Edinburgh accepts three Aussie films

By Simon de Bruyn

Three Australian features have been accepted into the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June.

Jonathan Auf Der Heide’s feature debut Van Diemen’s Land will have its international premiere at the festival, fresh off its world premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in February (not to mention screenings of the truncated version at the Melbourne International Film Festival).

Set in 1822, Van Diemen’s Land tells the story of the convicts that escaped Sarah Island, fled through the wilderness, and turned to cannibalism until Alexander Pearce was the only one left alive.

The feature was extended from the short film Hell’s Gates which won three awards at the 2007 Victorian College of the Arts Grad Show, and which screened at MIFF.

Sarah Watt’s new film My Year Without Sex will also have its international premiere at EIFF, also following its Adelaide premiere, while Mary and Max will screen in Edinburgh after screening at the prestigious animation festival in Annecy earlier that month.

Mary and Max has also screened in Sundance, where it was the opening night film, and Berlin. In addition to the festival screenings, Mary and Max producer Melanie Coombs has been invited to join the inaugural short film jury in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival will take place June 17 to 28, 2009.