Movie lovers are in for a treat with a never ending tour of international film festivals taking place now and continuing through the Spring. Film festivals such as the ones listed below are a critical link in the chain of global film culture. They encourage great breadth and variety in views, critical thinking on difficult topics, exploring new cultures and creative diversity elevating the moving image and celebrating it in all its guises.
Korean Film Festival: 22 August to 12 September
Celebrating 10 years of screening the very best in Korean cinema Down Under, a great showcase of the hottest films, comedies, animation, documentaries, true stories and dramas from Korea’s thriving film industry have been curated.
Presented by the Korean Cultural Centre Australia, KOFFIA showcases the wonder of Korean culture through film.
WHERE & WHEN:
- Sydney: August 22 – 31 | Dendy Opera Quays
- Canberra: August 22 – 25 | Palace Electric Cinema
- Brisbane: September 5 – 8 | Elizabeth Picture Theatre
- Melbourne: September 5 – 12 | Capitol Theatre
Sydney Latin American Film Festival: 4 to 21 September
“This year the festival focuses on migration and the individuals and communities who are impacted by a wide range of social justice issues. There are many stories in the program that look at the individual experience of these communities, and what it means to live in the world we live in today” said Festival Programmer, Gisselle Gallego.
“Our Festival program travels all over South America with films from Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. With the diversity of countries covered in the program, so too are the stories presented.”
WHERE & WHEN:
- Dendy Opera Quays: 4-11 11 September
- Addison Road Picture House: 10 September
- Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre: 21 September
Italian Film Festival: 17 September to 23 October
The 20th Anniversary of this festival will see celebrity guests in attendance at the world premieres, special presentation and apertivo events including Megan Gale, Tina Arena, Paul Mercurio and Mimmo Calopresti.
WHERE & WHEN:
- Adelaide: 2-23 October | Palace Nova
- Brisbane: 25 September – 17 October | Palace Barracks
- Byron Bay: 26 September-13 October | Palace Cinemas
- Canberra: 24 September – 17 October | Palace Electric
- Hobart: 17-23 October | State Cinema
- Melbourne: 19 September – 17 October
| Astor Theatre, Palace Cinemas, Kino Cinema
- Perth: 2-23 October | Palace Cinema Paradiso
- Sydney: 17 September – 17 October | Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central
Japanese Film Festival: 21 September to 26 November
“The 2019 Classics program is a bone-chilling celebration of Japan’s distinctly unnerving take on the horror genre, from eerie tales of ancient curses across centuries, to a young student’s disturbing descent into the underworld,” said Japanese Film Festival Programmer, Simonne Goran. “Take a deeper look under the surface of these terrifying tales, and viewers will discover a fascinating glimpse into traditional Japanese folklore and the spirit world spanning across many eras,” she said.
The program is led by stories centred on the traditional art of Japanese kabuki theatre – in Nobuo Nakagawa’s final film The Living Koheiji, an unpopular actor haunts his best friend, after a jealous feud leads to his accidental death; and in The Bride from Hades, later adapted into a kabuki play, a man unknowingly falls in love with a recently-deceased courtesan. The Ghost Story of Yotsuya is also an adaptation of the 19th century kabuki masterpiece by Nanboku Tsuruya.
Mere mortals clash with supreme supernatural forces in Black Cat Mansion, about a couple battling against a violent ghostly apparition and a centuries-old curse; and The Adventures of Tobisuke, in which a puppeteer and a young girl must cross a treacherous valley filled with fantastic demons and creatures, as they journey to the base of Japan’s highest mountain.
Rounding out the program is Jigoku (Hell), chronicling a young student’s descent into Hell following a hit-and-run accident. The film sets itself apart for its experimental, shocking and gory final scenes, in which director Nobuo Nakagawa transports viewers to the underworld, and the film’s characters undergo the wrath of Hell for their sins.
In Sydney, the Classics program is complemented by two exhibitions: Japan supernatural (2 Nov 2019 – 8 Mar 2020) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, with over 180 wildly imaginative works by Japanese artists from manga legend Katsushika Hokusai to superstar Takashi Murakami; and RETRO HORROR: Supernatural and the Occult in Postwar Japanese Manga (18 Oct 2019 – 24 Jan 2020) at the Japan Foundation Gallery, showcasing two early horror manga pioneers, Hideshi Hino and Tsunezo Murotani, through original drawings and reproductions of iconic works.
This free Classics program is a satellite event of the annual Japanese Film Festival. The festival’s main program is a ticketed event, which screens at Event Cinemas, George Street in November and offers the best in new releases and contemporary Japanese cinema.
WHERE & WHEN:
- Adelaide: 8-10 November | GU Film House
- Alice Springs: 4-6 October | Alice Springs Cinema (Desert Festival)
- Brisbane: 23-27 October | Event Cinemas Brisbane Myer
- Bunbury: 6 -7 September | Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
- Cairns: 3 November | Event Cinemas Smithfield
- Canberra: 21-22 September | National Film and Sound Archive
- Canberra: 16-20 October | Dendy Canberra Centre
- Coffs Harbour: 15 and 20 September | Jetty Memorial Theatre
- Darwin: 18-19 October | Birch Carrol and Coyle CinemasGold Coast: 24 November | Event Cinemas Robina
- Hobart: 19-21 September | Dechaineux Theatre
- Melbourne: 21 November – 1 December | ACMI – Australian Centre for Moving Image Federation Square, Capitol Theatre, Treasury Theatre
- Melbourne: 25-26 November | Astor Theatre
- Newcastle: 22 and 24 November | Event Tower Cinemas
- Perth: 30 October=3 November | Event Cinemas Innaloo
- Sydney: 2-23 October | Domain Theatre Art Gallery of NSW
- Sydney: 15-25 November | Event Cinemas George Street
- Townsville: 16-17 November | Event Cinemas Townsville City
Greek Film Festival: 8-20 October
For 25 years, the The Delphi Bank 26th Greek Film Festival has presented some of the best Greek cinema to Australian audiences. Prepare to fall in love with stories from and about Greece’s rich and ancient culture and peoples, all over again. This year it opens with the inspirational sports drama 1968 by internationally-renowned Greek filmmaker Tassos Boulmetis.
“We are very excited to open the Festival with this excellent film from one of the country’s very best contemporary cinematic storytellers,” said Festival Chair, Nia Karteris. “With its cast of renowned Greek actors, the film shines crucial light on such a monumental historic event that altered our history forever.”
WHERE & WHEN:
Jewish Film Festival: 23 October to 21 November
The Jewish International Film Festival returns to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra bringing back its history of close to three decades and finds a new home at Ritz Cinema in Randwick. Last year, over 60 films from 23 countries including Israel, Australia, Russia, Romania, France, Germany, Hungary, Austria Ukraine, and the US.
“The 2019 program is jam-packed with extraordinary new Jewish cinema from Israel and the diaspora, with both excellent local productions and acclaimed international stories that will into offer wonderful insight into the unique vibrancy of Jewish culture around the world,” said Eddie Tamir, Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director.
WHERE & WHEN:
Brisbane: 7 – 17 November | New Farm Cinemas
Canberra: 7 – 17 November | Dendy Canberra
– 24 October – 20 November | Classic Cinemas Elsternwick
– 25 October – 20 November | Lido Cinemas Hawthorn
– 7 – 20 November | Cameo Cinemas Belgrave
Perth: 6-17 November | Greater Union Morley
– 23 October – 21 November | Ritz Cinema Randwick
– 2-20 November | Roseville Cinemas
Russian Film Festival: 1 to 21 November
This year marks their 15th Anniversary and earlier this month and is one of the largest, oldest and most respected film feativals outside of Russia. Event Cinemas hosted a prelude with a special screening of Yolki – The Final Countdown, a festive winter comedy following the lives of five separate players and their pursuit of happiness, which screened in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth this August as a part of a monthly film series by The Russian Resurrection Film Festival.
WHERE & WHEN:
- New Zealand | Rialto Cinemas | 16 Nov – 21 Nov
- Brisbane | Event Cinemas Myer Centre | 7 Nov – 14 Nov
- Canberra | Capitol Cinemas Manuka | 13 Nov – 18 Nov
- Melbourne | Classic Cinema Elsternwick | 5 Nov – 18 Nov
- Melbourne | ACMI – Australian Centre for the Moving Image | 9 Nov – 18 Nov
- Perth | Luna Luna Leederville | 15 Nov – 21 Nov
- Sydney | Event Cinemas George Street Sydney | 1 Nov – 11 Nov
- Sydney | Event Cinemas Burwood | 3 Nov – 11 Nov