Cinéma des Antipodes is a film festival held annually in St Tropez, France, which celebrates Australian and New Zealand films. Assistant festival director Emilie Matyja writes to INSIDEFILM to reveal what is on the menu for 2008:

In ten years, the Festival des Antipodes has greatly evolved in many ways, extending from 3 to 7 days, introducing a short film then a feature film competition, an Antipodes Junior section and an important foray into documentaries, and finally reaching an audience of 3000. Along the way, we have maintained focus on sharing a fascinating kind of cinema and the will to enhance unforgettable encounters between artists, festival goers and professionals.

For this 10th anniversary, we are resolutely forward-looking with the creation of an Antipodian Screenplay Award. We hope the award-winning script will soon turn into a film to be included in nothing less than our feature film competition!

For the 2008 Festival the Best Short Film will receive the Nicolas Baudin – Woodside Valley Foundation Award, presented by a jury of high school students. It is a great opportunity for these pupils to be on the lookout for emerging cinema, while their comments and reactions will surely be of use to the aspiring and inspiring filmmakers. The films selected to compete are part of the Antipodean Junior section, which is attracting an ever-growing audience.

The films harbouring into Saint-Tropez are living proof of the spirit of renewal in Australian and New Zealand Cinema. Most of the feature films in competition are helmed by first-time (or second time) directors: All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane, The Black Balloon, The Bet, Romulus My Father, Three Blind Mice and from New Zealand, Apron Strings.

Our tenth anniversary opening treat will be served by a sneak preview of Gillian Armstrong’s Death Defying Acts bringing together on screen a stunning Catherine Zeta-Jones and a mesmerizing Guy Pearce. The closing night will be graced with laughter thanks to New Zealand Comedy Second Hand Wedding by Paul Murphy.

Lastly, when strolling around the Place des Lices, you won’t resist visiting two eye-opening photographic exhibitions. The first is Julien Camy’s "Roadside" from his trip around New Zealand by bike. The second one is a photographic family story in which David Parker offers his perspective on cinema in the making and his son John Tass-Parker shows an eye for exploring movement and texture.

The festival is held from 13-19 October. For more information check out:

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