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Media Centre

19 10 2010 - Media release

Australian documentaries on the world stage at IDFA and Sheffield

Seven new Australian documentaries have been selected to screen across two key international festivals in November.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) announced that feature documentary Memoirs of a Plague (w/d: Robert Nugent, p: Mitzi Goldman) will have its world premiere in the Reflecting Images: Panorama section. It will also screen in the inaugural Competition for Green Screen Documentary for films that that deal with sustainability. The highly personal film explores the collision between the extraordinary life of the locust and individuals and communities around the world who face locust plagues. The film is eligible for the Award for Best Green Screen Documentary and the Audience Award. Locust Hunting Man was funded via Screen Australia’s Special Documentary Program. Robert Nugent’s debut documentary End of the Rainbow won the IDFA First Appearance Award in 2007.

In other IDFA selections, Umoja: No Men Allowed (w/d/p: Elizabeth Tadic, p: Selene Alcock) will have its international premiere in the Reflecting Images: Panorama section whilst the 3D feature Cane Toads: The Conquest (w/d: Mark Lewis) will screen in the Reflecting Images: Masters section for new works by renowned documentary auteurs. Earlier this year Umoja won the AIDC’sinaugural F4 Award for Outstanding New Documentary Talent. The film tells the story of a group of tribal Samburu women who turn patriarchy on its head when they create a successful women’s only village in Kenya.

IDFA selection follows the announcement that three shorts and a feature have been selected for Sheffield Doc/Fest – the UK’s leading documentary event.

The short Australian documentaries Mind (w/d: Emma Crimmings, p: Michael McMahon, Tony Ayres, Polly Staniford), Mogadishu Dreaming (w/d/p: Lesley Branagan) and The Mystery of Flying Kicks (w/d: Matthew Bate, p: Viron Papadopoulos) will screen alongside 2010 film festival hit The Miscreants of Taliwood (d: George Gittoes, p: George Gittoes, Gabrielle Dalton).

Sheffield Doc/Fest will also feature over 200 speakers including Australia’s David Vadiveloo (Founder/Director, Community Prophets) who will discuss innovative ways of involving communities in production, and filmmaker George Gittoes who will present a masterclass based on his unique approach to documentary making.

“This exciting line-up of new Australian films at two of the world’s top-tier dedicated documentary events features a mix of established filmmakers and emerging talent,” said Liz Stevens, Screen Australia’s Manager Documentary. “It’s great to see these films finding audiences overseas and it typifies the strength and diversity we are currently seeing in the Australian documentary sector.”

Screen Australia’s Investment/Development Manager Documentary Claire Jager will attend IDFA and will later travel to the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers in Dresden, Germany.

Australian line-up at IDFA

(85 min)
Writer/Director: Mark Lewis
Production Company: Radio Pictures
International Sales: Inferno
Synopsis: Filmmaker Mark Lewis follows the unstoppable march of the cane toad across the Australian continent. Presented in 3D.

(75 min)
Writer/Director: Robert Nugent
Producer: Mitzi Goldman
Production Company: Looking Glass Pictures
International Sales: National Geographic Television International
Synopsis: A personal journey into the myth of the locust and a portrait of a war that can never be won.

(31 min)
Writer/Director/Producer: Elizabeth Tadic
Producer: Selene Alcock
Production Company: Film Itch
International Sales: Film Itch
Synopsis: A group of tribal Samburu women turn patriarchy on its head when they create a successful women’s only village in Kenya.

Australian line-up at Sheffield

(26 min)
Writer/Director: Emma Crimmings
Producers: Michael McMahon, Tony Ayres, Polly Staniford
Production Company: Matchbox Pictures
International Sales: Smiley Film Sales
Synopsis: A visually imaginative exploration of the nature of identity. From an early age, award-winning writer Tom Cho thought he was different and knew he didn’t match his Chinese mother’s expectations of a good daughter.

(92 mins)
Director: George Gittoes
Producer: Gabrielle Dalton
Production Company: Gittoes & Dalton Productions
International Sales: SBS Content Sales
Synopsis: Maverick director George Gittoes’ ‘Extreme Tour of Terror Central’ – a totally
surprising, sometimes funny, sometimes terrifying journey into the forbidden zones of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier.

(9 min)
Writer/Director/Producer: Lesley Branagan
International Sales: Lesley Branagan
Synopsis: Ahmed Hagi’s struggle to reconcile memories of his homeland, Somalia, with his adopted country of Australia through his paintings.

(14 min)
Writer/Director: Matthew Bate
Producer: Viron Papadopoulos
Production Company: Closer Productions
International Sales: Closer Productions
Synopsis: Murder, sex, drugs, art and politics… A film exploring the mystery of why sneakers appear on telephone lines around the world.

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