Press Releases

July 14, 2024 - Inside

'Inside', 'Runt' world premieres, 'Megalopolis IMAX screening among MIFF program highlights

Everything from a Melbourne-shot coming-of-age prison drama to a passion project four decades in the making will make its way to next month’s Melbourne International Film Festival, with the full line-up announced this evening.

Comprising 250 features, shorts, and XR experiences, this year’s program includes the world premieres of Australian features Inside and Runt, along with an Imax screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s sprawling sci-fi drama Megalopolis.

MIFF Artistic Director Al Cossar described this year’s event as a mix of “things you’ve been waiting months to see, and others you never thought you’d get a chance to”.

“The MIFF program this year, like every year, is a multi-faceted festival of cinematic excess, designed to delight, and sure to bring out the best in your imaginations,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to welcome audiences back – come along and settle in for all too many movies at Melbourne’s favourite binge this winter.”

Charles Williams’ Victorian-shot feature debut Inside is among the ten films vying for this year’s $140,000 Bright Horizons Award, designed to recognise first and second-time filmmakers.

Executive produced by Thomas M Wright, the film stars Vincent Miller as Mel Blight, a young man who, after being transferred from juvenile to adult prison, is taken under the wing of both Mark Shepard (Cosmo Jarvis), Australia’s most despised criminal, and Warren Murfett ( Guy Pearce), leading to a paternal triangle between the three men. The cast includes Toby Wallace, Chloé Hayden, and Michael Logo. Production took place in the state at the end of last year, with Marian Macgowan and Kate Glover producing for Macgowan Films and Never Sleep Pictures, respectively.

Last updated on Monday July 15th 2024


June 19, 2024 - Welcome to Babel, Charmian Clift: Life Burns High, Mozart's Sister

The buzziest films with Australian audiences at the Sydney Film Festival 2024

The 71st edition of Australia’s Sydney Film Festival (SFF) closed on Sunday June 16  amid a wave of optimisim with a wealth of prizes, a likely rise in ticket sales, and an influx of young cinemagoers. 

Ticket sales were estimated to be more than 10% up on last year, making 2024 the second biggest year on

Last updated on Wednesday June 19th 2024


July 3, 2024 - The Blind Sea

Matt Formston rides 50ft wave into the record books for new documentary The Blind Sea

Four time para surfing World Champion, former Paralympic Cyclist and World Champion, Matt Formston, has taken his quest for sporting greatness to new heights, setting a new Guinness World Record for the largest wave surfed by a vision impaired male (IS2), captured in the new feature-length documentary, The Blind Sea, in cinemas nationwide from August 15.

Last updated on Wednesday July 3rd 2024


June 17, 2024 - Welcome to Babel

The $20,000 Australian documentary competition was won by James Bradley's Welcome to Babel, about Chinese-Australian artist Jiawei Shen painting an epic work about the history of Communism.

The $20,000 Australian documentary competition was won by James Bradley’s Welcome to Babel, about Chinese-Australian artist Jiawei Shen painting an epic work about the history of Communism.

Last updated on Monday June 17th 2024


May 2, 2024 - First Light

Screen Australia announces James J Robinson's debut feature ' First Light'

Principal Photography is underway on First Light, an upcoming Australian-Filipino Co-production directed by James J. Robinson, with principal production funding from Screen Australia.

Ruby Ruiz is set to star in her first role following her celebrated performance in Amazon’s Expats, with Diamond Star of the Philippines and veteran actress Maricel Soriano (Mother Nanny), Rez Cortez (Bukal), Soliman Cruz (Blue Room), and the father of international cinema, Kidlat Tahimik, rounding out the cast.

Set in the remote mountains of the Philippines, the death of a young construction worker forces an elderly nun to confront the muddied ethics of an institution she dedicated her life to. The script is a deeply personal story exploring the intersection of duty, faith, and institutional power.

Last updated on Friday May 3rd 2024


March 7, 2024 - The Nut Farm

The Nut Farm: Arj Barker's new film has a fresh trailer.

The Nut Farm follows a crypto trader who pivots into macadamia nut farming in the fictional Australian town of Cobweb.

Last updated on Thursday March 7th 2024


April 25, 2024 - First Light

'First Light', starring Ruby Ruiz, starts shooting in the Philippines for Independent Entertainment

Production has started in the Philippines on Filipino-Australian artist James J. Robinson’s debut feature, First Light, starring Ruby Ruiz. 

The UK's Independent Entertainment is representing global sales, excluding Australia and New Zealand. Bonsai Films will distribute the film theatrically in Australia and New Zealand.

Last updated on Friday April 26th 2024


March 7, 2024 - Inside

Guy Pearce in Prison Drama 'Inside', From Palme d'Or Winner Charles Williams (EXCLUSIVE)

Guy Pearce (“LA Confidential,” “Memento”) has recently wrapped production on “Inside,” an Australian crime thriller and coming of age drama film. The picture is the debut feature of Charles Williams, whose short film “All These Creatures” won the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

Last updated on Thursday March 7th 2024


February 21, 2024 - Oscar Nominated Short Films

Review: Our critic watched all 15 shorts nominated at the 2024 Oscars. Here's what should win

Short films require the same tools and sensibilities as features, and when they’re wonderful, they can be just as exemplary of cinema’s promise. Thankfully, the Academy Awards still honor them in three categories, and this year’s live action, animated and documentary hopefuls prove this concentrated form’s artistry and breadth.

Last updated on Wednesday February 21st 2024


February 22, 2024 - The Rooster

Interview: The Rooster director Mark Leonard Winter on the undertaking for his feature debut; ?It?s every phase of sheer terror!

When the body of his oldest friend is found buried in a shallow grave, Dan, a small-town cop, seeks answers from a volatile Hermit who may have been the last person to see his friend alive.

Such is the plotline for Mark Leonard Winter‘s intimate, psychological drama The Rooster, which is arriving in Australian theatres this week, following a successful run at both the Melbourne International Film Festival last year and, most recently, the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Last updated on Thursday February 22nd 2024


February 21, 2024 - The Last Daughter

'The Last Daughter' Earns ADL Award at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Last Daughter, a feature documentary about the life of its director Brenda Matthews — an Australian woman whose quest to piece together memories of two loving families (one white and one Aboriginal) that a government program separated her from — was awarded the ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) of Santa Barbara/Tri-Counties Stand Up Award at the 2024 Santa Barbara International Film in advance of its North American premiere on Tuesday, February 13, at 5:40 p.m. at the Metro 4 Theatre.

Last updated on Wednesday February 21st 2024


February 12, 2024 - The Rooster

2024 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Winners Announced

Hugo Weaving successfully added two trophies to his collection. Performances in Love Me and The Rooster secured Weaving awards for Best Lead Actor in a Drama and Best Supporting Actor in Film respectively. Previous AACTA winner Kate Box also scooped a prize for her role in Deadloch, walking away with an award in one of the new categories for 2024; Best Acting in a Comedy.


Last updated on Monday February 12th 2024


February 12, 2024 - Limbo

Full list of AACTA Awards 2024 winners revealed

AACTA Award for Best Indie Film: Limbo – Ivan Sen (Dir.), David Jowsey, Greer Simpkin, Rachel Higgins – Bunya Productions

Last updated on Monday February 12th 2024


February 2, 2025 - Gondola

Veit Helmer's Gay Romance 'Gondola' Scores Sales via Coccinelle Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Italy’s Coccinelle Film has scored multiple sales on German director Veit Helmer‘s gay love story “Gondola,” which world premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

Last updated on Monday February 5th 2024


February 3, 2024 - The Rooster

Hugo Weaving's new film confronts the 'demons' most men won't

The veteran actor’s new film charts an unlikely friendship between two troubled men.

Some actors, the kind whose names tend to be preceded by words such as “acclaimed”, make for terribly earnest interview subjects. Their passion might be admirable, but their conversation tends towards po-faced masterclass lecture rather than layperson chat.

Last updated on Saturday February 3rd 2024


January 31, 2024 - Flathead

Flathead review - a beautiful meditation on life in rural Queensland

Australian film-maker Jaydon Martin makes an outstanding feature debut with this absorbing, moving and visually beautiful docufiction – a kind of guided reportage about two men’s lives in the regional town of Bundaberg in Queensland, the Australian Texas. It’s shot in a luminous monochrome, switching inscrutably to colour occasionally for the digital moments of home video.

Last updated on Wednesday January 31st 2024


December 20, 2023 - Limbo, Christmess, Of An Age

From dystopian drama to heart-rending documentary: the 10 best Australian films of 2023

In these lists of the best Australian films of the year, I keep my eyes out for any patterns or trends. For example, three of 2022’s best titles were about rivers; half of 2021’s were documentaries; 2019 saw a sharp disconnect between the best versus the most popular Aussie films; and 2018 brought a batch of particularly bold and uncompromising works.


Last updated on Wednesday December 20th 2023


December 2, 2023 - Christmess

Filmmakers make gravy while Christmas spirit shines

On a warm May afternoon in the far south-western suburbs, Heath Davis is directing a low-key Christmas scene in a rundown house that has been donated for the shoot.

Last updated on Sunday December 3rd 2023


November 11, 2023 - Christmess

Christmess is undoubtedly one of the best Christmas films to emerge ? from anywhere ? in recent years!

Bona fide Christmas films usually fit into one of the following categories.

There are the sardonic comedies poking fun at the consumerist undertones of the holiday (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Gremlins). There are the cheesy, schmaltzy Christmas fantasy films (The Christmas Star, Prancer) that strain to impart some of that good ol’ Christmas miracle to the viewer. There are the camp, deliberately kitsch bodgy romps like the Hulk Hogan vehicle Santa with Muscles. And there are the social realist dramas about people just trying to make it through the stress of the period (Almost Christmas).


Last updated on Thursday November 30th 2023


November 21, 2023 - A Savage Christmas

New Aussie movie puts a twist on the classic Christmas comedy

Christmas in Australia is hardly the stuff of Hallmark movies – the snow, the mistletoe, the sweaters. It’s hot, there’s often seafood, and white wine in the sun.

A Savage Christmas, which opened in cinemas on Thursday, is putting a new twist on the classic Christmas comedy format by tapping into what Australia looks like today. With a story centred on fractured family dynamics coming to a head over the holidays, it joins classics like A Moody Christmas, newer releases including A Sunburnt Christmas, and wildly popular festive episodes of Bluey.

Last updated on Thursday November 23rd 2023


November 15, 2023 - The Musical Mind

Daniel Johns on his synaesthesia and taming his 'noisy' mind

Daniel Johns has spoken candidly about how he grapples with a “chaotic and noisy” mind in a new documentary film from Shine director Scott Hicks about neurodivergent musicians.

Last updated on Wednesday November 15th 2023


October 27, 2023 - Monolith

How Lily Sullivan 'descended into madness', on screen and off

Monolith strips it back to basics - one woman alone in a house, with a microphone - but it might just be Lily Sullivan’s biggest role yet.

Last updated on Friday October 27th 2023


October 27, 2023 - Monolith

Monolith Director Matt Vesely Talks About Why South Australia is the Hotbed for Genre Filmmaking Right Now in This Interview

Monolith is a chilling sci-fi thriller follows a journalist, played by Lily Sullivan, whose livelihood is at stake after a defamation case threatens her career.

In a bid to escape the pressure of the case, she heads to her parents remote home and starts working on a podcast called Beyond Believable, a show that looks at unbelievable true stories. Over the following taut and tense ninety minutes, the journalists world unravels as a story about mysterious black bricks that appear in peoples lives come to her attention. The more she interviews people, the deeper the mystery takes her.

Last updated on Friday October 27th 2023


October 11, 2023 - A Savage Christmas, Christmess

Two Aussie Christmas films to release this year: Christmess and A Savage Christmas

It's not even Halloween and already we have trailers for two Australian Christmas films.

Bonsai Films have just announced it has two Aussie Christmas comedies slated for release this November.

The films, A Savage Christmas by Madeleine Dyer, and Christmess by Heath Davis, will release on 16 November and 30 November, respectively.

Last updated on Wednesday October 11th 2023


September 22, 2023 - Christmess

Heath Davis 'Christmess' to premiere at Austin Film Festival

Heath Davis’ Campbelltown-shot dramedy Christmess will debut in Texas next month after being announced in the line-up for this year’s Austin Film Festival.

Written and directed by Davis, the film stars Steve Le Marquand as Chris Flint, a desperate, once famous actor fresh out of rehab who takes a job as a Santa Claus in a suburban strip mall, where he unexpectedly encounters his long-estranged daughter (Nicole Pastor) and infant grandson.

Last updated on Friday September 22nd 2023


September 6, 2023 - The Last Daughter

'Stolen at 2, I felt like an intruder the day my white baby brother came home'

As a child of the Stolen Generation, documentary maker Brenda Matthews knows all-too well what it’s like to walk both sides of Australia’s race divide, as she shares her story injustice of and cruelty, but ultimately, love and healing.

Last updated on Wednesday September 6th 2023


August 24, 2023 - Monolith

Review: Monolith, the new thriller with only one actor

One location. One actor. One captivating mystery.

Lily Sullivan plays a journalist on the cusp of starting a new podcasting venture. She recently had something go wrong with a story and is staying at her parents' house in the middle of nowhere to get away from her critics.

Last updated on Thursday August 24th 2023


The Rooster

Hugo Weaving liked this film so much he stripped naked for it.

Geraldine Hakewill and Mark Leonard Winter didn’t have to travel far while making The Rooster, which was just as well given they found out she was pregnant as production was about to begin.

The film was shot on their bush property in the Hepburn district, 90 minutes north-west of Melbourne. But that also meant there was nowhere to hide for the husband and wife actors, who stepped behind the camera on a feature for the first time.

Last updated on Wednesday August 16th 2023


June 19, 2023 - Three Chords & The Truth

Three Chords and the Truth Director Claire Pasvolsky Talks About Creating Powerful Bonds with Her Characters in This Interview

At the core of Claire Pasvolsky’s stunning feature debut film Three Chords and the Truth is a phenomenal performance from singer-songwriter Jackie Marshall. As the character of Angie Cowper, Marshall stuns, amplifying the grounded and true-to-life experience of an artist who once reached great heights, but now due to illness and the frustrations of life, finds herself knocking on deaths door. As Angie is determined to record one final album and pour her emotions into her work, she has a chance encounter with a young girl, also down on her luck.

Last updated on Wednesday June 21st 2023


June 16, 2023 -The Last Daughter

The Last Daughter review; one woman's tender and uplifting search for the truth

The inherently fragmentary nature of memories is a difficult thing to visualise, but The Last Daughter’s co-directors, Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt, do a fine job of it in this tenderly crafted documentary. Imagery throughout the film is tuned to the testimony of Matthews, a Wiradjuri woman and member of the stolen generations who was removed from her biological family when she was very young. She was placed in the custody of white foster parents who raised her in a loving home for five years before being directed to return her to her Aboriginal family. This created, in the long run, a large gap in her understanding of her past.

Last updated on Friday June 16th 2023


May 5, 2023 - Limbo

The 10 movies to check out in May

It’s a good month for detectives – hard-boiled, soft-centred, or gum-shoed. Most curious is a new film about Philip Marlowe, but based on a book by Irish writer John Banville, rather than Raymond Chandler. With Neil Jordan directing Liam Neeson (they did Michael Collins), it’s more of an Irish Marlowe, although still set in LA in the ’50s.

Ben Affleck and Simon Baker are also playing shamuses, although on different continents. Limbo, with Baker in the Australian desert, looks astonishing in black and white.

Last updated on Tuesday May 9th 2023


May 15, 2023 - Limbo

High art? Actually, Simon Baker reckons acting is pretty simple

The Mentalist star is a long way from Hollywood and its actorly pretensions in the outback crime drama Limbo

Last updated on Monday May 15th 2023


April 30, 2023 - Ian Roberts

'I wish I had come out then': The Ian Roberts story to be told on screen.

Ian Roberts, reflecting on a remarkable life that is set to become the subject of a documentary film, wonders whether it would be easier for a footballer to come out as gay today than when he became a trailblazer way back in 1995.

Last updated on Sunday April 30th 2023


April 12, 2023 - The Last Daughter

Sneak Peek: Sydney Film Festival To Celebrate Its 70th Birthday With Over 200 Films

And the first 12 have been announced. Explore the personal journey of a member of the Stolen Generation, a coming-of-age story featuring Penelope Cruz, and a marching band of rugby fans courtesy of Taika Waititi.

Sydney’s biggest celebration of cinema will return this winter, and a teaser of the program has been released with the announcement of its first 12 films, including Wiradjuri woman Brenda Matthews’s investigation into the Stolen Generation and a Kiwi comedy about rugby superfans produced by Taika Waititi.


Last updated on Wednesday April 12th 2023


March 3, 2023 - Oscar Nominated Shorts

Everything You Need to Know About the Oscar-Nominated Shorts

Which ones are worth watching? Who will win? And which ones will make you want to give everything up and live with elephants?

Last updated on Friday March 3rd 2023


February 12, 2023 - Knowing the Score

Simone Young on Tar, conducting and living with perfect pitch: It can be a nightmare?

The Australian maestro is at the top of one of the world’s most male dominated industries. A new documentary, executive produced by Tár’s Cate Blanchett, charts her rise

Last updated on Sunday February 12th 2023


February 4, 2023 - Sharko

Luke Graham's 'Sharko' begins filming in Queensland

Feature documentary Sharko, an intimate portrait of rugby league legend Mark Graham told through the lens of his son Luke, is now filming in Queensland.

Last updated on Saturday February 4th 2023


February 1, 2023 - Knowing the Score

Yes, maestro: the cult of the conductor

With two films about conductors creating buzz this summer, the role of the person on the podium is very much in the zeitgeist. But what are they actually doing when they wave that little white stick about? Australia’s greatest living conductor, Simone Young, tries to explain.

Last updated on Wednesday February 1st 2023


January 18, 2023 - He Ain't Heavy

Greta Scacchi, Leila George and Sam Corlett Start Production on 'He Ain't Heavy' (EXCLUSIVE)

Sam Corlett will next week start production on “He Ain’t Heavy” a West Australia-set drama by first time feature director David Vincent Smith.

Last updated on Wednesday January 18th 2023


January 17, 2022 - He Ain't Heavy

Greta Scacchi, Leila George, Sam Corlett to lead David Vincent Smith's He Ain't Heavy?

Greta Scacchi and daughter Leila George are set to act alongside each other in David Vincent Smith’s He Ain’t Heavy, a family drama also starring Sam Corlett that is set to begin filming in Perth’s south-eastern suburbs next Monday.

Last updated on Wednesday January 18th 2023


January 4, 2023 - Franklin, Blaze, Wash My Soul, Ithaka, Moja Vesna

The 10 best Australian films of 2022 ? ranked

We were treated to some remarkable new talent this year, spanning environmental documentaries, satirical horror and kitchen sink realism

Last updated on Wednesday January 4th 2023


November 30, 2022 - Moja Vesna

Slovenian-Australian director Sara Kern has made an exquisite debut feature in her family drama Moja Vesna.

Delicate and devastating, the film follows ten-year-old Moja (Loti Kovacic) as she desperately tries to keep her fracturing family together after the recent death of her mother – something she cannot accept

Last updated on Wednesday November 30th 2022


November 4, 2022 - You Won' t Be Alone & Of an Age

How Causeway Films has become Australia's buzziest independent production company

In recent times, two Australian producers have been responsible for a steady stream of bold films that have attracted serious attention from festivals and buyers: Samantha Jennings and Kristina Ceyton from Causeway Films

Last updated on Friday November 4th 2022


November 2, 2022 - Monolith

A debut South Australian filmmaking team has spun gold from straw, using one actor, one location and a shoestring budget to create a world-class sci-fi thriller.

Monolith director Matt Vesely, writer Lucy Campbell and producer Bettina Hamilton (as part of South Australia’s FilmLab: New Voices initiative) have come together to create a brilliantly disturbing science-fiction thriller, flipping budgetary constraint from disadvantage to narrative asset. Using a single location and only one on-screen actor, Monolith skillfully uses these limitations to heighten tension, weaving a darkly claustrophobic narrative through a podcaster’s deep-dive into the origins of a mysterious artefact.

Last updated on Wednesday November 2nd 2022


September 8, 2022 - Franklin

Son pays tribute to his father?s fight for the Franklin in a gorgeous film

This gorgeously photographed documentary feature is a tribute to one of Australian environmentalism’s most celebrated victories – the eight-year struggle to save Tasmania’s Franklin River from being dammed for a hydroelectric scheme.

Last updated on Thursday September 8th 2022


August 13, 2022 Everybody's Oma

Review: Everybody's Oma a moving documentary by Jason Van Genderen about his mother's dementia

There are almost half a million Australians living with dementia, and that frightening figure is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Last updated on Sunday August 14th 2022


August 11, 2022 - Everybody's Oma

What happened after a grandma with dementia went viral: 'I get the trolling ' I didn't enjoy it?

In lockdown, a video of an Australian woman known as ‘Oma’ was watched 100m times and shown on US talkshows. Her son and director of documentary Everybody’s Oma reflects on what happened next

Last updated on Thursday August 11th 2022


July 9th, 2022 - Monolith

Monolith: World Premiere Gala

This keenly anticipated debut feature from the South Australian creative team of director Matt Vesely, writer Lucy Campbell and producer Bettina Hamilton is a striking science fiction thriller. Through the clever containment of a single location and only one on-screen character, Monolith surveils disgraced journalist (rising star Lily Sullivan) as she turns to podcasting to salvage her career, before uncovering a strange artefact that she believes is evidence of an alien conspiracy. The teasing mystery is a product of the ground-breaking Film Lab: New Voices initiative, and uses its creative restraint to compelling advantage.

Last updated on Saturday July 9th 2022


July 17, 2022 - Franklin

Melbourne international film festival 2022: 10 movies to see, from Crimes of the Future to new George Miller

6. Franklin

Director: Kasimir Burgess

Country: Australia

Last updated on Sunday July 17th 2022


June 22, 2022 - Blaze

Legendary Australian artist Del Kathryn Barton's feature film debut is a masterpiece of catharsis

There is an extraordinary moment of catharsis at the heart of Archibald Prize-winning artist Del Kathryn Barton’s emotionally confronting but ultimately mesmeric debut feature Blaze. Filmed in her hometown of Sydney, it stars an incredible Julia Savage as the eponymous twelve-year-old protagonist. Her visually arresting interior life – lushly recreating Barton’s fantastical artwork via a combination of stop-animation and puppetry inserted into the live-action – is torn apart after she witnesses a brutal attack.

Last updated on Wednesday June 22nd 2022


June 15, 2022 - 6 Festivals

This semi-doco movie filmed across six Aussie music festivals is destined for cult status

Filmmaker Macario De Souza has lived one heck of a life. Growing up in Maroubra, the son of Brazilian immigrants played in punk bands during high school and was also a keen surfer. So much so that he co-directed seminal surfie culture doco Bra Boys alongside Sunny Abberton. He brings his wave-riding nous and couch-surfing experience while touring as Kid Mac at the tougher end of the music industry to his latest movie, 6 Festivals.

Last updated on Wednesday June 15th 2022


June 9th, 2022 - 6 Festivals

6 Festivals: trailer

First look at new Aussie film about three best friends as they bucket-list six music festivals over six months.

Upcoming local feature 6 Festivals, Paramount+’s first locally commissioned film.

It will make its world debut at the Sydney Film Festival this Friday, 10 June, and screen in selected cinemas from August 11, ahead of its premiere on Paramount+ later this year.

Last updated on Thursday June 9th 2022


May 25, 2022 - Monolith

Fresh from the Film Lab, South Australian sci-fi Monolith starts up in Adelaide with star Lily Sullivan

Filming is now underway in Adelaide on Monolith, the first feature film to go into production as part of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival’s (AFF) Film Lab: New Voices initiative.

Last updated on Wednesday May 25th 2022


May 13, 2022 - Blaze

Del Kathryn Barton leads us into a fantastical realm with her film, Blaze

Ahead of the release of her film ‘Blaze,’ Del Kathryn Barton shares for the first time the experience that shattered her childhood. Here, she talks to Julia Baird about the importance of female rage.

Last updated on Friday May 13th 2022


May 11, 2022 - Everybody's Oma

Documentary about beloved mum who went viral to screen at Sydney Film Festival

When the pandemic shut down his production company, filmmaker Jason van Genderen started shooting videos of his mother to celebrate her life and replace the memories that dementia was stealing away.

Last updated on Wednesday May 11th 2022


April 20, 2022 - Blaze

Tribeca Film Festival 2022

Blaze (Australia) – World Premiere. After a young girl witnesses a violent crime, she summons an imaginary dragon to help process her anger and protect her on her journey into womanhood. Directed by Del Kathryn Barton. Written by Del Kathryn Barton, Huna Amweero. Produced by Samantha Jennings. With Julia Savage, Simon Baker, Yael Stone, Josh Lawson, Sofia Hampson.

Last updated on Wednesday April 20th 2022


April 11, 2022 - When the Camera Stopped Rolling

'Lilias who'?: The trailblazing Australian filmmaker you've never heard of

Two decades before Gillian Armstrong directed My Brilliant Career, and well before the emergence of Jocelyn Moorhouse, Cate Shortland and Rachel Perkins, Lilias Fraser was a trailblazer for Australian women making films.

Last updated on Monday April 11th 2022


March 23, 2022 - When Pomegranates Howl, Friends and Strangers and Wash My Soul in the Rivers Flow

Australian films strive to thrive at the box office

Let’s dispose of the mainstream list quickly. Top of the tree is still The Batman with $29.3m in three weeks. Dog oozed sentiment about soldiers, a dog and a funeral to make number two with $1.33m off 343 screens; Jujutsu Kaisen 0: The Movie got its dark manga fantasy clutches into around 70,000 people to debut with $929,000 off 140 screens.

Last updated on Wednesday March 23rd 2022


March 19, 2022 - Wash My Soul in the Rivers Flow

Archie Roach shares his love story with Ruby Hunter and how music saved them in new film

Archie Roach knows how music can save a life.

Before the treasured Gunditjmara/Bundjalung singer songwriter imprinted his voice and all the pain within it on the Australian cultural psyche with Took The Children Away in 1990, he was battling alcoholism and homelessness provoked by the trauma of being taken away from his family at the age of three in 1959.

Last updated on Saturday March 19th 2022


March 16, 2022 - Wash My Soul in the Rivers Flow

Review: Wash My Soul in the River's Flow the love story of Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach

As the mighty Murray carves a channel through limestone cliffs and winds across the river flats of the Coorong on its way to the sea, it is easy to imagine the importance of the lands to someone who grew up there. Or to someone visiting.

Last updated on Wednesday March 16th 2022


March 9, 2022 - Friends and Strangers

Bumbling man-child out of his depth? It must be a new Australian film

Wit isn’t something you find that often in Australian cinema, but James Vaughan’s winning first feature Friends and Strangers is an exception. Not that the characters are especially eloquent: they can come out with things that catch you by surprise, but often it’s the banality that makes the lines sing.

Last updated on Wednesday March 9th 2022


February 23, 2022 - Monolith

Success for South Australia's Inaugural Film Lab: New Voices

The Film Lab: New Voices initiative has greenlit its first project into production, with two projects moving on to further development.

The initiative, from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) with support from Mercury CX and Screen Australia, is an intensive low-budget feature film skills development program for the next generation of diverse, South Australian filmmaking talent.

Last updated on Wednesday February 23rd 2022


February 18, 2022 - Wash My Soul in the Rivers Flow

Archie Roach on meeting, loving and losing Ruby Hunter: 'She had this glint in her eye'

It was by chance the future singer-songwriter met the woman who would be his collaborator and the love of his life. Now, a new film celebrates their unique partnership

Last updated on Friday February 18th 2022


December 18, 2022 - Friends and Strangers

The 50 best films of 2021

After over 1000 votes by more than 100 critics and contributors, we announce the results of our annual poll – the best films in cinemas, at festivals and online in 2021

Last updated on Friday February 18th 2022


November 17, 2021 - When Pomegranates Howl

Review: A Heartfelt Portrait of Life and Death on the Streets of Kabul

With his father dead, 9-year-old Hewad has been prematurely thrust into the role of family breadwinner, hauling a produce-laden street cart through the center of Kabul all day for a pittance. It’s no life for a pre-teen boy, but Hewad endures it steadfastly, believing eventual movie stardom will be his reward. As played by first-timer Arafat Faiz in “When Pomegranates Howl,” you just about believe him. The non-professional actor’s quick grin and darting onscreen energy are the animating forces of Iranian-Australian filmmaker Granaz Moussavi’s conventional but effective heart-tugger, which filters the bone-weary experience of the Afghan population under wartime through Hewad’s hopeful perspective — only to undercut his optimism at key, cruel points.

Last updated on Wednesday November 17th 2021


November 16, 2021 - Ithaka

Assange, the movie: his father and brother expose the human behind public enemy No. 1

Call me naive, but I’m still shocked that we live in an age, and a culture, where you can lose your liberty, your sanity, your citizen’s rights and perhaps your life, for speaking truth. Sure, Julian Assange was determined to speak truth to power. Sure, the truth in question was ugly – a revelation of US war crimes – and the power in question the world’s greatest. And sure, such immense power bestows the ability, if not the right, to supervene the law. But none of that makes it OK.

Last updated on Tuesday November 16th 2021


November 3, 2021 - When Pomegranates Howl

'Rattled me to the core': Australian photographer Andrew Quilty on life under the Taliban

The images of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan remain fresh: the desperate crowds outside the fence at Kabul airport, men running beside a moving plane on the tarmac, the carnage of the suicide bombings.

Last updated on Wednesday November 3rd 2021


October 27, 2021 -Ithaka

Julian Assange film ITHAKA to world premiere at Sydney Film Festival as Julian prepares to fight US challenge in UK High Court

As Julian Assange prepares to fight the US appeal in the UK’s high court on the 27th of October, the Sydney Film Festival has announced the World Premiere of Ithaka, a powerhouse new feature documentary about the determined public advocacy by Julian’s father, John Shipton in the face of legal battles and media glare.

The film’s premiere also comes in the wake of revelations about the US Government’s determination to kidnap or assassinate Julian.

Last updated on Wednesday October 27th 2021


October 25, 2021 - Media Release - When Pomegranates Howl

'When Pomegranates Howl' submitted for Best International Feature Film Oscar

Granaz Moussavi’s When Pomegranates Howl has been put forward as Australia’s official submission for the Best International Feature Film at the 2022 Academy Awards.

Shot in Afghanistan, the film follows nine-year-old Hewad (Arafat Faiz), who hustles on the streets of Kabul but dreams of stardom. When an Australian photojournalist befriends him and starts documenting his life in order to create an empathetic depiction of children in a war-torn society, Heward is hopeful that his luck may finally be changing.

Last updated on Monday October 25th 2021

website: 'When Pomegranates Howl' submitted for Best Int...

October 7, 2021 - Of An Age

Screen Australia Announces Production Funding for 8 Projects

Four feature films, three television dramas and one virtual reality project will share in over $6.5 million of production funding from Screen Australia.

Last updated on Thursday October 7th 2021


September 15, 2020 - When Pomegranates Howl

Golden Globes and Granaz Moussavi

Granaz Moussavi made a guerrilla film in Afghanistan called When Pomegranates Howl. Not a job for the faint-hearted, it was a challenge from the start: from sourcing funding in Australia, getting to Afghanistan, putting a crew together, to the actual shooting of the movie. Not to mention the fact of her being a woman in a conservative, war-torn country, where women and men don’t share the same privileges.

Last updated on Wednesday September 15th 2021


September 6, 2021 - Blaze

Simon Baker, Julia Savage Starrer "Blaze" by Aussie Artist Del Kathryn Barton Boarded by MK2 Films (EXCLUSIVE)

MK2 Films has boarded “Blaze,” the feature directorial debut of award-winning Australian painter Del Kathryn Barton, which stars Simon Baker (“High Ground”) and Julia Savage (“Sweet Tooth”).

Now in post-production, the film stars Savage as Blaze, a teenager who is the sole witness to a shocking crime. Struggling to make sense of what she saw, she unleashes the wrath of a dragon coming from her wild imagination. “Blaze” will combine live action with VFX and stop-motion animation techniques.

Last updated on Monday September 6th 2021


September 6th, 2021 - When the Camera Stopped Rolling

Sydney Film Festival unveils DAF competition docs

Sydney Film Festival has announced the films to compete for the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) Award for Australian Documentary, with a 12-strong line-up to mark the prize’s 12th anniversary.

Last updated on Monday September 6th 2021


September 3, 2021 - When the Camera Stopped Rolling

Just Announced - Documentary Australia Foundation Award

Eight years in the making, Jane Castle’s poignant documentary about her filmmaker mother is an intimate mother-daughter story and eye-opening chronicle of women’s roles in the film industry.

Last updated on Friday September 3rd 2021


August 19th, 2021 - 6 Festivals

There's a New On-Demand Service To Browse

Paramount+ launched today with a heady mix of classic movies, smashable TV and new content – from a doco about Madonna to new Australian drama Spreadsheet.

Last updated on Thursday August 19th 2021


August 4th, 2021 - When the Cameras Stopped Rolling

AACTA finalists prove an extraordinary year for documentary

The 2021 list of feature documentaries in the final nominee list for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts is a standout. Here are our thoughts.

Last updated on Wednesday August 4th 2021


June 10th, 2021 - Wash My Soul in the River's Flow

A cinematic reinvention of Archie Roach and the late Ruby Hunter?s 2004 award-winning concert ? a fertile music collaboration with Paul Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra.

In 2004, Ruby and Archie worked with Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra to create the seminal concert Kura Tungar: Songs from the River. Ruby was born on the banks of the Murray, home to the Ngarrindjeri people for thousands of years. As a child, she was forcibly taken from her family under the government’s assimilation policy. Years later she met Archie, another member of the Stolen Generation, at a Salvation Army drop-in centre. The story of their lives, as told through their music and lively yarns, celebrates country and culture, resilience, and family. Philippa Bateman’s lovingly crafted film threads together footage of rehearsals and opening night with stunning images of the Murray. A fittingly cinematic and spiritual tribute to two much-loved Australian performers, executive produced by Indigenous singer-songwriter Emma Donovan.

Last updated on Thursday June 10th 2021


April 14th - 2021 - Disclosure

Independent Australian Movie 'Disclosure' Tackles the Uncomfortable Topic of Child-on-Child Abuse

When a 4-year-old girl, Natasha, makes a serious allegation against a politician’s 9-year-old son, an attempt by the children’s parents to tackle the issue in a cooperative way soon degenerates into a vicious confrontation.

Disclosure asks the question, what would you do if your child came to you and began telling you a story about something that happened to them, that is one of your worst nightmares as a parent? And what would be the consequences of your actions?

Last updated on Wednesday April 14th 2021


March 17th, 2021 - Sharko

Screen Australia puts $2 million towards 10 docos

Screen Australia has announced nearly $2 million of production funding for two documentaries through the Commissioned program and eight through the Producer Program.

The projects include series Could You Survive on the Breadline? exploring financial disadvantage for SBS; The Secret World of Fungi, a documentary for IMAX; and a series investigating racism in Australia called UNHEARD.

Last updated on Wednesday March 17th 2021


March 12th, 2021 - My First Summer

Magical, dreamlike, tender: My First Summer is a spellbinding Oz film

There’s an exquisite tenderness to this spellbinding Australian film about two isolated teenage girls finding in each other solace, companionship and possibly even love. The tulle-skirted Grace (Maiah Stewardson), cycling through the harsh, dry bush, seems the epitome of the wilfully optimistic square peg. She’s out to have a stickybeak at a remote wooden house, where she unexpectedly finds Claudia (Markella Kavenagh) cowering in a shed, prepared to defend herself and her lovely old border collie with a pair of rusty secateurs.

Last updated on Friday March 12th 2021


March 5th, 2021 - Disclosure

Top acting & hot-button issues drive the searing Oz drama 'Disclosure'

Following hot on the heels of Serhat Caradee’s extraordinary drama A Lion Returns comes Disclosure, another blistering, confronting, independently made, issue-driven storm of raw, often excoriating verbal exchanges seething with passion, anger and hot-button topicality.

Last updated on Friday March 5th 2021


February 13th, 2021 - Friends and Strangers


Eight years after his outstanding debut short You Like It, I Love It, Australian writer-director-editor James Vaughan makes a blazing return with his similarly outstanding debut feature Friends and Strangers. A stealthily superb comedy of social unease about a sadsack twentysomething Sydneysider, it premiered to largely ecstatic reactions in the main competition at Rotterdam, yielding comparisons with Eric Rohmer and Hong Sang-soo’s intricate miniatures. Those illustrious predecessors are famed for prolific workrates which the 31-year-old Vaughan shows few signs of emulating; the clue lies may lie in You Like It, I Love It‘s key line: “never compromise!”

Last updated on Saturday February 13th 2021


November 25th, 2020 - The Infinite Man, The Babadook

Twelve features in line for AACTA's Byron Kennedy Award

While AACTA’s Byron Kennedy Award is typically given to an individual or organisation who demonstrates “outstanding creative enterprise”, this year the award will go to a film.

Last updated on Wednesday November 25th 2020


November 11th, 2020 - Blaze

Simon Baker, Yael Stone star in Del Kathryn Barton's 'Blaze'

Simon Baker, Yael Stone, Josh Lawson and newcomer Julia Savage are among the key cast of director Del Kathryn Barton’s debut feature Blaze (formerly Puff), which recently wrapped shooting in Sydney.

Barton, a dual Archibald prize winner, wrote the script with Huna Amweero (Jade of Death), with the work inspired by Barton’s painting ‘sing blood-wings sing’.

Last updated on Wednesday November 11th 2020


October 29th, 2020 - A Lion Returns

Film goes inside the mind of an Australian jihadist returned from Syria

In the new film, A Lion Returns, writer-director Serhat Caradee probes the motivations of radicalised Arab Australians who go to fight in Syria.

The Turkish-born filmmaker, best known for 2009 drama Cedar Boys, tells the story of Jamal (Tyler De Nawi), a young tiler married with a child who has been radicalised by his uncle Yahya (Buddy Dannoun) at a troubled time.

Last updated on Thursday October 29th 2020


October 22nd, 2020 - In My Blood It Runs

Women take home more than 50 per cent of ADG Awards, Hearts and Bones wins top gong

Among them were Josephine Mackerras, who took home Best Direction of A Feature Film (Budget under $1M) for the French-language Alice; Maya Newell whose In My Blood It Runs saw her win Best Direction of a Documentary Feature, and Emma Freeman, who won Best Direction of a TV or SVOD Mini-Series for Stateless: Episode 3.

Last updated on Thursday October 22nd 2020


October 16th, 2020 - Indie Distributors

Indie distributors hang tough as cinemas continue to suffer

Most independent Australian distributors are doing it tough, forced to postpone releases while the exhibition business languishes with Victorian cinemas closed and seating capacity restricted in the rest of the country.

Last updated on Friday October 16th 2020


October 16th, 2020 - A Lion Returns

A mini-miracle of local filmmaking

The searing new Australian drama, A Lion Returns, kicks off with a near-thirty-minute dialogue scene in the back of a parked car. It’s a bold, daring, potentially-audience-losing opening gambit, but the dialogue is so heightened and thematically packed that it explosively sets up what is to come, and lets the viewer know immediately that this is not a film that will offer any concessions or easy options. A Lion Returns is the second feature film from gifted Australian writer/director Serhat Caradee – who debuted way back in 2009 with the powerful drama thriller Cedar Boys – and it tackles a rolling swathe of Godfather-style themes, burning hot and very, very slowly toward a shattering climax.

Last updated on Friday October 16th 2020


July 16, 2020 - H is for Happiness

H is for Happiness film review

H Is for Happiness is that rare film that exceeds all expectations despite anything you may have heard about it.  Nearly all of its characters (including the unusual teacher Miss Bamford: an always interesting Miriam Margolyes) are likeable; but the goodhearted inventiveness of its child protagonists, Candice Phee (Daisy Axon) and Douglas Benson (Wesley Patten), steals the show — with consequences both unexpected and delightful.

Last updated on Thursday July 23rd 2020


July 1, 2020 - In My Blood It Runs

In My Blood It Runs: a beautiful, intimate and compellingly frank film

"We tell our stories in paintings, dance, song and film," says Arrernte leader William Tilmouth at a launch event for the release of In My Blood It Runs. "This film shows us that consultation and collaboration work."

The film in question is a beautiful, intimate and compellingly frank film told through the eyes of a 10-year-old Arrernte/Garrwa boy, Dujuan. The documentary provides an object lesson in the failures of mainstream education for First Nations kids – and along the way upends the conventions of documentary-making itself.

Last updated on Wednesday July 1st 2020


May 20th, 2020 - Outback

Two Tourists Stranded in Trailer for Australian Survival Film 'Outback'

"We're stranded and alone out here in the middle of nowhere…" Lionsgate has released an official trailer for an indie survival thriller titled Outback, which leans more towards horror thriller than adventure drama. Down Under for an adventure-filled vacation to rekindle their romance, a young American couple quickly finds themselves stranded in the unforgiving Australian outback. 

Last updated on Friday June 19th 2020


May 18, 2020 - Slam

Written and Directed by Partho Sen-Gupta, Slam is an Australian film that tells the story of how one man's life turns to hell when his younger sister disappears without a trace.

Ricky Nasser (Adam Bakri) is happily married, he owns his own business with his wife and is expecting the birth of his second child. It is fair to say that he has a happy life but his life is about to be turned upside down when his younger sister Ameena Nasser (Danielle Horvat) disappears.

Last updated on Monday May 18th 2020


May 14, 2020 - The Babadook


THE BABADOOK (2014) Executed with fearsome finesse and a refusal to rush towards mere frights, Jennifer Kent's 2014 debut feature was a striking psychological horror film about the burden of motherhood. Weighed down by grief over the death of her husband on the day their son was born, Amelia (Essie Davis) has struggled to raise now six-year-old Samuel (Noah Wiseman). When a picture book – complete with rhyming text – about the titular creature enters their life, the dynamic between the exhausted mother and the difficult child acquires a fearful tenor. Whether the Babadook is real or not, the story's maternal bond has a memorable tug to it. Amazon, 89 minutes

Last updated on Thursday May 14th 2020


April 21, 2020 - Puff

Del Kathryn Barton to start Puff, the Magic Dragon film 'by end of year'

Despite the industry-wide shutdown, the Puff, the Magic Dragon-inspired feature film debut of Del Kathryn Barton will start shooting before the end of the year, the dual Archibald Prize-winning artist says.

Barton made the prediction as Screen Australia announced it had granted her film Puff production investment as part of its latest funding round.

Last updated on Tuesday April 21st 2020


March 20, 3020- Reaching Distance

Exclusive Clip! Reaching Distance is a must-see and it's now available to stream

Cinema Australia readers have been given access to an exclusive clip from David Fairhurst’s new thriller, Reaching Distance.

 To celebrate Bonsai Film’s release of the psychological thriller Reaching Distance today on digital platforms, a new clip has dropped featuring Wade Briggs (Please Like Me), Morgan Griffin (San Andreas) and Meyne Wyatt (Mystery Road).

Last updated on Friday March 20th 2020


March 3, 2020 - H is for Happiness

Humorous and profound: H is for Happiness wins Berlin special mention

Director John Sheedy's film was named in the Crystal Bear awards for films shown in the Generations section for young people.

Last updated on Tuesday March 3rd 2020


February 24, 2020 - In My Blood It Runs

Maya Newell's Indigenous doc resonates with festivals, commercial audiences

Maya Newell’s feature documentary In My Blood It Runs has been winning hearts and minds since the world premiere in competition at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival last year.

Last updated on Wednesday February 26th 2020


February 26th, 2020 - H is for Happiness

Variety Film Review - H is for Happiness

This delightful coming-of-age dramedy provides feel-good entertainment for the entire family without pandering or sacrificing style or substance.

Last updated on Wednesday February 26th 2020


21 February 2020 - In My Blood It Runs

Quietly masterful portrait of growing up Indigenous

The defining image imprinted on to my mind after watching director Maya Newell’s excellent film In My Blood It Runs is of a child – its 10-year-old subject, Dujuan Hoosan, an Arrernte Aboriginal boy living in Alice Springs – running around at nighttime with a canister of exploding fireworks in his hand. A fantastic discharge of orangey-yellow colours light up the darkness, Hoosan swinging the canister around with an elated look on his face.

Last updated on Friday February 21st 2020


H is for Happiness - January 27, 2020

Three Aussie shorts and 'H is for Happiness' invited to Berlin

John Sheedy’s debut feature H is for Happiness, which opens in Australian cinemas on February 6, was announced today as the opening film of the Generation KPlus section, its international premiere.

Last updated on Monday January 27th 2020


December 18th, 2019 - Animals, Buoyancy, Slam

The best Australian films of 2019

Do impressive box office results indicate a film is worth seeing? Should good business be considered as important as rave reviews?

Last updated on Wednesday December 18th 2019


December 4th, 2019 - Buoyancy

Buoyancy Wins Best Indie Film

Lingo Pictures’ Lambs of God was the big winner at yesterday’s AACTA Industry Luncheon, taking home seven of a potential nine awards, while Rodd Rathjen’s debut feature Buoyancy was named Best Indie Film.

Last updated on Thursday December 5th 2019


November 21, 2019 - Bilched

Bilched review coming-of-age teen dramedy with authentic attitude

19-year-old Hal Cumpston’s punchy film depicts a universe of scallywags in which the acquisition of alcohol and pot are tasks of monumental significance.

Last updated on Thursday November 21st 2019


November 5, 2019 - Bilched

Hal Cumpston jumps from his first Aussie feature to 'The Walking Dead'

After making his screen debut as the star, writer and co-producer of an Australian teenage romantic comedy, Hal Cumpston could not have imagined what would happen next.

Last updated on Thursday November 21st 2019


November 11th, 2019 - Happy Sad Man

How do you start a conversation about mental health with someone who is depressed?

Australian director Genevieve Bailey’s film Happy Sad Man explores how five men navigate intense emotional hardship.

Last updated on Monday November 11th 2019


November 11th, 2019 - Happy Sad Man


Director Genevieve Bailey turns the camera on five men and shows us who they are behind their smiling faces. These are men who look outwardly ok, like they’re living happy lives, and to the passing eye they seem to have nothing ‘wrong’. But, these men have their own hidden illnesses. 

Last updated on Monday November 11th 2019


October 30, 2019 - Slam

A small story tackling big issues

Slam is named for a forceful piece of slam poetry delivered by Ameena (Danielle Horvat), a young Palestinian who wears the hijab and holds uncompromising views about the way to deal with white supremacists.

Last updated on Wednesday October 30th 2019


October 26, 2019 - Locusts

"Inventively shot and highly entertaining"

With his 2016 feature directorial debut, Broke, and its 2018 about-face follow-up, Book Week, writer/director, Heath Davis, marked himself as a filmmaker capable of making massive genre shifts, sliding from a gritty, bruising drama to a gentle character comedy with apparent ease.

Last updated on Wednesday October 30th 2019


October 25, 2019 - Book Week & Buoyancy nominees ACCTA Awards 2019

AACTA Award for Best Indie Film presented by Event Cinemas

Good luck to our nominees!

Last updated on Wednesday October 30th 2019


Buoyancy - September 26th 2019

Brutality and beauty in a true tale of horror

Chakra (Sarm Heng), a 14-year-old boy, leaves his rice-growing family in Cambodia and crosses the border to Thailand, looking for construction work. He is fed up with the back-breaking farm work foisted on him by his father. In a boilover one night, he asks his parents why they had to have so many children. He steals away at dawn the next day, with only a plastic bag full of belongings.

Last updated on Thursday September 26th 2019


Buoyancy- September 26, 2019

Buoyancy submitted for Best International Feature Film at 2020 Academy Awards

Opening nationally across Australia today, Screen Australia supported feature Buoyancy is Australia’s official submission for the Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Academy Awards®.

The Khmer and Thai language film will compete with the other entrants from around the world to be shortlisted for nomination.

Already a major award winner from the 2019 Berlinale and now causing ripples around the world, Buoyancy is the stunning debut feature from Australian writer/director Rodd Rathjen, produced by Causeway Films’ Sam Jennings (Cargo) and Kristina Ceyton (The Nightingale, The Babadook), with Rita Walsh (I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story).

Last updated on Thursday September 26th 2019


Animals - September 12th, 2019

The wild nature of female friendship

For anyone who has ever woken up with a hangover from hell and a mouth like the bottom of a budgie's cage, Animals will ring some familiar, and possibly discomfiting, bells. It follows two party girls, Laura and Tyler, as they lurch from one glass to another in a city famous for the furnishing of hangovers.

Last updated on Thursday September 12th 2019


September 1st, 2019 - H is for Happiness

H is for Happiness wins CinefestOZ $100,000 Film Prize

CinefestOZ Film Festival has announced H is for Happiness as this year’s winner of the highly coveted $100,000 Film Prize.

H is for Happiness, directed by John Sheedy and produced by Julie Ryan, Tenille Kennedy and Lisa Hoppe, was awarded Australia’s greatest film prize during a star-studded ceremony tonight at Australia’s premier destination film festival.

Last updated on Sunday September 1st 2019


September 1st, 2019 - H is for Happiness

A can-do teenage heroine tries to fix her family's problems in this sparky Australian debut

The ups and downs of adolescence fuel the upbeat, heartfelt H Is For Happiness, the big-screen adaptation of Barry Jonsberg’s popular young adult novel My Life as an Alphabet. Boasting an adult cast that includes Miriam Margolyes, Richard Roxburgh, Emma Booth and Deborah Mailman, this coming-of-age charmer follows a precocious 12-year-old who tries to fix her family’s problems with unfettered optimism. Finding its genial, quirky groove early, John Sheedy’s family film flirts with tweeness but ultimately bubbles with the same spark as its can-do protagonist.

Last updated on Sunday September 1st 2019


August 7th, 2019 - Animals

Lively launch for Sophie Hyde's 'Animals' in the UK

Sophie Hyde’s Animals opened in UK cinemas last weekend, its first territory, winning plaudits from the critics and sizable audiences.

Picturehouse Entertainment launched the female relationships dramedy adapted from the Emma Jane Unsworth novel, which stars Holliday Grainger and Alia Shawkat, on 73 locations: 38 in greater London and 35 in the regions.

Last updated on Wednesday August 7th 2019


June 16th, 2019 - H is for Happiness

You'll be happy to know the H is for Happiness trailer is here!

The first trailer for H is for Happiness quietly dropped overnight via Melbourne International Film Festival.

H is for Happiness was shot in the picturesque coastal town of Albany, in the Great Southern region of Western Australia.

The colourful film is the debut feature from well-known theatre director John Sheedy, whose feel-good short film Mrs McCutcheon garnered glowing reviews and accolades in Australia and around the world.

Last updated on Sunday June 16th 2019


June 6th 2019 - H is for Happiness

'H is for Happiness' bound for MIFF

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has unveiled the first 29 films on its line-up this year, including the world premiere of Good Thing Productions and Passion Pictures’ The Australian Dream which will open the festival August 1.

Last updated on Sunday June 2nd 2019


April 5th, 2019 - Island of the Hungry Ghosts

This new hybrid documentary casts Christmas Island in a hypnotically strange light

Rarely do I see the work of a debut Australian filmmaker and think: “Yes, this person will go on to make a rich body of work.” Gabrielle Brady’s first feature documentary, The Island of Hungry Ghosts (2018), elicited that thought: it is a film fertile in ideas, symbolism and visual metaphor; it speaks profoundly to some essential quality of being alive in Australia right now, and points to a future of filmmaking for its creator.

Last updated on Friday April 5th 2019


March 6th, 2019 - Le Grand Bal

Le Grand Bal evokes joy of communal dance

The new documentary Le Grand Bal, directed by Laetitia Carton, is a film that sneaks up on you. At first, it looks like a study of a specialised, even obscure subject: an annual folk-dance festival held since the 1980s on an old farm at Gennetines in central France.

Each summer, thousands of visitors from all walks of life flock to be part of this week-long event, living communally and dancing through the night, like villagers in olden times at weddings or after the harvest.

Last updated on Wednesday March 6th 2019



Sophie Hyde's 'Animals' wins plaudits after world premiere in Sundance

The overseas sales prospects for Sophie Hyde’s Animals look bright following rave reviews for the female-led comedy at the Sundance Film Festival.

Adapted by Emma Jane Unsworth from her acclaimed 2014 novel of the same name, the film stars English actress Holliday Grainger (My Cousin Rachel, Cinderella) and American Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Transparent) as Laura and Tyler, best friends and roommates in Dublin.

Last updated on Thursday February 7th 2019


December 6, 2018 - H is For Happiness

Newcomers Daisy Axon and Wesley Patten star in 'H is for Happiness'

Adapted from Barry Jonsberg’s children’s book ‘My Life As An Alphabet’ by writer/producer Lisa Hoppe, the film is now shooting in the WA coastal town of Albany, produced by Julie Ryan, Tenille Kennedy and Hoppe.

Last updated on Thursday December 6th 2018


November 15th, 2018 - Book Week

Book Week writer and director Heath Davis at Luna Leederville November 19

AUSTRALIAN writer-director Heath Davis is a big believer in writing about what he knows.

So when a dream of his was crushed, he turned it into a script for new film Book Week – inspired by his other career as an English teacher.

Last updated on Thursday November 15th 2018


November 15th, 2018 - Strange Colours/Island of the Hungry Ghosts

For Film's Sake moves to distribute female-helmed films

Festival For Film’s Sake (FFS) has expanded its focus to include the theatrical distribution of films from female filmmakers.

In partnership with Bonsai Films, FFS will release Alena Lodkina’s Strange Colours in cinemas next week and Gabrielle Brady’s doco Island of the Hungry Ghosts in the first quarter of next year.

Last updated on Thursday November 15th 2018


October 30th, 2018 - Book Week

From Hollywood to teaching high school: how a film-maker dealt with failure

After support for his projects repeatedly fell through, Book Week director Heath Davis had to come back from a ‘dark place’

Last updated on Tuesday October 30th 2018


September 24th, 2018 - Island of the Hungry Ghosts

Direct from the festival circuit


Best Documentary Tribeca Film Festival 2018.

Prix Buyens-Chagoll Visions du Reel, Switzerland 2018

Best Documentary Official Competition at Valletta Film Festival 2018

Special Jury Mention Edinburgh Film Festival 2018

Last updated on Monday September 24th 2018


September 24th, 2018 - Pimped

Monster Film Festival VII on 24th November

The debut feature from co-writer/director David Barker, Pimped stars Ella Scott Lynch (Love Child, Underbelly, The Code) and Benedict Samuel (Walking Dead, Gotham, The Beautiful Lie), and centres around a psychological and viscous battle between a woman caught in a sick and twisted sexual game and the men that perpetrate the heinous crime.

Last updated on Monday September 24th 2018


September 15, 2018 - Book Week

Opening Night film -Noosa International Film Festival

Watch the Queensland premiere screening of Book Week and mingle with Book Week’s writer and director Heath Davis, NIFF Founding Patron Academy Award winning cinematographer John Seale and other industry special guests on the blue carpet at NIFF’s opening night event to officially kick off festival celebrations.

Last updated on Saturday September 15th 2018


August 20th, 2018 - Bookweek

WORLD PREMIERE: Melbourne International Film Festival, Wednesday August 15, 2018.

That most engaging, enraging cinematic archetype – the boozy, lecherous but lovable literary talent gone off the rails – is given an Antipodean spin in Heath Davis’ charmingly roguish, bittersweet working-class drama, Book Week. Despite borrowing high-brow observations of the writer’s lot in life from such names as Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Bukowski, Davis’ occasionally coarse but lovably melancholy character study is a crowdpleasingly broad tale of personal redemption.

Last updated on Monday August 20th 2018


August 7th, 2018 - Strange Colours

Australian film Strange Colours evokes the landscape and community of black opal capital Lightning Ridge

For a debut feature film made on a microbudget, Strange Colours is courting an impressive amount of industry buzz.

This year it has played at the Sydney Film Festival and will appear at two more state festivals (Queensland and Melbourne) after having its premiere at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

The film's early success is perhaps even more remarkable for the fact that it has very little in the way of narrative action and is set in an Australian town so remote that few people have heard of it.

An opening montage sets the tone: first, the audience watches a slow pan across a clear, starred sky. Next, they are plunged into a mine-shaft where two silent men are jackhammering into a bare rock-face then sifting through the resulting rubble. Finally, a lonely car moves across a flat landscape, lit by weak dawn light.

Last updated on Tuesday August 7th 2018


August 7th, 2018 - H is for Happiness


Screenwest and Screen Australia have today announced the major Australian feature film H is for Happiness will be shot in and around Albany in Western Australia’s Great Southern region later this year.

The Cyan Films’ production which tells the heart-warming story of family and friendship received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with WA Regional Film Fund and Screenwest and was financed with support from the Melbourne Film International Festival (MIFF) Premiere Fund, Film Victoria and Soundfirm.

H is for Happiness tells the story of Candice Phee – a 12-year-old girl with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world. Set in a small coastal town, it’s about an unflinchingly honest girl’s determination to bring her family back from the brink. Candice is an unforgettable heroine whose exploits will inspire and delight anyone who has faced the trials of adolescence and family heartbreak.

Casting is currently underway, with prolific, award-winning theatre director John Sheedy signed on to make his feature film directorial debut. Sheedy’s short film Mrs McCutcheon had its world premiere at MIFF in 2017 where it won Best Short, and went on to win several awards from festivals around the world in Oberhausen, Hamburg, Rhode Island, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada, Cleveland and São Paulo.

Last updated on Tuesday August 7th 2018


June 24, 2018 - Welcome to Marwen

Director Robert Zemeckis takes on traumatic true story based on acclaimed documentary 'Marwencol'

Steve Carell plays a traumatized photographer in the new movie Welcome to Marwen, the true story of artist Mark Hogancamp's battle with PTSD by creating miniature World War II town

Last updated on Sunday June 24th 2018


April 18, 2018 - Coby

Riverside Parramatta screening - 28 May 2018, 7pm Q&A with director Christian Sondregger

Debut feature documentarian Christian Sonderegger travelled from France to America’s midwest with precise ideas as to how he would record his half-brother’s gender change. What he didn’t expect was the story that would emerge around family, and how something that was vital to one family member could lead the others into soul searching.

Coby – as was Jacob’s transitioning name – was 23 and partnered with Sara when he decided to take testosterone pills in his first step to becoming male. Surgery came next, as did cutting his hair short to assist his family in their acceptance. With a world of YouTube viewers watching Coby emerge from his gender chrysalis, those closest to him arguably underwent the more radical change – a change of perspective – which is something that sits at the heart of this documentary and informs it even more than the physical awakening.

Last updated on Wednesday April 18th 2018


March 23, 2018 - Animals

Grainger, Shawkat star in Sophie Hyde’s Dublin-set comedy ‘Animals’

English actress Holliday Grainger (My Cousin Rachel, Cinderella) and American Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development, Transparent) are playing the leads in Sophie Hyde’s female-driven comedy Animals.

Last updated on Friday March 23rd 2018


February 13, 2018 - Book Week

Book a place in a local film

Penrith and the Blue Mountains will form the set of a new Australian movie due to begin filming next year.

Written and directed by Heath Davis, from award-winning 2016 film Broke, Book Week follows the story of an English teacher as he attempts to have his novel published for the sixth time.

Last updated on Tuesday February 27th 2018


January 13, 2018 - The Last Goldfish

Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival 2018

Who am I and where do I belong?

From Trinidad, to Australia, to Germany, and back again, The Last Goldfish spans almost a century as it tells the story of a daughter's search for the truth about her family.

As an immigrant teenager in 1970's Australia, filmmaker Su Goldfish didn't want to be different or weird, she just wanted to blend in. As an adult, she created an alternative family for herself in Sydney's vibrant queer community. However, the sense that her father, Manfred, was keeping secrets never quite left her. Was she really, as he stated, "the last Goldfish?"


Last updated on Saturday January 13th 2018


February 1, 2018 - Emo the Musical

‘EMO the Musical’ snapped up by Netflix .

Writer-director Neil Triffett’s EMO the Musical is said to be poised to break even after being acquired by Netflix.

The streaming giant has bought exclusive, worldwide SVOD rights (excluding Australia/NZ) to the high school comedy, which stars Benson Jack Anthony, Jordan Hare, Rahart Adams, Jon Prasida and Lucy Barrett.

Last updated on Thursday February 1st 2018


January 13, 2018 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom and Infinite Man

10 Australian Sci-Fi Movies You Need To Watch

When someone says "Australian science fiction movie," thoughts immediately and inevitably turn to Mad Max - if not George Miller's insanely influential 1979 original, then to any of the sequels that followed over the years, including the recent, justly lauded Fury Road. But here's the thing: it was never just about Max.

Last updated on Saturday January 13th 2018


December 11, 2017 - Book Week

New Australian feature film announced! Heath Davis - Book Week set to tackle literacy

The filmmaking team behind the award winning Australian drama Broke has announced its next venture, Book Week to coincide with the upcoming national Book Week festivities.

Book Week, a comedy drama to be produced in the Blue Mountains, has launched its crowd funding campaign with the who’s who of Australian art and media world pledging their support to the project, which aims to promote literacy in kids and adults with some profits going to local Book Week foundations and other not for profit education based programs.

Last updated on Monday December 11th 2017


December 7, 2017 - Tanna

Tanna's Martin Butler and Bentley Dean win Byron Kennedy Award

They made a film with traditional South Pacific villagers who wear penis sheaths, shun electricity and still hunt with bows and arrows.

But since their inventive collaboration with a Vanuatu tribe to make Tanna, Australian directors Martin Butler and Bentley Dean have had to get used to another cultural experience – black-tie film awards ceremonies.

Last updated on Thursday December 7th 2017


December 7, 2017 - Tanna

First winners of the 6th AACTA Awards announced at Industry Luncheon

Antony Partos AGSC received the AACTA Award forBest Original Music Score for TANNA, marking his sixth AFI or AACTA Award for an Original Music Score in film, television or documentary.

Last updated on Thursday December 7th 2017


October 28, 2017 - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Congratulations - 2 Nominations for the 7th AACTA Awards Cris Jones is nominated for Best Original Screenplay (Cris would have been thrilled) and Ben Morieson for Best Production Design!

AACTA Award for Best Original Screenplay

AACTA Award for Best Production Design

Last updated on Thursday November 9th 2017


October 9, 2017 - The Last Goldfish

Distant voices, secret lives - Su Goldfish's 40-year search for her lost family has been captured in a powerful new documentary.

Su Goldfish enjoyed an idyllic childhood growing up in Trinidad but could never shake her curiosity about how her European parents Manfred and Phyllis had ended up on this tropical island. 

Her German father offered no answers, telling her: “I drew a line when you were born, and made a decision to never look back.” But Su was determined to uncover the truth. She has documented her 40-year journey into her father’s secret past in her film The Last Goldfish, which enjoyed a sold-out premiere at the Sydney Film Festival and was nominated for the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary. 

Last updated on Monday October 9th 2017


October 8, 2017 - Shopkins


Global toy phenomenon ShopkinsTM by Moose Toys has announced the release of a second feature film: ShopkinsTM: World Vacation, bringing to life the characters that have captured the imagination of millions of children around the globe.

Produced in partnership with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group, the film will officially launch with an exclusive pink carpet premiere event in Melbourne on Saturday 23rd of September 2017, followed by a limited theatrical release from the 5th of October 2017.

Last updated on Sunday October 8th 2017


Cris Jones, Director of The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, Dies at 37

The Australian film community is reeling from the news of his unexpected passing.

Melbourne filmmaker Cris Jones, whose debut feature, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, opened the Melbourne International Film Festival last year, has passed away. According to an email from his Otto Bloom producer, Melanie Coombs, he died suddenly last Tuesday as he was preparing to go out for dinner with friends. No cause of death has been announced.

Last updated on Monday September 25th 2017


September 25, 2017 - Vale Cris Jones

Cris Jones, Director and screenwriter. Born Reading, England, May 28 1980. Died Melbourne, September 7, aged 37.

When producer Melanie Coombs met Cris Jones, then a film student, she knew she had found a director with a vision, someone she wanted to work with.

His first short was unlike anything she had seen. As a filmmaker, “he was genuinely looking to explain the inexplicable. He was interested in quantum mechanics and philosophy and how you deal with grief, what the nature of love is and how we are connected to one another.”

Coombs became a mentor and produced Jones’s first feature, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, which was selected to open the Melbourne International Film Festival last year.

Last updated on Monday September 25th 2017


September 3rd, 2017 - Koblic

Koblic Australian premiere at SLAFF 2017 - Sydney Latino Film Festival

Sun 10 Sep & Sun 24 Sep - Ricardo Darin and Sebastian Borensztein reunite after 2011’s smash hit Chinese Take-Out

Last updated on Sunday September 3rd 2017


Cody - May 25, 2017

The long road to self

Small town smack in the American Midwest. Suzanna age 23 changes gender and becomes a boy: Coby. Her transformation deeply disrupts the lives of all who love her. Ultimately, Coby's chrysalis becomes the one of a whole family compelled to modify their own perspective. Not only a physical metamorphosis is at stake here but also a spiritual one that eventually takes place under the director's luminous and unexpected eye

Last updated on Friday August 25th 2017


The Last Goldfish - July 13, 2017


The Last Goldfish premiered at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival on Thursday 8 June. The session sold out in 4 days.

This film was nominated for the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary.

We then had a SFF "by popular demand screening" at Dendy Newtown on Tuesday 20 June which also sold out. This screening was dedicated to the filmmaker and writer Behrouz Boochani who couldn't actually come to the Sydney Film Festival to see his film, Chauka: Please Tell Us The Time, because he is imprisoned on Manus island. Our screening happened in World Refugee Week.

Last updated on Friday August 25th 2017


August 6, 2017 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom & Emo the Musical

AACTA Awards 2017: feature films in competition and doco nominees unveiled

The 35 feature films on this year’s longlist are: 2:22; A Few Less Men; Ali’s Wedding; Australia Day; Bad Blood; Bad Girl; Berlin Syndrome; Better Watch Out; Blue World Order; The Butterfly Tree; The Colour of Darkness; Dance Academy; The Death and Life of Otto Bloom; Don’t Tell; Drama; Ellipsis; Emo: The Musical; Event Zero; Hounds of Love; Jasper Jones; Jungle; Killing Ground; The Legend of Ben Hall; The Lego Batman Movie; Lion; One Less God; The Osiris Child: Science Fiction Volume One; Red Dog: True Blue; Rip Tide; Skin Deep; The Space Between; That’s Not Me; Three Summers; What If It Works? and Zelos.

Last updated on Thursday August 24th 2017


Emo the Musical - May 6, 2017

Was Jesus an Emo? Emo the Musical tackles this and other modern dilemmas

Three stars

Verdict Sweetly satirical alt-musical

THE emos clash with the God squad in the corridors of an underfunded public high school in this sweetly satirical teen romance from first-time feature director Neil Triffett

Last updated on Friday August 25th 2017


June 27, 2017 - The Babadook

The Babadook Headed Back to Theaters for LGBT Fundraiser Screenings

Jennifer Kent’s monster took internet by storm as unexpected gay icon this month

“The Babadook” is creeping beyond internet-icon status and heading back to movie screens after its titular monster became the star of June’s monthlong gay pride celebration.

Los Angeles art house Arena Cinelounge will host five days of screenings, with a portion of proceeds going to “LBTQ awareness,” from June 23-27, the boutique theater announced on Sunday.

Last updated on Tuesday June 27th 2017


May 11, 2017 - Emo the Musical

EMO THE MUSICAL is out now on art-house release. It runs for 94mins and is rated M. It is released independently from Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Bonsai Films.

I was sent a press invite to attend a screening of EMO THE MUSICAL and was intrigued. I had never heard of it. Based on the 2014 Berlinale award winning short film, my initial thoughts from the trailer were that EMO THE MUSICAL looked like a well written smart ass satire. I was sold. I couldn’t make the media times and was fortunate enough to be invited to the premiere. What was even more fortunate and a bit surreal was sitting down a few rows from the back and having most of the cast sit all around us. It made the world of difference watching and hearing their reactions to their and their friends own performances.

Last updated on Thursday May 11th 2017


March 18, 2017 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom

How The Death and Life of Otto Bloom lured Rachel Ward back to the big screen

She was a bona fide star in the 1980s, but Rachel Ward long ago swapped her place in front of the camera for a role behind it. So what tempted her back?

Last updated on Sunday March 19th 2017


March 19, 2017 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom

A mockumentary with real depth

First seen last July, when it screened at the opening night of the Melbourne International Film Festival, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom returns to cinemas after months of silence, a fitting release pattern for a film that reverses notions of time and memory so as to twist our perceptions and sympathy.

Cris Jones' debut feature is that rare thing: a mock documentary that reaches a genuine emotional depth.

Last updated on Sunday March 19th 2017


March 13, 2017 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom

This budget time-travelling romance boggles with sheer ingenuity

A LOVE story that employs Einstein’s theory of relativity as a road map ... no one could accuse Cris Jones of playing it safe with this, his feature film debut.

The confidence with which the Melbourne writer-director executes this creative highwire act, on a budget of just $1.3 million, suggests a talent to watch.

Last updated on Monday March 13th 2017


March 13, 2017 - Emo The Musical

Berlin Hidden Gem: 'Emo the Musical' Puts "Twisted" Spotlight on High School Romance

Newcomer Neil Triffett’s musical tells a love story between an angsty boy and a Christian girl, with a few not-quite 'La La Land'-style songs.

As La La Land’s song “City of Stars” eyes Oscar glory later this month, an ever-so-slightly less cheery original number from a Berlinale 2017 title could — perhaps — be jostling for awards attention next time around.

Last updated on Monday March 13th 2017


February 22, 2017 - Tanna

Why Australia?Yes, Australia?Might Just Win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film

You might not think of the land down under as a multicultural nation that speaks a variety of languages—but the gorgeous Tanna will prove you wrong.

Last updated on Wednesday February 22nd 2017


January 24, 2017 - Tanna

Oscars: Australia Gets First Foreign-Language Nomination

'Tanna,' a Nauvhal-language film, was shot by co-directors Bentley Dean and Martin Butler on the island of Vanuatu.

Australia on Tuesday nabbed its first-ever nomination in the best foreign-language film race at the Oscars.

Last updated on Friday January 27th 2017


January 12, 2017 - Tanna

The following is a complete list of 2016 AAFCA Awards winners.











 BEST SONG – “VICTORY” from HIDDEN FIGURES (20th Century Fox)

 BEST DOCUMENTARY – 13th (Netflix)

 BEST FOREIGN FILM – TANNA (Lightyear Entertainment) 


Last updated on Thursday January 12th 2017

January 12th, 2017 - Scare Campaign

Top 5 Australian films of 2016 - Plus the Cinema Australia 2016 Best Film Award winner announced

2016 saw another great year for Australian films in terms of quality.

Cinema Australia was lucky enough to catch a lot of great films from this year and next via cinema, home release, preview screeners and film festivals.

Here are our Top 5 for 2016 including the winner of the Cinema Australia 2016 Best Film Award.

Last updated on Thursday January 12th 2017


January 5, 2017 - Emo The Musical

Berlin Film Festival 2017

In the two competitions Kplus and 14plus, 15 feature films have already been selected for the 40th edition of Generation. Exhibiting an impressive range of cinematic approaches, these productions tell the stories of young people on inner and outer journeys and capture a sense of longing for new and altered horizons. The complete programme for Generation will be made public in mid-January.

Last updated on Thursday January 5th 2017


December 19th, 2016 - Tanna

Australian film Tanna makes the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

Australia now has a real shot at picking up an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category at next February's awards.

Last updated on Tuesday December 20th 2016


December 17, 2016 - Tanna

Australian Film Makes Oscar short-list

Australia has a great chance at winning an Oscar in the unlikely foreign language category.The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday Australia's entrant, Tanna, had survived the latest cut for February's Oscars.The Academy slashed 85 potential films from around the world to just nine.

Last updated on Sunday December 18th 2016


October 30, 2016 - Tanna

AACTA Award Nominee

Hacksaw Ridge, which marks Mel Gibson’s return to directing after a decade-long hiatus, leads the pack among this year's AACTA Award nominees. The film has received nominations in 13 categories – including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Lead Actress and Best Lead Actor.

Simon Stone’s The Daughter is close behind, nominated in 10 categories.

Foxtel is on board as the new presenting partner for the awards, which sees 300 individual practitioners from over 90 productions competing in 50 categories. Foxtel replaces Presto as the AACTA's principal partner following Foxtel’s recent acquisition of Seven West Media’s stake in the joint venture.

The five films competing for Best Film are: The Daughter, Girl Asleep, Goldstone, Hacksaw Ridge and Tanna.

Last updated on Sunday October 30th 2016


October 14, 2016- Tanna

Tanna, A South Pacific Romeo and Juliet tale

Screen Australia has named an unassuming Romeo and Juliet tale set in the South Pacific as its official entry for best foreign language film at the 2017 Oscars.

Based on a true story, Tanna is a cinematic translation of a song about two lovers who defy the ancient laws of arranged marriage. It was filmed on a volcanic outlying island of Vanuatu in the native language of Nauvhal, the cast drawn from the village of Yakel who, until the arrival of Australian filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, had never seen a movie before.

Last updated on Friday October 14th 2016


October 10, 2016 - Emo The Musical

Feature financing: going for grants has back end benefits

Many doors swung open for writer/director Neil Triffett and producer Lee Matthews as a result of the short film EMO the Musical being selected for the Berlinale and subsequently earning a special mention from the jury. That was in February 2014 and two-and-a-half years later the feature film version of the satirical high school musical had its world premiere at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival.

Last updated on Tuesday October 11th 2016


August 30, 2016 - Tanna

Australia selects 'Tanna' for best foreign language as foreign language Oscar contender

Australia has selected Vanuatu-set drama “Tanna” as its contender in the Academy Awards’ foreign-language section.

The film was made in the Nauvhal language and co-directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler.

Based on real events, the story is the story of two young lovers who dared to defy the Vanuatu islanders tradition of arranged marriage and changed the island’s culture as a result.

It had its world premiere last year in Venice and won the audience prize in Venice Critics’ Week, before enjoying an extensive festival career. International sales are handled by U.S.-based Visit Films.


Last updated on Tuesday August 30th 2016


August 22nd, 2016 - Broke

Competition intensifies with as AACTA announces four additional feature films

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) today announced that an additional four feature films will be in competition for the 6th AACTA Awards presented by Presto: BACKTRACK, BROKE, DOWNRIVER and TEENAGE KICKS.

The additions make this a record year for AACTA, with a total of 28 feature films competing for this year’s AACTA Awards – Australia’s highest screen acknowledgement.

Last updated on Monday August 22nd 2016


Last updated on Tuesday August 30th 2016

August 18th, 2016 - Emo the Musical

Audience Award at MIFF

Emo comes 3rd  at MIFF.  Audience choice award for best feature film and top Aussie film of the fest

Last updated on Thursday August 18th 2016


August 18th, 2016 - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Jasper Jones and Spin Out to premiere, compete for $100k at CinefestOZ 2016

Four Aussie films will contend for CinefestOZ’s $100,000 Film Prize, the richest of its kind in the country.

Over the weekend CinefestOZ announced Jasper Jones, Spin Out, Girl Asleep and The Death and Life of Otto Bloom as the finalists for the prize.

Both Jasper Jones and Spin Out will have their world premieres at the August film festival, while Girl Asleep and The Life and Death of Otto Bloom will make their Western Australian debuts.

Now in its third year, the CinefestOZ Film Prize was established with the aim of pursuing excellence in Australian filmmaking, and is awarded to the producer of a feature-length film or documentary.

The films will be judged at the festival by a five-member jury, headed this year by director Gillian Armstrong.

Last updated on Thursday August 18th 2016


August 18, 2016 - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Booth to judge the best at Cinefest

Judging the biggest film prize in Australia is no easy feat but for West Australian actress and former model Emma Booth it is part of acknowledging the nation’s growing arts industry.

The flame-haired, Fremantle-raised film and TV star — who shot to fame after landing a lead role in the 2010 series Underbelly: The Golden Mile — will help judge the 2016 CinefestOZ Film Prize, joining jury chairwoman Gillian Armstrong, producer Sue Taylor, cinematographer Garry Phillips and fellow actor Damien Walshe-Howling.

Competing for this year’s coveted title and making their WA debut will be The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, Girl Asleep, Spin Out and Jasper Jones, the last filmed in the South West at locations in and around Pemberton.

Last updated on Thursday August 18th 2016


Last updated on Monday August 8th 2016

July 19, 2016 - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Cris Jones' long-awaited debut feature to open Melbourne film festival

In The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, the inventive Australian feature that opens the 65th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), the movie's enigmatic protagonist, Xavier Samuel's Otto Bloom, reveals to the world he is experiencing time in reverse. Our unknown future is the past he already knows, but he bears no memory of what's already occurred.

For Cris Jones, the writer and director whose brain-bending concept invokes Einstein's belief that time is a relative concept to create an engaging faux-documentary, the path to MIFF's opening night is a long but comparatively linear journey that's taken many turns over the last 15 years. Otto is seen as a seer, a fraud and an inspiration, while his creator has played the role of hopeful film student, aspiring artist and disappointed director.

Last updated on Tuesday July 19th 2016


13 incredibly strange movies in MIFF 2016

Who goes to MIFF expecting the expected? Time Out picks a lucky 13 features guaranteed to blow your mind

Emo & Otto Bloom frontrunners - The full program for the 64th Melbourne International Film Festival is here and it's a quirky one. From virtual reality films to a Jerry Lewis retrospective, from Cannes causes célèbres to documentary shockers, it's two weeks of movies without a safety net. Time Out has perused the lists to come up with 13 features guaranteed to get you talking.

Last updated on Tuesday July 12th 2016


July 6th, 2016 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom

18 films in 18 days: must-see MIFF movies for 2016

No 1. at MIFF - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.  This drama from Melbourne director Cris Jones, having its world premiere at MIFF, promises a blend of Benjamin Button, The Time-Traveller’s Wife and Zelig.

Neuroscientist Ada Fitzgerald (played by Rachel Ward and her daughter Matilda Brown) encounters enigmatic young man Otto (Xavier Samuel), who claims to experience time in reverse. It’s a meeting that will transform her life and, possibly, the world.

Last updated on Tuesday July 12th 2016


July 27th, 2016 - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Otto Bloom lifts filmmaker Cris Jones out of Byzantium crisis

Cris Jones is launching his debut feature, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, in the best of circumstances; it has the opening-night spot at the Melbourne International Film Festival this month. But the story of his first feature is closely bound up with the one that got away.

Last updated on Tuesday July 12th 2016


May 30, 2016 - The Death And Life of Otto Bloom

The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom to open Melbourne International Film Festival 2016

Melbourne International Film Festival has announced its opening night movie, The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom, the feature debut of Melbourne writer-director Cris​ Jones, stars Xavier Samuel as a man who experiences time backwards. 

Otto Bloom is, Jones hastens to emphasise, different from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story adapted for the screen in 2008, in which Brad Pitt played a man who aged in reverse.

Last updated on Monday May 30th 2016


April 10, 2016 - Broke

"...tough, gutsy and deeply affecting..."

When rugby league players are at the top of their game, they’re nothing short of bona fide heroes in Australia – lauded, rhapsodised over, and placed on a pedestal whether they like it or not. But what about those years after the siren? What happens when the newsprint has faded, the footy cards are all dog-eared, and the roar of the crowd is nothing but a distant memory?

Last updated on Sunday April 10th 2016


April 4, 2016 - Broke

New Australian movie Broke tells tale of former rugby league star who had it all and blew it

If movie-making, like comedy - and sport too for that matter - is about timing, Heath Davis has kicked a goal.

Director-writer-producer Davis, 37, has just completed Broke, a film which tells the tale of a former rugby league star who had it all – and blew it.

Filmed in Gladstone, it is about the other side of sport – the side that seems to be increasingly plastered across the front-pages of newspapers and throughout social media, culminating in the long-running Mitchell Pearce saga in recent weeks.

Pearce, as anyone who has access to the internet and a passing interest in human failings would know, has just returned to Australia after a stint in rehab at a Thai clinic.

Last updated on Saturday April 2nd 2016


March 31, 2016 - Scare Campaign

The latest Australian horror flick is a bloody scare campaign

You might have had a giggle at a prank on the Internet recently — but just what happens when these stunts take a step too far?

This is the concept of Scare Campaign, by Australian filmmakers Cameron and Colin Cairnes. It follows their feature film debut, 100 Bloody Acres in 2012, which has the dubious honour of being one of the most illegally downloaded movies in Australia at the time.

Last updated on Saturday April 2nd 2016


March 3, 2016 - Scare Campaign

Aussie Brothers' Latest Horror Film Is An Absolute Bloody Ripper

Brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes were always going to make a career out of scaring people.

Filmed over just four weeks at the abandoned Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum in country Victoria, Scare Campaign is a multi-layered fright fest with more twists and turns than you can possibly anticipate and, best of all, it succeeds where so many horror films fail -- it’s actually really, really scary

Last updated on Saturday March 12th 2016


February 4, 2016 - Broke

New film humanises rugby league heroes

It's the story of a rugby league superstar who comes undone at the hands of gambling and alcohol but those behind new Australian film Broke hope to open the eyes of fans to the frailties of those we idolise.

Last updated on Thursday February 4th 2016


February 4, 2016 - Scare Campaign

Cairnes Bros release trailer for Scare Campaign, unveil roadshow release

The full trailer has been released for Scare Campaign, the upcoming horror film from writer-directors Colin and Cameron Cairnes (100 Bloody Acres) and producer Julie Ryan (Red Dog).

Scare Campaign stars Olivia DeJonge, Meegan Warner, Ian Meadows and Josh Quong Tart, and recently won Best Film and Best Direction at Melbourne's Monster Fest.

Last updated on Thursday February 4th 2016


February 2, 2016 - Broke

Broke trailer has echoes of troubled rugby league star Mitchell Pearce's downfall

For filmmaker Heath Davis, rugby league star Mitchell Pearce's dramas – drunkenly trying to kiss a woman and simulating sex with a dog on Australia Day – were all too familiar.

"It just felt like 'here we go again'," the writer-director says. "Footy season seems to traditionally start with some negative publicity – a football player getting into strife and it's generally related to alcohol or gambling."

Last updated on Tuesday February 2nd 2016


February 2, 2016 - The Death and Life of Otto Bloom

Ten Films to Watch in 2016

The Benjamin Button-esque premise of writer/director Cris Jones’ fictional documentary revolves around a man who experiences time backwards.


Last updated on Monday February 1st 2016


January 6, 2015 Broke

Ten Australian films for 2016

Back at work and hanging out for more Australian cinema; we take a look at 10 films that we reckon will do this country proud in 2016.

Last updated on Wednesday January 6th 2016


December 23, 2015 - The Tribe

A wordless Ukrainian drama, a sexually explosive coming-of-age tale

The visions were dark but the filmmaking exciting in most of the best movies of 2015.

Last updated on Tuesday December 29th 2015


November 25, 2015 - Graceful Girls

Inside the competitive dance world of Calethenics

If you think the dance form of calisthenics looks like a beauty pageant, then you are mistaken. 

Melbourne film maker Olivia Peniston-Bird has directed a new documentary that goes behind the curtain of the highly competitive Calisthenics community

Last updated on Wednesday November 25th 2015


November 21, 2015 - The Tribe

The Tribe - iTunes -compelling viewing

After glowing reviews at the Sydney, Adelaide & Canberra Film Festivals The Tribe is now available on iTunes

Last updated on Saturday November 21st 2015


November 19, 2015 - Graceful Girls

Competitive Calisthenics Is The Most Intense Australian Sport You?ve Never Heard Of

The director of Graceful Girls sheds light on the uniquely Australian sport of calisthenics.

Last updated on Thursday November 19th 2015


November 19, 2015 - Graceful Girls

The gruelling world of Graceful Girls

An Australian documentary crew have revealed what really goes on behind the scenes of the world's toughest dance competition.

Last updated on Thursday November 19th 2015


November 13, 2015 - Emo the Musical

800 Words Actor to make his debut

Benson Jack Anthony, who played Erik Thomson’s son Arlo in the Seven Network hit drama 800 Words, has won the lead role in Emo (the musical).

Last updated on Monday November 16th 2015


November 5, 2015 - Tanna

Tanna takes Vanuatu villagers to the world

There have been films shot in the South Pacific archipelago Vanuatu but not films of Vanuatu.

Last updated on Monday November 16th 2015


October 15, 2015 - Graceful Girls

Graceful Girls pirouettes to theatrical release

A self-funded Australian documentary about the little known sport of calisthenics has made its way to theatrical release after winning the MIFF People’s Choice Award for best documentary.

Last updated on Thursday October 15th 2015


October 5, 2015 - Emo the Musical - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Screen Aus funds time-travel drama

Shorts director Cris Jones will make his feature debut on The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.

Xavier Samuel is attached to play the title character, an extraordinary man who experiences time in reverse – passing backwards through the years while remembering the future.

Screen Australia, Film Victoria and the Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund are financing the low budget drama which will shoot in Melbourne later this year.

The producers are Mish Armstrong, Alicia Brown and Melanie Coombs, with Jonathan Page as EP. Coombs produced Jones’ well-received 2008 short The Funk.

Page’s Bonsai Films will distribute in Australia and international sales will be handled by Global Screen, which reps Oddball.


Last updated on Monday October 5th 2015


October 5, 2015 - Scare Campaign

World Premiere - Scare Campaign Monster Festival

Monster Fest is a big screen celebration of the the latest, greatest and rarest cult and horror cinema from Australia and around the world – it's a film festival for genre freaks run by genre freaks and Monster Fest 2015 is going to be the best yet!

Last updated on Monday October 5th 2015


September 13, 2015 - Emo the Musical

Emo the Musical scores Screen Australia funding to make leap from short film to feature

A story about a "holy war" between moody Satan-loving Goths and happy-clappy Christians at an Australian high school has won government funding to become a feature film.

Last updated on Sunday September 13th 2015


September 26, 2015 - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

Project Funded - The Death & Life of Otto Bloom

EMO (THE MUSICAL) Matthewswood Productions
Genre Satire, Musical
Producer Lee Matthews
Executive Producers Yael Bergman, Jonathan Page, Shaun Miller
Writer / Director Neil Triffett
Australian Distributor Bonsai Films
Synopsis Desperate to belong within his new school, Ethan quickly finds a place in the school Emo band that is ramping up to win the State School Rock Competition. However, when the School’s Hope Group enters the competition as well, the two groups are set at war against one another, making it the worst possible time for Emo Ethan to fall in love with Trinity, the lead vocalist in the Christian band.

 Optimism Film Pty Ltd
Genre Drama
Producers Mish Armstrong, Alicia Brown, Melanie Coombs
Executive Producer Jonathan Page
Writer / Director Cris Jones
Australian Distributor Bonsai Films
International Sales Global Screen
Cast Xavier Samuel
Synopsis The chronicle of the life and great love of Otto Bloom, an extraordinary man who experiences time in reverse – passing backwards through the years while remembering the future

Last updated on Saturday September 26th 2015


September 12, 2015 - Tanna

New Australian film Tanna has been awarded two major prizes at Venice film festival.

Bentley Dean was awarded Best DOP [director of photography], while the film also took home the audience award for best feature film of International film critics’ week – an independent section of Venice film festival.

Last updated on Sunday September 13th 2015


August 3, 2015 - Graceful Girls

World Premiere of Graceful Girls at MIFF

Graceful Girls will have its world premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival 9 August 2015

Last updated on Monday August 3rd 2015


August 3, 2015 - Tanna

From Vanuatu to Venice Film Festival - a gala launch for the Australian film Tanna

For seven months last year, Australian filmmaker Bentley Dean and his family lived with one of the South Pacific's last traditional tribes.

With regular fly-in visits from fellow director Martin Butler, they shot a feature film that dramatised the lives of the Yakel​ tribe in the mountainous areas of a Vanuatu island.

Last updated on Monday August 3rd 2015


June 3, 2015 - The Tribe

Shocking silence of Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytsky's film The Tribe

Melbourne, Vic - 29 April 2015 - With his first feature, Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytsky​ has set out to revive the tradition of silent cinema, crafting a story capable of reaching "people from all over the globe".


Last updated on Thursday June 4th 2015


February 28, 2015 - The Tribe

Bonsai Films acquires The Tribe

Berlin - February 12, 2015 - Paris-based sales outfit Alpha Violet has inked Efm deals on Cannes prize-winner The Tribe.

Last updated on Thursday June 4th 2015


February 20, 2015 - Scare Campaign

Cast announced for new Cairnes brothers feature

The creators of 100 Bloody Acres are at it again, as production begins on their new horror feature Scare Campaign.

Colin and Cameron Cairnes, along with producer Julie Ryan (Red Dog), have announced the key members of cast.

Last updated on Friday February 20th 2015


February 2015 - The Tribe

Cannes Review: Shocking Sign Language Drama and Critics Week Winner 'The Tribe' is an Unprecedented Cinematic Accomplishment

Ukranian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's 'The Tribe' has no spoken dialogue whatsoever but that doesn't stop it from making a bold and provocatively loud statement.

Last updated on Tuesday June 9th 2015


November 27, 2014 - Scare Campaign

Cairnes brothers, Mclean thriller secure funding

Scare Campaign, a horror movie from the brothers Colin and Cameron Cairnes, and Jungle, Greg Mclean’s true-life drama set in the Bolivian jungle, have secured funding from Screen Australia.

The Cairnes’ brothers follow-up to 100 Bloody Acres focuses on a popular prank TV show, Scare Campaign, which has entertained audiences for five years with its mix of old school scares and hidden camera fun.

Last updated on Thursday November 27th 2014


September 25, 2014 - The Babadook

The Babadook wins Best Picture, in the horror category just to name a few at the Fantastic Fest Awards

Austin, TX Monday, September 22, 2014 - Fantastic Fest is pleased to announce this year's Fantastic Award winners.  It has been an outstanding year for features & shorts making the job of honouring a select crop all the more difficult, but our esteemed team of jurors have done the nearly impossible and chosen the best films of the festival.

Last updated on Tuesday June 9th 2015


September 22, 2014 - The Infinite Man

The Infinite Man takes off

First-time writer/director Hugh Sullivan’s time travel comedy The Infinite Man opened at four cinemas- Dendy Newton, Melbourne’s Cinema Nova, Perth’s Cinema Paradiso and Adelaide’s Palace Nova Eastend- last Thursday.

The estimated four-day gross is $11,000, which is in addition to the $21,000 generated by screenings at the Melbourne International Film Festival, CineféstOZ and the Dungog fest.


Last updated on Monday September 22nd 2014


September 18, 2014 - The Infinite Man

The Infinite Man review - playful sci-fi with masterful plot manoeuvres

Hugh Sullivan puts a time-shifting, lovesick scientist at the centre of one of Australia's sharpest film scripts in years. There is a scene in writer/director Hugh Sullivan’s debut feature film The Infinite Man in which dorky lovesick scientist Dean (Josh McConville) and his girlfriend Lana (Hannah Marshall) peer through the blinds of a decrepit hotel room window, observing a despondent looking man trudging towards a strange futuristic contraption lying on the sand outside.

Last updated on Thursday September 18th 2014


September 5, 2014 - The Infinite Man

The Infinite Man In Australian Cinemas From September 18

Following the sellout Australian Premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival, the inventive time travel comedy The Infinite Man is confirmed for a theatrical release in cinemas across Australia September 18 through Infinite Releasing. The international and local accolades keep coming for the film and its writer/director Hugh Sullivan, who just this weekend won the Best First Feature award at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada.

Last updated on Thursday August 28th 2014


August 20, 2014 - Maya, the Bee

Wide Release For Children's Movie

Maya the Bee Movie, the 3D animated feature adapted from the ABC TV series, will get a wide cinema release in Australia.

Buzz Studios is launching the film on November 1 at Hoyts cinemas and other screens to be confirmed.

The Australian-German co-production comes from Buzz Studios? related company Flying Bark Productions and the latter?s German parent Studio 100 Media. It's Buzz Studios' first theatrical release.

Last updated on Thursday August 28th 2014


August 8, 2014 - The Babadook

French Audiences, Exhibitors Embrace The Babadook

Jennifer Kent's The Babadook has made more money in its first five days in France than in its entire Australian season on limited screens.

The reactions from French exhibitors after Wild Bunch arranged a week of Q&A screenings hosted by the writer-director emboldened the Gallic distributor to launch the psychological thriller on 148 screens last Wednesday.

That tactic paid off as the film, retitled Mr Babadook, sold nearly 80,000 tickets, which according to Box Office Mojo equates to a gross of $US513,000

Last updated on Thursday August 28th 2014


May 27, 2014 - Broke

Cast To Go For Broke In Oz Gambling Drama

Steve Le Marquand, Max Cullen, Claire van der Boom and Brendan Cowell head the cast of Broke, an Australian drama about a washed up, former rugby league star who battles a gambling addiction.

The feature debut of writer-director Heath Davis, the film is due to roll in Gladstone, central Queensland, on June 16. 

Last updated on Thursday August 28th 2014


Mar 19, 2014 - The Infinite Man

Critics Pick the Best of SXSW: A Time Travel Comedy, An Award-Winning Doc, and Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' Among the Highlights

This year, the consensus results aren't as strong, but it appears that the festival might have found the 2014 version of a film to call its own in a sci-fi debut. "The Infinite Man," written and directed by Hugh Sullivan, placed first in the Best Screenplay category, a testament to the way the film handles the many twists and turns that come from its multiplying protagonist. Sullivan's film may have been the top of the SXSW premiere crowd among members of the Criticwire Network in Austin who sent in their favorites of the festival, but many of the top overall finishers may be familiar to those who followed the news from Park City back in late January.

Last updated on Wednesday March 19th 2014

read more at:

Mar 17, 2014 - The Infinite Man

SXSW Review: Wildly Creative & Unforgettable Romantic Time Travel Comedy 'The Infinite Man'

Every so often you see a movie at one of these festivals that seems to announce (loudly) a true filmmaking talent, one that should be watched closely in the years to come. "The Infinite Man" is one of those movies. While it clearly owes a debt to "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Groundhog Day" and "Primer" (not to mention the terrific "Lost" episode "The Constant"), it's also it's own beast altogether: a wildly creative, thrilling, unforgettable, heartbreaking work of a singular, visionary filmmaker. "The Infinite Man" is infinitely brilliant.

Last updated on Monday March 17th 2014

read more at:

Feb 8, 2014 - The Infinite Man

Shoreline visits The Infinite Man

Shoreline visits The Infinite Man

Shoreline Entertainment has bulked up its EFM slate with Australian selection The Infinite Man, set to receive its world premiere at SXSW next month.

Hugh Sullivan’s feature directorial debut is a time-travel rom-com about a man whose attempts to construct the perfect romantic weekend backfire when he traps his lover in an eternal loop.

Josh McConville, Hannah Marshall and Alex Dimitriades star.

Kate Croser and Sandy Cameron of South Australia-based Hedone Productions produced the SXSW Visions selection.

The film is produced in association with Bonsai Films, with investment from the South Australia Film Corporation through its FilmLab funding initiative. Development assistance comes from Screen Australia. 

Shoreline evp Sam Eigen and director of acquisitions Melody Djavadi negotiated the deal with Croser and executive producer Jonathan Page, currently riding high on Sundance hit The Babadook.

Eigen said The Infinite Man was “the perfect example of a smart and original film that has terrific global appeal”.


Last updated on Saturday February 8th 2014

read more at:

Feb 5, 2014 - The Babadook

Film Review: The Babadook

Like the elaborate children’s pop-up book that conjures its eponymous bogeyman, “The Babadook” offers a wonderfully hand-crafted spin on a tale oft told, of parent and child in an old, dark house where things go bump (and scratch and growl and hover in the shadows) in the night. Steeped in references to early cinema, magic and classic fairy tales — which, at times, causes it to feel like a scary-movie version of “Hugo” — this meticulously designed and directed debut feature from writer-director Jennifer Kent (expanded from her award-winning short, “Monster”) manages to deliver real, seat-grabbing jolts while also touching on more serious themes of loss, grief and other demons that can not be so easily vanquished. Warmly received in its Sundance preem, where it was snapped up by IFC Midnight, the pic should delight genre aficionados at fests and in niche theatrical play, but may prove a touch too cerebral for “Saw” or “Paranormal Activity”-style crossover play.

The movie takes place nearly seven years after the fatal car accident that killed Oskar (Ben Winspear) as he was rushing his pregnant wife, Amelia (Essie Davis) to the delivery room. Mother and child survived the crash, and as its seventh anniversary approaches, they still live very much in the grip of that trauma. High-strung and emotionally volatile, with a penchant for building homemade weapons and acting out at school, young Samuel (Noah Wiseman) clearly longs for a father figure and feels self-imposed pressure, at age 6, to be his mother’s protector. Amelia, who makes ends meet as an elder-care nurse, can’t even bring herself to celebrate Samuel’s birthday on the actual day, and seems increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of caring for the temperamental tyke.

Then, rather mysteriously, a book appears on Samuel’s bookshelf — a children’s book, or so it seems, large in format and handsomely bound in crimson and black. The title is “Mr. Babadook,” no author credited, and it tells the story of a curious creature, squat and top-hatted with two strange spiky feet, who raps three times on your door and asks to be invited in — something, the book goes on to show, one does at one’s own risk. The drawings (designed for the film by American illustrator Alex Juhasz) are gothic in look, monochrome and sharp-edged, with three-dimensional folds that open out and levers that move back and forth. Imagine an Edward Gorey archive published by Taschen and you begin to get the idea.

Last updated on Wednesday February 5th 2014

read more at: