Aussie midwinter’s tale

Brisbane Fest unspools 'Spagnola'

BRISBANE — Midwinter is film festival season Down Under, where the 10th Brisbane Intl. Film Festival unspooled “La Spagnola” on July 26 for 740 guests at the Greater Union Hoyts Regent.

Vet festival director Anne Demy-Geroe introduced the team behind the Australian-made, Spanish-lingo pic — writer-producer Anna-Maria Monticelli and her husband, director Steve Jacobs, lead thesps Lola Marceli and Alice Ansara. Other guests included Tippi Hedren, in town to present a fundraiser screening of pic and fest’s patron George Miller.

On July 18 the 50th Melbourne Intl. Film Festival got under way with the world premiere of Robert Connelly’s “The Bank” to 2,500 guests at the Regent Theatre.

Incoming artistic director James Hewison, as a tongue-in-cheek homage to himself, before the main pic programmed Toby Mac Donald’s short comedy “Je T’aime John Wayne” about a chain-smoking Francophile.

Guests included “The Bank” stars David Wenham and Sybilla Budd, director Connolly and producer John Maynard; local thesps Rachel Griffiths and Geoffrey Rush; festival guest Morgan Freeman; and local helmers Fred Schepisi, Nadia Tass and David Parker.

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