Hello Melbourne friends, I have been thinking about writing something about this year’s amazing Melbourne International Film Festival for the last few days... I can't tell you how exciting it is to witness the blossoming of such a myriad of new cinematic voices in Australian cinema- I have been hoping for a groundswell like this for a number of years and it feels like it is finally happening- it’s so wonderful to see so much new audacious work by distinctive and brave image makers - it feels as though the ecosystem has just expanded exponentially and it is a joy to behold...
I just hope the richness of these films triggers a sufficient wave of support to enable more startling, personal, and wonderfully enriching cinema to be created all around the country... Let’s help each other – let’s get in the fucking trenches and let’s make more beautiful films...
Also I want to especially thank Michelle Carey for her remarkable tenure at the festival - you have been an amazing guiding light for so many years. Thank you for your passion and commitment to this festival I love so dearly.
Here are just a few of the films that I have seen that have left me so inspired about the state of Australian film...
|Ema Nudar Umanu|
The remarkable new work Ema Nudar Umanu co-directed by Jonas Rusumaly & Thomas Henning, shot by the excellent Giovanni C. Lorusso & edited by the grand Lucy Lionhearted
The lush and gorgeous Celeste by Ben Hackworth with a brilliant performance by Radha Mitchell.
The absolutely uncompromising and beautiful work of Gabrielle Brady with Island of Hungry Ghosts.
|Island of Hungry Ghosts|
The Karrabing Film Collective is making stunning work that I simply can't get out of my head.
|From a film by Karrabing Film Collective|
The compassionate and moving West of Sunshine starring the amazing Damian Hill.
|West of Sunshine|
The remarkably nuanced and very fucking funny celebration of family and the Australian lexicon Under the Cover of Cloud by director Ted Wilson, edited by James Vaughan, and shot by Jensen Cope & Joshua Ablett.
|Under the Cover of Cloud|
The wunderkammer that is Acute Misfortune directed by Tom Wright co-written by Erik Jensen with a beautiful score by Evelyn Ida Morris, stunning cutting by Luca Cappelli and shot by the inimitable Germain McMicking and Stefan Duscio and produced by Jamie Houge and Virginia Kay
The brilliant and distressing Censored by Sari Braithwaite.
The momentous and truly beautiful Happy Sad Man by Geneviève Bee
|Happy Sad Man|
Undertow starring the amazing Laura Claire who gives such an unbelievable performance.
The subtle, mesmeric and truly gorgeous Strange Colours directed by Alena Lodkina and produced by Kate Laurie and Isaac Wall, starring the amazing Daniel Jones and my cousin Justin Courtin and also featuring a killer score by Mikey Young and edited by Luca Cappelli.
I still haven't seen a lot of the Australian films at this year’s MIFF and I can't wait to see them all - congratulations to everyone involved and here's to the wonderful density of pleasures that is the current landscape of Australian film...
I also have my first small VR piece having its World Premiere tomorrow and the 17th at the festival - we made it together with the VR collective I'm a part of called Bad Faith - including the wonderful Natasha Pincus, Luci Schroder, Tony Albert, Shaun Gladwell & Daniel Crooks - my segment was produced the excellent Chris Luscri and the whole piece was produced by the unstoppable Leo Faber... Come check it out and read about it by clicking on this link! Picture below!