It’s been 25 years since Richard Sowada began showcasing independent films in the basement back room of Perth jazz venue, the Greenwich Club, with the hope they would find a place in a conservative cinematic and social environment.
That showcase is now known as the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, a ten-day celebration of local and global films.
The festival today unveiled the line-up for this year’s silver jubilee edition, which includes 26 feature films, 16 full-length documentaries, and over 50 short films and short documentaries from 29 countries.
Speaking on the event’s journey, Sowada said Revelation had developed into “an international screen culture leader”.
“So few, if any, have the richness of program as Rev from live performance, moving image art, commissioning and producing films, our own streaming service and the outstanding films themselves,” he said.
“It’s humbling and greatly rewarding to have such a positive impact on the WA screen sector and wider community.”
As IF previously reported, Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes’ horror slasher Sissy will open the festival on July 7, with fellow SXSW selection Shadow, from Back to Back Theatre, also part of the initial line-up.
Other Australian films set to screen include Platon Theodoris’ The Lonely Spirits Variety Hour, an existential comedy-drama about a verbose intellectual who runs a radio show from his parent’s garage; Constantine Costi’s opera film tribute to Barbara Strozzi, A Delicate Fire; Matthew Victor Pastor’s Pencil to the Jugular, the second film of his pandemic trilogy; and Craig Boreham’s Lonesome, a drama about a young gay man that leaves his rural home town for the big smoke of Sydney.
The program also features no shortage of West Australian talent, with Sarah Legg’s atmospheric drama Cherubhead; Adam Morris’ Albany-shot romance Edward & Isabella; and Tim Barretto’s tale of friendship and family, Bassendream, all set to screen.
Locally created content will be celebrated with the popular Westralia Day at The Backlot on Saturday, July 9 and the Festival’s Industrial Revelations program of panels, discussions, and workshops, which will take place both in-person and online.
Leading the international contingent is Peter Strickland’s deadpan comedy Flux Gourmet, which follows a collective as they navigate power struggles, artistic vendettas, and gastrointestinal disorders at an institute devoted to culinary and alimentary performance.
Bruce LaBruce, a director that Strickland lists as an influence, will offer up Saint-Narcisse, a comedy-drama about a handsome narcissistic young man who discovers the existence of his twin brother.
Cinephiles can also feast on Paul Morrissey’s 1973 midnight/cult cinema classic, Flesh For Frankenstein.
Coming in from the US are Dan Mirvish’s 18 ½, which follows a White House transcriber that is thrust into the Watergate scandal; Christina Kallas’ dramatic ensemble piece and jazz musical Paris is in Harlem; Stephen Karam’s Thanksgiving-set psychological drama The Humans; and George Roy Hill’s 1972 adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s cult novel Slaughterhouse-Five.
Of the documentaries set to feature as part of line-up, Simon Lereng Wilmont’s Sundance award-winning A House Made of Splinters and Daniel Roher’s Navalny lead a slate that also includes Max Good’s The Assassination & Mrs. Paine, Tommy Walker and Ross Hockrow’s Kaepernick & America, Alex Clausen and Ryan A. White’s Raw! Uncut! Video!, Maya Duverdier and Amélie van Elmbt’s Dreaming Walls, Oscar Harding’s A Life on the Farm.
When the Camera Stopped Rolling, by Australian filmmaker Jane Castle, is one of three film and music documentaries in the program joining Toby Amies’ In the Court of the Crimson King, and Rita Baghdadi’s Sirens.
Elsewhere, Neighbours star Georgie Stone’s personal short documentary The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone screens direct from Tribeca with Kate Vinen’s Acts for the Invisible and K. Pontuti’s Vanita in the Different Voices section.
The event will close with a celebration of some of WA’s talented emerging filmmakers with the popular Get Your Shorts On! and the City of Vincent Film Project special event on Sunday, July 17.
Revelation is supported by Screenwest, Lotterywest, Screen Australia and the City of Vincent.
Find the full program here.