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Dead Europe to premiere at Sydney Film Festival

Next month’s Sydney Film Festival, the first under new festival director Nashen Moodley, will feature the world premiere of Tony Krawitz’s Dead Europe, one of 12 films in official competition.

Also in competition is Lore, from Cate Shortland, who is married to Krawitz. Both are Australian, and the films are both based on books and set in Europe. The rest of the films in competition, a mix of masters and debuts, are Australian premieres.

Lore is an adaptation of Rachel Seiffert’s novel The Dark Room, about five siblings that must fend for themselves in the aftermath of World War II.

Dead Europe is a contemporary story about a Greek Australian who learns much about his family when he visits his parents’ old village. It is based on a novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas, who also wrote The Slap, which was recently adapted into a much acclaimed television series.

It’s a debut drama for Krawitz and the other debuts in competition include Korean filmmaker Yuen Sang-Ho’s animated picture The King Of Pigs, US director Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild and Brazilian Kleber Mendonca Filho’s Neighbouring Sounds.

Those already honoured elsewhere include Caesar Must Die and Tabu, Golden Bear and FIPRESCI Jury Prize winners respectively at the Berlinale, and Beasts Of The Southern Wild, US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance.

Rounding out the line-up is On The Road, a big-screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s famous book by Water Salles, the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, Anurag Kashyap’s epic Gangs Of Wasseypur, Parts 1 and 2, and Alps from Yorgos Lanthimos.

The festival opens on June 6 with the world premiere of Australian film Not Suitable For Children, a debut for Peter Templeman, who received an Oscar nomination for his short film The Saviour in 2007.

It will close 11 days later with another debut full of humour: US director Colin Trevorrow’s science fiction comedy Safety Not Guaranteed.

The selection of films in the Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize includes Francis Jupurrurla Kelly and David Batty’s Coniston Massacre and Steven McGregor’s Croker Island Exodus, both of which tell indigenous Australian stories from the past.

Two films are set in India: director Penny Vozniak’s Despite The Gods, which tracks the making of a new film by David Lynch’s daughter Jennifer Lynch; and Missing In The Land Of The Gods, in which a troubled Australian couple go looking for their son who disappeared six years earlier.

Also in the line-up is Utopia, the latest film from animator Bruce Petty, and Paramedico, in which Son Of A Lion director Benjamin Gilmour tracks the life of ambulance drivers from five very diverse countries.

Half of the films are feature-length and all but two are world premieres.

The Official Competition titles are:

Alps, director Yorgos Lanthimos

Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin

Caesar Must Die, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

Dead Europe, Tony Krawitz

Gangs Of Wasseypur, Parts 1 and 2, Anurag Kashyap

The King Of Pigs, Yuen Sang-Ho

Lore, Cate Shortland

Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau

Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonca Filho

On The Road, Walter Salles

Tabu, Miguel Gomes

Today, Alain Gomis

The Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize titles are:

Coniston Massacre, directors Francis Jupurrurla Kelly, David Batty

Croker Island Exodus, Steven McGregor

Despite The Gods, Penny Vozniak

Dr. Sarmast’s Music School, Polly Watkins

Killing Anna, Paul Galasch

Missing In The Land Of The Gods, Davor Dirlic

Paramedico, Benjamin Gilmour

Utopia, Bruce Petty

The titles in the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films are:

BINO, director Billie Pleffer

Dance Me To The End Of Love, Martha Goddard

Dave’s Dead, Alethea Jones

Dumpty Goes To The Big Smoke, Mirrah Foulkes

The Hunter, Marieka Walsh

Julian, Matthew Moore

The Maker, Christopher Kezelos

Rippled, Darcy Prendergast

The Wilding, Grant Scicluna

Yardbird, Michael Spiccia

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