Melbourne Fest Celebrates Curiosity, Oz Creativity

North Korea, Loach, polemics also feature

HONG KONG — J.C. Chandor’s almost dialog-free Robert Redford-starrer “All Is Lost” (pictured) and Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited” will bookend a Melbourne Int’l Film Fest that includes a section of North Korea-themed movies and the world premiere of “Tim Winton’s The Turning.”

“Turning” is an omnibus film which sees the likes of Mia Wasikowska and Cate Blanchett turn their hand to directing. They are among 17 Oz names who, under the guidance of “Balibo” director Robert Connolly, each helm one chapter of Tim Winton’s best-selling book about the unexpected turning points in ordinary people’s lives. The pic’s other directors include Warwick Thornton, Tony Ayres and Justin Kurzel.

The festival unspools during the Australian winter (July 25 – Aug 11) and includes 310 films organized across 17 program strands.

The North Korean curiosity includes recent East-West co-production “Comrade Kim Goes Flying” and “Aim High In Creation,” in which Oz helmer Anna Broinowski attempts to make a movie according to rules of the manifesto drawn up by the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The segment also showcases older titles from the DPRK, including 1987 melodrama “A Broad Bellflower” and 1986 wire-fu epic “Hong Kil Dong.”

Oz titles naturally get a big run out at the festival. They include “These Final Hours,” the feature debut of writer-director Zak Hilditch that represents a Down Under take on the apocalypse subgenre; Lynn-Maree Milburn’s documentary “In Bob We Trust,” which probes controversial Catholic provocateur Father Bob; Ivan Sen’s Hugo Weaving- and Ryan Kwanten-starring thriller “Mystery Road;” and Kim Mordaunt’s “The Rocket,” a Laos-set drama that grabbed a trio of prizes at the Tribeca festival in late April.

Brit provocateur Ken Loach will present his feature-length documentary “The Spirit of ’45,” examining the pivotal post-WWII era in British history.

In 2009 Loach pulled his feature “Looking for Eric” from the Melbourne fest, saying he could not support an event that had accepted funding from the state of Israel.

More Film

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    LGBTQ Groups Backing SAG-AFTRA in Member Privacy Fight Against IMDb

    SAG-AFTRA has announced that a coalition of national LGBTQ groups is backing the union in its fight for member privacy against IMDb. The groups include the National LGBTQ Task Force, the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group; GLAAD; the Transgender Law Center; the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; Transcend Legal, Inc.; and Equality Federation. [...]

  • Myst Computer Game

    'Myst' Film and TV Rights Sell to Village Roadshow

    “Myst,” the influential video game that helped usher in the CD-ROM era, may inspire an ambitious multi-platform film and television universe. Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, the co-producer and co-financier of the “Matrix” and “Sherlock Holmes” franchises, has acquired the rights to the first-person graphic adventure. For those born post-90s, “Myst” was wildly popular and hailed [...]

  • ‘Half-Sister’ Director Damjan Kozole on Compassion,

    ‘Half-Sister’ Director Damjan Kozole on Compassion, Learning From the Past

    Two estranged half-siblings from a small coastal town in Slovenia spend the better part of their young lives ignoring each other’s existence. But when circumstances force them to move into the same cramped apartment, they have no choice but to come to terms with the past that binds them, while trying to decide how to [...]

  • The Traitor

    MMC Studios, One of Germany's Biggest Production Facilities, Changes Hands

    Germany’s MMC Studios, which has hosted such recent international productions as Joseph Gordon-Levitt thriller “7500” and Marco Bellocchio’s Cannes competition film “The Traitor,” is changing hands. Frankfurt-based investment company Novum Capital has acquired the facility in Cologne, one of Germany’s biggest film and TV studios, from Luxembourg private equity fund Lenbach Equity Opportunities I. The [...]

  • Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' Earns

    Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' Kicks Off Tuesday With Solid $3.5 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Annabelle Comes Home” collected a strong $3.5 million in Tuesday night previews. The supernatural thriller is expected to earn $30 million over its first five days in theaters. “Annabelle Comes Home” is the third “Annabelle” movie and seventh entry in the Conjuring franchise. Preview ticket sales are in line with [...]

  • Naomi Watts Thriller 'The Wolf Hour'

    Naomi Watts Thriller 'The Wolf Hour' Picked Up for U.S. by Brainstorm Media

    “The Wolf Hour,” a psychological thriller starring Naomi Watts and Jennifer Ehle, has been picked up for North America by Brainstorm Media. HanWay Films has also closed sales for a host of European and Asian territories. Directed by Alistair Banks Griffin, “The Wolf Hour” features Oscar-nominated Watts as June, a former countercultural celebrity who lives [...]

  • A Star Is Born

    'A Star Is Born' Soundtrack Surpasses Global Sales of 6 Million

    Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s onscreen chemistry continues to be felt on the official soundtrack to “A Star is Born,” which just surpassed 6 million albums sold globally and has been certified double platinum in the U.S. Released by Interscope Records in 2018, the album debuted atop the charts and remains the highest-selling album of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content