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30 04 2010 - Media release

Australian film The Tree selected to close Cannes

The Australian/French co-production The Tree has been chosen as the closing night film at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival. The Tree will have its World Premiere at Cannes on Sunday, 23 May 2010. 

The Tree is produced by Sue Taylor from Taylor Media in Perth and Yael Fogiel from Les Films Du Poisson, and stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas and Aden Young. It is directed by French filmmaker Julie Bertuccelli, whose debut feature won the Grand Prize, International Critics’ Week, at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The film is an adaptation of the novel Our Father Who Art in the Tree and explores the capacity of imagination as a means to survive and the unstoppable power of life asserting itself over sadness.

“The selection of The Tree in a festival as prestigious as Cannes reflects the talent of the Australian film industry and showcases the co-production opportunities that partnering with Australia offers,” said Ruth Harley, Screen Australia’s Chief Executive. “We congratulate the filmmakers on this wonderful achievement of being chosen to screen as the Cannes closing night film.”

Nineteen other Australian films will also be on show at this year’s Cannes, with two shorts in Official Selection and 17 feature films screening in the market.

Beneath Hill 60 (d: Jeremy Sims, w: David Roach, p: Bill Leimbach) and Animal Kingdom (w/d: David Michôd, p: Liz Watts) will both have market premiere screenings at Cannes. Red Hill (w/d/p: Patrick Hughes, p: Al Clark) will also screen at Cannes following its recent success at the Berlin Film Festival. Details of all 17 Australian films screening at the market will be available on the Screen Australia website on the day the festival commences.

The short film Muscles (w/d: Edward Housden, p: Nick Sherry) has been selected to screen in Official Competition at Cannes. Muscles follows Richard’s sister Millie, who wants to be a bodybuilder, and what happens when she is a better boy than he is. Muscles is one of only nine films selected for this category.

The short film Deeper than Yesterday (w/d: Ariel Kleiman, p: Benjamin Gilovitz, Sarah Cyngler, Anna Kojevnikov) will premiere as part of Cannes Critics’ Week. The film explores the world of Oleg who, after three months submerged underwater, fears that losing perspective may mean losing himself. Ariel Kleiman was recently awarded an Honourable Mention in Short Filmmaking at Sundance. Deeper than Yesterday is the first Australian film in four years to screen in Critics’ Week.

Australian writer/director Ben Hackworth has been chosen to attend the 10th anniversary of Cannes La Résidence and will have an extract of his feature script The Ruins of Love read by actors for the purposes of financing the film. The film is set in a dilapidated tropical estate and tells the story of a fading beauty who gathers her family together to celebrate the memory of her beloved dead husband, drawing them into a high-stakes game of seduction. It is being produced by Lizzette Atkins. Ben is a former participant of La Résidence.

More than 260 Australians are expected to attend Cannes in 2010. Screen Australia will host co-production events with Scotland, Ireland and New Zealand, Canada and France during the festival. The France/Australia event will include a two-and-a-half hour case study on The Tree. Screen Australia will also host a number of networking business-focused events during the festival.

The Cannes Film Festival takes place 12–23 May 2010 in France.

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