Korean, Russian, Latin, Greek, Italian & Jewish movie lover? International Film Festival season starts now!

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.

Festival Program here

WHERE & WHEN:

 


Sydney Latin American Film Festival: 4 to 21  September

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A highlight of this year’s program is Juan Caceres’ debut feature Perro Bomba (Chile). The film takes aim at the racism affecting Chile’s working class and immigrants’ who are suffering from laws born in the time of a xenophobic dictator Augusto Pinochet. These laws remain today and affect more than half a million immigrants. In the film, a Haitian immigrant is lynched by the media, disowned and displaced after taking a swing at a taunting construction foreman. Juan Caceres will be a guest at the festival and conduct a Q&A after the screening of his film.

“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.

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Goalkeeper / Muralla (Bolivia) is a film that poses the question – would you commit a crime to save your child? Jorge, a former world-famous goalkeeper makes a devilish pact and enters the world of human trafficking in a desperate attempt to save his ill son.

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.”

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In a cinematic adventure not to be missed, Mantis Nest / Nido de Mantis (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico) transports the audience to 1994 Cuba, where tensions are high amidst hectic migratory disagreements with the U.S. In the village of Siboney, a young woman, Sugar, is convicted of murder. As she sets out to prove her innocence, she weaves a stormy tale of love, jealousy and betrayal that goes back decades.

Festival Program here

WHERE & WHEN:

 


Italian Film Festival: 17 September to 23 October

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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.

Festival Program here

WHERE & WHEN:

 


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.

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The Bride from Hades

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.

Black Cat Mansion Still 1_edited
Black Cat Mansion

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.

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Jigoku

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.

Festival Program here

WHERE & WHEN:

 

 


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.

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Starring acclaimed Greek actor Ieroklis Michaelidis (A Touch of Spice), the docudrama revisits the legendary victory of the emergent Greek basketball team AEK in the European Cup against the seemingly undefeatable Czechoslovakian team – Greece’s first ever win in history. The landmark event on April 4, 1968 smashed attendance records with over 100,000 spectators flooding the marble Panathenaic Stadium.

“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.”

1968_STILLS
Focusing on the personal stories of real people who were involved in this unique sporting achievement, the film paints a vivid picture of 1960s Greece to the backdrop of political upheaval around the globe – from the mounting post-war rivalry between European nations, to the murder of Dr Martin Luther King and the raging Vietnam War.

 

WHERE & WHEN:

 


Jewish Film Festival: 23 October to 21 November

#15 by Iris Nesher
Iris Nesher

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.

#12 by Michal Fattal
Michal Fattal

“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 NovemberNew Farm Cinemas
Canberra:  7 – 17 November | Dendy Canberra
Melbourne: 
– 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
Sydney:
– 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.

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WHERE & WHEN:

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