A sci-fi comedy about Nazis returning from the moon, a drama following a Tassie Tiger hunt and a doco about an Australian sex worker make up some of the Australian projects screening at the upcoming SXSW Festival in the US.
Feature films, docos and shorts have been announced for the prestigious festival held in Austin, Texas in March. This follows the news that six local digital projects were chosen to battle it out at the festival's Awards on March 13.
Psychological drama The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe, will have its US premiere at the festival in the “headliners” section. The film, which grossed more than $1 million at the local box office, was picked up for US distribution from Magnolia Pictures after a positive screening at Toronto in September last year. The distributor is planning on a release through its Ultra-VOD program, which allows cable subscribers to watch the film for about $US10 prior to the cinema release.
Australian-Finnish-German co-production Iron Sky, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival over the weekend, will be shown in the ‘scary, funny, sexy, controversial’ Midnighters section. The trailer can be seen here.
Scarlet Road, the latest documentary by filmmaker Catherine Scott, will also screen at the SXSW festival. The doco, which was broadcast on SBS late last year, follows the work of Rachel Wotton – an Australian sex worker who specialises in people with disabilities.
Shorts to represent the country include Nash Edgerton’s Bear, WA film Perished, and animated shorts The Maker and (also called) The Hunter. Bear, which recently screened at Sundance, is Edgerton’s follow-up to the 2007 multi-award winning short film Spider. The 11-minute short, starring Edgerton, Teresa Palmer and Warwick Thornton, revolves around character Jack, who means well, but sometimes good intentions have horrible consequences.
Perished takes filmmaker Aaron McCann, best known for Henry & Aaron’s 7 Steps To Superstardom, in a different direction. McCann and Stefan Radanovich’s 15-minute short follows a broken man, amidst a zombie outbreak, who seeks refuge in a shed and accidentally locks himself inside. Isolated, alone and low on supplies, he is quickly stripped of all his humanity as he struggles to survive. As the days go by the deteriorated man must rebuild his inner strength to escape, and finally confront his ultimate fear.
Animated short The Hunter, written and directed by Marieka Walsh, is a haunting stop-motion sand animation about a boy who goes missing in the snow-covered wilderness. A hunter undertakes a journey to find the boy – dead or alive. Christopher Kezelos's The Maker is about a strange creature which races against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life.
And in music video circles, Natasha Pincus' incredibly popular Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye) clip will screen at the festival. The short, conceived, directed and produced by Pincus, has recently been raking in more than one million YouTube views per day. The clip can be seen here.
The SXSW Festival will be held between March 9 and March 17, 2012. The full lineup can be seen here.