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Media Centre

29 07 2016 - Media release

Screen Australia congratulates the three Australian feature films selected for Venice

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Boys in the Trees

Screen Australia is today celebrating the three feature films that have been selected to appear at the Venice Film Festival and at Venice Days. Hacksaw Ridge, Boys in the Trees and Hounds of Love were all announced overnight as part of the selection for the festival that begins on August 31.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “We are thrilled for the three films selected for Venice and Venice Days and offer our congratulations to their teams. Our cohort includes a big budget feature, a return to feature filmmaking from Mushroom Pictures and Ben Young’s debut – it’s a great showcase of Australian talent and we know these films will strike a chord with critics and audiences.”

Shot at Fox Studios and on location at a property at Bringelly in Western Sydney, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge will be shown out of competition. Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss who saved 75 men without firing a gun in Okinawa during WWII and is the only conscientious objector to ever win the US Medal of Honour.

Joining Hacksaw Ridge is Mushroom Pictures’ Boys in the Trees, which will be shown in the Orizzonti section of the festival. Writer/director Nicholas Verso’s film follows estranged teens Corey and Jonah who find themselves walking home together on Halloween in 1997. It’s the last night of high school, and the boys embark on a surreal journey through their memories, dreams and fears. Boys in the Trees received development and production support from Screen Australia.

Hounds of Love will make its world premiere in the official competition of Venice Days, an independent event that is modelled on the ‘Directors’ Fortnight’ at the Cannes Film Festival. A dramatic thriller set in Perth in the 1980s, Hounds of Love marks the feature film debut from director Ben Young and received production support from Screen Australia. The film is one of eleven titles competing for the Venice Days Award, a cash prize of €20,000 to put towards international promotion.

“I’m so proud to be selected in Venice. As one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals in the world it’s a real honour. I’m so humbled at the generosity of all cast and crew for taking a punt on this small film and a first time director and thrilled they are being granted an international stage as a result of their involvement,” Young said.

The news of the inclusion of the films at the Venice Film Festival and Venice Days follows the announcement that Lion will have its gala world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Directed by Garth Davies and produced by Angie Fielder, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, the film stars Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel and received production support from Screen Australia.

The Venice Film Festival and Venice Days are from August 31 to September 10 and TIFF runs from September 8-18.

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