Aussie/Kiwi film fest 'Irresistable' in Saint Tropez

28th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 27, 2006 (AFP) - A festival of Australian and New Zealand films that takes place every October on the French Riviera is this year to get a jury led by Australian director Bruce Beresford, the organiser said Wednesday.

PARIS, Sept 27, 2006 (AFP) - A festival of Australian and New Zealand films that takes place every October on the French Riviera is this year to get a jury led by Australian director Bruce Beresford, the organiser said Wednesday.

*sidebar1*The transformation of the festival, now in its eighth year, into a competition "is a way of shedding even more light on Australian and New Zealand cinema," said Bernard Bories, the French president of the Cinema des Antipodes festival.

Beresford, the director of 'Driving Miss Daisy' and 'Breaker Morant', was not present for the unveiling of this year's line-up at the Australian embassy in Paris, but he sent a recorded video message hailing the quality of the selection and saying he was proud to head the inaugural jury.

It will open with 'Irresistable', a thriller starring US actress Susan Sarandon and New Zealand-born actor Sam Neill, and directed by Ann Turner.

Other features to be shown include 'Candy', a story about two heroin-addicted lovers trying to kick their habit on the birth of their baby. It stars Heath Ledger, the Australian actor nominated for an Oscar for his turn in 'Brokeback Mountain' and who is soon to be seen as the villain the Joker in the next 'Batman' movie.

Two Australian movies that got their premieres at the Cannes film festival in May are also in the competition: 'Ten Canoes' by Rolf de Heer, which is the first fictional feature filmed entirely in an Aboriginal dialect; and '2:37', a harrowing look at suicide and teenage drama by a 22-year-old director, Murali Thullari.

The competition is rounded out by a New Zealand movie, 'Number 2' and another Australian film, 'The Caterpillar Wish'. In addition, 14 short films are to be shown and judged.

Australian ambassador Penny Wensley admitted that Australian movies appealed to only a "niche market" and were all too often overshadowed by British and US releases.

But she said the 15 or so films her country made each year were characterised by a quality and cultural specificity that "made them deserving to become better known."

New Zealand's ambassador, Sarah Dennis, who also presented the festival, noted that her country's cinema industry was experiencing "the best period in its history" — in no small part thanks to the blockbusters turned out by Kiwi Peter Jackson ('The Lord of the Rings', 'King Kong').

"It's thanks to cinema that our country has shed its image of an isolated land inhabited by sheep, to take on the image of an isolated land inhabited by Hobbits," she joked.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article