Attention: film buffs, those who have perfected the intellectual “thumb and finger cradling chin” pose, or want an excuse to bust out their (PRESCRIPTION, thank you very much) chunky arty glasses. You might have missed every film festival so far this year because you’ve been too busy workin’ for the man/through your course work/on your intellectual pose – but don’t despair.
There are many more celluloid feasts happening around the country in the next few months, and here we bring you some of the most multicultural festivals that will probably leave you with shreds of a second language and a hankering to take yourself and your (possibly redundant) glasses overseas.
The Singapore Film Festival
September 1-2 - Greater Union Cinema/Cinema Nova, Melbourne
We all know Japan can churn out horror flicks and China beautifully choreographed martial arts films, but Singapore is showing that for a little island, it can compete with the heavyweights. The Singapore Film Festival is in its second outing (after its debut in 2010), and this year aims to incorporate narratives about Singapore’s past, as well as its present. Three films will be shown over the two days, emblems of Singapore and its burgeoning cinema industry, and there is an Opening Gala on the 1st with traditional food thrown in as well.
Look out for: Army Daze
, a coming-of-age comedy about Singaporean boys serving in the National Service, a mandatory part of growing up for all young men in the country.
The OzAsia Festival
September 14-30 - Mercury Cinema, Adelaide
The OzAsia Festival highlights contemporary Asian culture through the mediums of film, art, dance, and even food, and takes place in Adelaide as a union of the diverse Asian cultures that run through our society and everyday lives. India is the country of focus in 2012, but there are films that span many Asian countries: from a Hiroyuki anime A Letter To Momo
, to a Japanese tale of two brothers, I Wish
, and a portrait of the Cambodian film industry by the same country, Golden Slumbers
Look out for: A Letter To Momo
, Okiura Hiroyuki’s first directed animated film in 12 years, about a young girl who moves to an island after losing her father.
The Russian Resurrection Film Festival
August 30-September 12 - Chauvel Cinema, Sydney
September 5-16 - Palace Cinema Como, Melbourne
September 7-16 - Palace Centro, Brisbane
September 14-19 - Greater Union Manuka, Canberra
September 19-26 - Cinema Paradiso, Perth
Vodka! Rasputin! Lots of snow! Will all these things be combined into one movie? Perhaps. Regardless, this year’s Russian Resurrection Film Festival commemorates the bicentenary of Russia’s 1812 defeat of Napoleon, and is the largest Russian cinema festival outside of Russia itself. 70 years of Australia-Russia friendship are celebrated with a wide variety of genres in five different cities - the website is replete with adorable babushka dolls, setting the scene for a colourful event.
Look out for: Spy
, a thriller set in Moscow about battling secret services in the lead up to WWII.
The Korean Film Festival
September 8-12 – ACMI, Melbourne
September 27-30 - Tribal Theatre, Brisbane
The 3rd annual Korean Film Festival in Australia has already done its time in Sydney, and now travels to Melbourne and Brisbane, finishing with a Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok) celebration at the end of the month. ‘Discover Your Connection’ is this year’s theme, letting viewers find ways of connecting with both Korean culture and films that showcase it.
Look out for: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring,
a 2003 “simple Buddhist fable” with little dialogue but lots of panoramic beauty.
The Environmental Film Festival
September 4-9 - Kino Cinema, Melbourne
Beginning in 2010, the Environmental Film Festival is doing it for all you green thumbs out there. Their goal to inform and inspire about environmental issues, they use film to make us think, make us question, and make us do something. The documentary-heavy schedule combines efforts from Sweden to Canada.
Look out for: LoveMEATender
, a Belgian documentary about the role of meat in our lives, on our plates, and the way we separate it from the concept of ‘animals’.
Canberra International Film Festival
October 31-November 11 - Canberra
Canberra will host its 16th year of this major film festival, preparing to begin the almost two-week long program of films from both here and around the globe. Last year, films were screened from 26 countries to 16,000 people: Canberra may be a small city but it sure knows how to throw a big do. There will also be Q&A sessions, workshops and panel discussions.
Look out for: The full program hasn’t been released yet, but while you’re waiting, here’s something fun that happened in Canberra one time.
Iranian Film Festival
October 4-7 - Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane
October 10-14 – ACMI, Melbourne
October 11-14 - ARC Cinema, Canberra
October 18-21 - Dendy Newtown, Sydney
October 25-28 - Mercury Cinemas, Adelaide
The Iranian Film Festival began last year, screening Oscar winner A Separation
on its opening night - this year it visits five cities and brings films hopefully just as big with it. The full program and schedule are yet to be announced but judging from the success of last year, there’s sure to be an exciting glimpse of Iranian culture on screen.
Look out for: Here Without Me
, an adaptation of The Glass Menagerie
, which tells the story of a clash between reality and dreams of a single, factory-working mother and her two children in Tehran.
Italian Film Festival
September 19-October 9 - Palace Cinemas/Kino Cinemas, Melbourne
September 20-October 10 - Palace Cinemas/Chauvel Cinema, Sydney
October 3-21 - Palace Barracks & Centro, Brisbane
October 11-28 - Palace Nova Eastend, Adelaide
October 11-24 - Cinema Paradiso/Luna on SX, Perth
The Lavazza Italian Film Festival celebrates cinema in a haze of coffee, wine, food and music as it whisks through five cities in September and October. Bring your best rolled ‘r’s to a cinema near you to see exactly what la vita italiana is all about in the comfort of your own city. The breadth of film options on display (including shorts, HD screenings, and an exclusive preview of Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love
) will have you yearning for a Vespa and/or a plane ticket.
Look out for: To Rome With Love
. Penélope Cruz. Need we say more?
Jewish Film Festival
November 1-8 - Event Cinemas Bondi, Sydney
November 7-25 - Classic Cinema, Melbourne
Polish Film Festival
October 11-21 - Classic Cinema, Melbourne
October 19-28 - Ritz Cinema, Sydney
October 18-20 - Arc Cinema, Canberra
Japan Cinema Week
September 24-28 - various cinemas, Sydney
Argentine Film Festival
September 13-19 - Hoyts Entertainment Quarter, Sydney
AICE Israeli Film Festival
August 28-September 9 - Palace Cinema Como, Melbourne
August 29-September 5 - Palace Centro, Brisbane
September 4-12 - Cinema Paradiso, Perth
September 5-9 - Palace Nova, Adelaide
Darwin International Film Festival
September 19-26 - Deckchair Cinema, Darwin