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Ten cinematic gems screened to sold out theatres as part of the Sydney Film Festival are being showcased, including a short film from an Otford director.
Anya Beyersdorf’s How The Light Gets In stands alongside a mix of local and international award-winning films as part of The Travelling Film Festival.
The roadshow – which includes eight features, two documentaries and two shorts – runs from Friday July 21 to Monday July 24 at Greater Union Cinemas in Wollongong.
Beyersdorf’s 15 minute movie follows a single mother living with her daughters on the fringe of society who wakes in the night with a unique problem.
The film was made possible thanks to a $50,000 Lexus Short Film Fellowship grant, the largest cash prize for short film in Australia. She was one of four winners chosen from hundreds.
Some of the extras may look familiar as Beyersdorf chose to shoot it in Helensburgh and recruited many locals for help. It will be screened with the contrasting Australian comedy Ali’s Wedding on opening night.
“Opportunities like this are so precious and rare, not to mention critical for developing the emerging screen sector, and I feel honoured to have been granted this experience,” Ms Beyersdorf previously told the Mercury.
Other highlights of the festival include a Swiss-French stop motion family animation, My Life as a Zucchini; a moving story of a reindeer-herding Sámi girl who severs ties with her family and her culture, Sami Blood; and the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, narrated by Samuel L Jackson.
With 288 films showing as part of the main event, choosing the best to pack in a suitcase took a couple of weeks for festival manager Karina Libbey.
“I try and do a mini-snap shot of the [Sydney Film Festival] as the program. So I’ve got films that competed in the official competition at the festival; we’ve got award winners; and a big mix of something that’s light-hearted, something a bit more serious, documentaries, and making sure there’s Australian content as well,” Ms Libbey said.
“[I try] to make sure there is something for everyone in a 10 film program.”
The Travelling Film Festival, Greater Union Cinemas, Burelli Street in Wollongong, July 21 to 24.
Various tickets available including 5-film or 10-film pass. For more information visit: www.dff.org.au/wollongong
FILM FEST PROGRAM:
Friday July 21
Ali’s Wedding - Ali's arranged marriage is looming, but he loves someone else. What's a Muslim cleric's son to do? This Australian comedy won the Foxtel Movies Audience Award at Sydney Film Festival.
Screens with short How The Light Gets In.
Saturday 22 July
My Life as a Zucchini - An Oscar-nominated Swiss-French stop-motion family animation by Claude Barras that’s realistic and life affirming, dealing with real issues in a way that doesn’t patronise or traumatise its audience.
Pop Aye - A downtrodden architect and his long-lost elephant take a road trip across Thailand to find their childhood home in this offbeat and very funny Sundance screenwriting award-winner.
Screens with short Finding Maawirrangga
Sami Blood - The moving story of a reindeer-herding Sámi girl who severs ties with her family and her culture. An award-winner and hit at the Toronto, Sundance and Venice Film Festivals.
Blue – An invigorating documentary by Australian filmmaker Karina Holden. Dedicated to creating awareness and change, the film is a beautifully crafted wake up call to the state of the earth's oceans.
Fun Mom Dinner - Toni Collette and Molly Shannon share an intoxicated wild night out full of wine and sex-talk in this hilarious, bawdy feature debut by Tropfest winner Alethea Jones.
Sunday 23 July
The Teacher - Zuzana Maurery gives an award-winning performance as an unscrupulous school teacher in this crowd-pleasing dark comedy set in Communist era Czechoslovakia.
I Am Not Your Negro - Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerising Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.
The Other Side of Hope – Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlinale, Aki Kaurismäki's new film is a heart-warming, funny, melancholic tale of the friendship between a Syrian refugee and a restaurant-owner.
Closing Night: Monday 24 July
Madame - Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel, Rossy de Palma and Michael Smiley star in this romantic comedy about an unexpected love affair that starts at dinner and spreads to the Paris streets. World premiere at Sydney Film Festival.