- Three Australian films have been selected to screen as part of the South by South West (SXSW) Festival which will screen virtually March 16 – 20 2021.
- Leah Purcell’s debut feature film The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson will have its world premiere in the Narrative Spotlight section, while director Gracie Otto and producer Cody Greenwood’s feature documentary about the creative process of some of the world’s most iconic recording artists, Under The Volcano, will premiere in the 24 Beats Per Second music section.
- John Bell’s horror short film The Moogai is also screening as part of the line-up, having already won acclaim, including the Erwin Rado Award for Best Audience Short Film at MIFF 2020. The music clip for Julia Stone’s Break, directed by Jessie Hill, has also been selected to screen in the Music Video Competition section.
- The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is the feature adaptation of Purcell’s hugely successful stage play, which won AWGIE and Helpmann Awards and is a reimagining of Henry Lawson’s short story. This is one of the year’s most highly anticipated Australian features. Purcell is powerhouse in everything she does. She wrote the screenplay, directed the film and also stars in the lead role. The film is produced by Bain Stewart for Oombarra Productions and David Jowsey, Angela Littlejohn and Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions. Roadshow Films will distribute in Australia and New Zealand later this year, with Memento Films International handling international sales.
ACMI opens up refreshed
- Rebooting the museum of the moving image. As of 11 February the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is open for visits after closing for a major make-over.
- A fresh approach to its collection and exhibition spaces includes a new centrepiece exhibition ‘The Story of the Moving Image’ and the introduction of the ‘Lens’, a free tool for visitors to collect their favourite objects, artworks and creations in the exhibition. It’s intended to keep us off our phones.
- Also at ACMI now until 30 May, the exhibition ‘Gabriella Hirst: Darling Darling’, a two-channel video art piece presenting contrasting visions of the Barka Darling River in dialogue.
- In ACMI’s cinemas, film lovers will go crazy for the program of films: ‘Love and Neon: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai’ (screening until 27 Feb).
Screen Forever Online
- Screen Forever 16 – 18 February 2021. Three days, 40 sessions and 120 speakers. The annual screen conference and marketplace has been digitally reimagined and anyone who’s anyone in the industry will be online next week for the most accessible though potentially sober event ever.
- The program is sorted into three tracks this year: Business, Content and Future Proof.
- Screenhub will be bringing you stories, interviews and observations from the event. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Instagram.
- Recently announced additions to the program include: William Horberg, Executive Producer of hit Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit; and Montreal-based Reflector Entertainment, whose creatives will be talking about their first original storyworld, Unknown 9.
Australian International Documentary Conference
- The world of factual is the next big event in line with AIDC 28 Feb – 3 March 2021.
- Check out The AIDC program: pleasure, curiosity and brute realities: The Australian International Documentary Conference is headlined by the idea ‘Moment of Truth.’ These are some of our favourite truthful sessions.
- Nominations for inaugural AIDC Awards have been announced and Michaela Perske has been named 2021 Stanley Hawes winner. Celebrating documentarians across podcasting, TV, film, augmented reality, and virtual reality, nominees include feature docs Brazen Hussies, Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, The Australian Dream and The Leunig Fragments.
- Film festivals 2021: Our calendar for the Australian year. The basic outline of the year’s larger local film festivals is now available, but plenty of details are yet to come. Here is the first list of goodies.
- The 5th Melbourne Women in Film Festival (17 – 24 Feb) is happening online and in cinemas, with the theme ‘more than meets the eye’. Always a stimulating, thoughtful and well-run event, the program showcases bold and socially relevant films and web series from gender diverse Australian, Aotearoa New Zealand and Pasifika filmmakers.
- Flickerfest launches new winners onto festival circuit. Run this year in the Famous Spiegeltent, Flickerfest puts a bunch of new short films before the public eye. They are always fine indicators of rising careers.
- Is The Dry turning Eric Bana into a cinema legend? Audiences are still pouring in to see The Dry, despite more recent temptations.
- Australian films out now include Penguin Bloom, Operation Rainfall, High Ground and Wild Things. Opening today (11 Feb) they include Long Story Short and Unsound.
Moves & Shakes
- Regional screen organisation Screenworks has a new Industry Development Manager, Jeanie Davison, who replaces Lisa O’Meara, who spent nearly 12 years building up the key body. Davison was previously at Screen Australia managing the Documentary Development slate as Investment/Development Manager since mid-2018.
- Lisa O’Meara is now in the newly created position of National Manager Careers & Enterprise at SAE Creative Media Institute.
- The South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) has its second annual Stakeholder Survey, designed to source feedback from South Australia’s screen sector on the SAFC, its activities, facilities and operations. All members of the South Australian screen sector are invited to take part in the 10 minute anonymous and confidential survey, which is open until 11.59pm ACDT on Sunday 21 February, 2021.
- Vale Virginia Fraser. Melbourne artist Virginia Fraser is well remembered for her photo media works, her spirit to collaborate, advocacy for women artists and her sensitivity when writing about others. She leaves an important legacy.
- Vale Lesley Stern. ‘An incomparable deflator of male egos and fantasies’, Lesley Stern’s vivid intellect made a big mark on the Australian film scene of the 80s and 90s. Remembering his own bumpy encounter, Adrian Martin expresses enduring admiration.
- Every Australian and NZ games event happening in 2021, an ongoing list. From esports to indie to industry, a rolling list of the games-related events taking place in Australia and New Zealand in 2021.
- Game devs can apply for up to $50k through Creators Fund, which offers up to $50k for Victorian-based creatives who want to undertake creative research or professional development. Applications are now open and game developers and studios are eligible.
- Making games for a dying planet. What can videogames contribute to the climate conversation?
Features and Opinions
- Euro-success for ultra-indy Friends and Strangers. While most screen creators fight for a piece of the mainstream pie, true indies can be rewarded for their insane commitment to high art, to our delight. An interview with director and producer James Vaughan and Lucy Rennick.
- Dear White Screen Industry… Championing diversity without dismantling institutional racism is like putting up a ‘safe to dive’ sign without doing any work to deepen the pool, writes Katrina Irawati Graham.
- Video pins the attack on the ABC in one single story. GetUp has made a half hour program about the attacks on the ABC. It is smart, and gripping and will get you in the feels.