It has begun! Last night was the opening night of Down Under Berlin 2016 and we kicked off in true down under fashion.
Opening night Down Under Berlin 2016. The headlining film Spear had a waiting list, there was a last minute second screening to deal with the demand in tickets for this “stand-out feature”, and a bucket load of whiskey and ginger ale from Jameson’s Irish Whiskey for our audience.
Guests of all nationalities were there, lots of Aussies naturally, coming to get their Aussie film fix, but also art film lovers coming to see this particular film and its beauty on screen.
Introduced by Phoebe Brown from the Australian Embassy Berlin, the film got underway in Kino 1 just as the rest of the crowd were filling into Kino 3 for the second screening. Naturally, everyone at DUB was pretty happy to open another cinema, it shows the demand and support that has grown over the last six years of this festival and we only want to give back to DUB supporters in the best way we know how, by giving you good films. “Powerful films”, from the mouth of Keith Brown, supportive husband of Phoebe, and the only man brave enough to wear a suit in the heat of the Moviemento cinema. You go, Keith!
So, what did the audience think about the film?
Ina Hadzhiolova, a Bulgarian living in Berlin for the past couple of years says, that screening Spear was a bold choice to open the festival. And the crowd seems to agree. Australian video editor Greg Norton, who has been here for the last seven years thought the film was “visually beautiful, and confronting” and loved the fact that even without much dialogue, the film brought up issues of politics and mythology, all in one piece.
DUB founder, Frances Hill, was very happy with the turn out, and hopes that people talk more about this film festival. She also hopes that, “the audiences are inspired to show their support for Australian and New Zealand culture, outside the festival, in Berlin and the rest of Germany.”
As for the rest of the festival? Many of the audience members last night were so excited by the film, and the general feeling of the evening, that they have plans to come back and see more in the next 4 days. Stephan Bernais is a German who lived in Australia for 14 years and was a regular audience member of the German Film Festival in Melbourne. Now, back in Berlin, the tables have turned and he and his Australian partner Claire are focusing on Aussie film.
I’d suggest for anyone out there to book their tickets NOW for the rest of the screenings on the program, as you may have to fight Stephan for the last few seats.
See you at the movies!
Charmaine Gorman is an Australian actress and writer living in Berlin with her family. As a content writer and editor, she works for many clients around the world, and along with her husband, is the founder and content manager of the online travel guide My Guide Berlin.