‘Canoes’ an opener

World Brief

Rolf de Heer’s “Ten Canoes,” an Aboriginal-language comedy, will open the Sydney Film Festival June 9 at the State Theater.

Fest artistic director Lynden Barber said he chose the pic because it told “us something most of us have not been aware of about our land and the people who were here before us.”

Screening in Un Certain Regard at Cannes, pic marks the debut for star Jamie Gulpilil, son of Australia’s greatest indigenous actor, David Gulpilil.

Fest program includes a seven-pic Jean-Pierre Melville retrospective and a focus on digital filmmaking. Event closes June 25 with the Oz preem of Jason Reitman’s “Thank You for Smoking.”

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