom Budge, Brendan Cowell, Blazey Best, Jack Thompson, Kaliopi Eleni, Andy McPhee, Adam Morgan)
Alcoholism, adultery, mental illness and self-harm greet Elliott when he returns for the christening of his new half brother...
Featuring Q&A with writer/director Anthony Hayes. Screening with short film Gluteus Maximus
Three Blind Mice (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Matthew Newton; Writer: Matthew Newton; Stars: Ewen Leslie, Toby Schmitz, Matthew Newton, Jacki Weaver, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwall, Gracie Otto)
Three sailors face up to their future and their past on an eventful night out in Sydney.
Screening with short film Five New Things. On Tour
Unfinished Sky (Country: Australia; Year: 2007; Director: Peter Duncan; Writer: Peter Duncan; Stars: William McInnes, Monic Hendrickx, David Field, Bille Brown, Roy Billing, Christopher Sommers, Milo), Official Site
An Afghan refugee hides out on an isolated farm in Australia.
Screening with short film Netherland Dwarf
Whatever Happened To Brenda Hean? (Country: Australia; Year: 2008; Director: Scott Millwood)
Investigation into the disappearance of world-leading Tasmanian conservationist.
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