Australian Film Festival Highlights

Press release from Australian Film Festival

The phenomenal twelve day line up of free and ticketed Australian Film greats, new unreleased features and special events kicks off at the second Australian Film Festival. The festival opens on the Wednesday March the 2nd with the Sydney premiere of the Melbourne International Film Festival’s opening night film, The Wedding Party, starring Isabel Lucas, Josh Lawson, Steve Bisley, Rhonda Burchmore and Adam Zwar.

Screenings at Randwick, Coogee and Clovelly Beach showcase the extraordinary depths of Australian filmmaking talent. Highlights include a special FREE family screening of Finding Nemo (G) (Sat, March 5, 8pm) featuring the voices of Eric Bana, Barry Humphries, Geoffrey Rush, Bruce Spence and Bill Hunter, at the Clovelly Beach Cinema by the Sea – a picnic friendly event with live entertainment.

With the art deco Randwick Ritz as the festival HQ, the AFF presents a diverse program of world class film by Australian filmmakers. Major new releases, international festival hits and the best of Australian actors will be seen in a festival dedicated to showcasing Australians in film.

Key Festival Highlights include The Wedding Party, starring Isabel Lucas, Josh Lawson, Steve Bisley, Rhonda Burchmore and Adam Zwar (opening night – 2nd March); highly anticipated Australian release Griff the Invisible with ‘True Blood’ star Ryan Kwanten and Maeve Darody (Tue 7th March). Also premiering in the festival will be feature film A Heartbeat Away starring Isabel Lucas, ‘Underbelly’ star Roy Billing, Colin Friels and William Zappa (closing night feature – Sat 12th March). The festival will also screen Shark thriller The Reef starring Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor and Gyton Grantley (Fri, March 11) as well as Ano Bisiesto (Leap Year) a gritty, the confronting film from Mexico, written and directed by Australian Michael Rowe, that won the Camera D’or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Highlights also include the International festival which hits Jucy and Blame (Toronto International Film Festival) and Machete Maidens Unleashed! (Berlin Film Festival) screen with a great slate of Australian independent features including Needle, Bad Behaviour, Little Sparrows; Passengers and more. The Next Wave Film Centre features seminars and workshops for the next crop of Australian filmmakers and the FutureFilm Scriptwriting Competition challenges filmmakers to present their best 15 minute scripts to win a prize of $1,000.00.And finally, The Australian Short Film Festival which features the best of Australia’s up and coming filmmakers.

The Festival culminates with Randwick City Council and the Australian Film Festival’s Spot Food & Film Festival (Sun, Mar 013, from 1pm – FREE) in the streets surrounding the Ritz Cinema – a film themed family day of food and entertainment. The final events of the AFF kick off with the induction of this year’s Australian Film Walk of Fame legends, Gary Sweet, Sigrid Thornton and the wonderful Jack Thompson (6pm) followed by the an exciting evening of short film at the Australian Short Film Festival, (Randwick Ritz, 7pm) where Australian filmmakers compete for the title of ‘Australia’s Best Short Film,’ selected by an esteemed collection of Aussie filmmaker judges. Ending with a glittering closing night party at the Ritz Cinema bar (9pm).