If the opening film is anything to go by, this year's Travelling Film Festival is going to be full of moving, amusing and bizarre stories. Fantastic!
The festival kicks off on Thursday February 6 with Warwick Thornton's latest installment, The Darkside, a collection of poignant, sad, funny and absurd ghost tales from across Australia brought to life with some of Australia’s most iconic actors as the storytellers. Honest, matter-of-fact firsthand accounts illuminate a black perspective on the other side. Official web site and trailer can be viewed here: http://www.transmissionfilms.com.au/index.php/darkside
One of the film's stars Shari Sebbens will be at the cinemas in Darwin to kick off the event and hold a Q and A session after the screening. Attendees also have the oportunity to sip crisp chardonnay or a cleansing amber ale to celebrate the festival launch.
This year's line-up features a great range of feature and documentary films, along with some that appear to blend and bend the genres.
Other standouts include The Great Beauty, reportedly the talk of this year's Cannes Film Festival. A lovingly crafted homage to summer in Rome, the film tells the story of a charismatic 65-year-old Jep, a famous journalist and renowned bachelor, living a life of wild parties, extravagant affairs and meetings with all manner of unusual characters. When he discovers that his first lover, now deceased, never truly stopped loving him, his outlook on life and the city he loves is revitalised. Official web site and trailer can be viewed here: http://www.palacefilms.com.au/thegreatbeauty
On the documentary front, Stories We Tell and 20 Feet from Stardom both look fantatic, for different reasons.
Stories We Tell was heralded as one of the films of the 2012 Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. Academy Award nominee Sarah Polley’s film is a deeply moving portrait of a family her many siblings, actor-writer father, and actress mother - dealing with a legacy of secrets and lies, and the elusive nature of truth itself. Official web site and trailer can be viewed here: http://www.palacefilms.com.au/storieswetell
20 Feet and Souting is a shout-out-loud feel-good homage to some of the unsung best in the music business. Sure, all the legends are here - Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder. The focus, however, is on the backup singers - mainly women - who make the tunes really swing. The film follows their history from gospel-church inspiration to ‘60s pop to the present. A 2014 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary. Official web site and trailer can be viewed here: http://twentyfeetfromstardom.com
As a bonus, many of the films screen with a short, offering another reason to immerse yourself in the world of cinema and some of the finest offerings from the past year.
Check out the festival's website to find out about other films on offer and book your tickets: http://www.sff.org.au/public/travelling-film-festival/tff-locations/darwin
See you there!