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