The Down Under Berlin 2018 Staff Picks list is released! Get the insights into the films our team liked the best, and why.
Learn a bit more about a few of our favourite films from this year, and how they hit a chord with us. Shared on our Facebook page, now you can read all the staff picks in one place and make up your own mind. Which is a good thing too....seeing as the festival starts ON WEDNESDAY 19th! Enjoy!
FILM: Whoever Was Using This Bed
DUB MEMBER: Charmaine Gorman, Co-Director
"Apart from the stunning performances by actors Jean-Marc Barr and Radha Mitchell, what I do love about this short film is the time it takes to reel you in. This film is full of conversation, and real questions about fear and desire. Therefore, it takes you somewhere and you are invested in their characters and their relationship. With the mysterious recurring phone call in the dead of night, each action feeds off the next before the film slaps you in the face and is over. Based on a story by Raymond Carver, director Andrew Kotatko has taken this tale and placed it beautifully on screen to question our own fears and desires."
Screening 21st September, 2018.
DUB MEMBER: Martin Bayer, DUB Photographer
“Love, mistakes, regret, anger, exhaustion, doubts – we all know that. It is the cast’s gripping performances and not the least the sincere and witty dialogues that will lead you through this honest and believable take on a relationship being on the edge of disaster. I am definitely not into watching relationship dramas, but Zelos is told from a male perspective without ridiculing its protagonists – and a proof that there is intelligent life in this genre.”
Screening 22st September, 2018.
DUB MEMBER: Diana Kluge, NZ Programming
“This is definitely my highlight of this years NZ program. WARU means eight in Māori and it's also the name of a boy killed at the hands of a caregiver. With a focus on the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, eight Māori female filmmakers wrote and directed eight short films that seamlessly become one. Each director had a day and a single shot and focus on female characters of the community as diverse as they can be. From desperation, speechlessness, to an enough-is-enough attitude, we follow the path of mourning and awakening showing the full range of female Māori talents behind and in front of the camera. A must see!”
Screening: 21st September, 2018.
FILM: Hotel Coolgardie
DUB MEMBER: Sabrina Wittmann: Board Member / Co-Director
“Pete Gleeson’s Hotel Coolgardie is a jaw-dropping, uncompromising, and yet highly entertaining piece of observatory documentary. The story about two young Finnish backpackers who get stuck as barmaids, aka “fresh meat”, in a remote mining town in rural Australia will often make you laugh in disbelief. Disbelief over a system of “overcome” habits and mind-sets and, even more so, small town behaviour towards outsiders. Even though Hotel Coolgardie is set in this remote area, the entire scenery of lonely characters sitting at the harshly lightened bar, entertained only by the daily dosage of beer and crude jokes, feels strangely familiar. Every outsider, especially a female one, offers an escape to this routine - and is simply “prey” at the same time; for the local men these two young women represent hope for sex and intimacy, while for the local women they are just rivals. And in between, the “prey” itself soon starts to wonder whether it should fight, flee - or surrender.
A film that is not to be missed!”
Screening: 23rd September, 2018
FILM: Symphony on Skis
DUB MEMBER: Auste Serapinaite: Board Member / Co-Director
"This beautiful documentary will take you on a cinematic journey through mountains - and time. In 1985, Gottlieb Braun-Elwert traversed the major glaciers of the Southern Alps in mere 18 hours and called this route “Symphony on Skis”. 30 years later, we get to relive the symphony on the big screen together with his daughters who celebrate the life of their late father by accomplishing the same adventurous journey in 7 days.
Director Carla Braun-Elwert masterfully tells the story by interweaving archival photographs and footage of her father’s pilgrimage with stunning modern images of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The experiences of her father echo through the fearless contemporary team of skiers, swooshing down the breathtaking slopes. A reflective journey inwards gets challenged by various outward obstacles – from adverse weather conditions to heavy backpacks and broken gear, which is met with a large dose of humour. A loving homage and truly a traverse of a lifetime. You’re going to love this film!"
Screening: 22nd September, 2018
FILM: After the Apology
DUB MEMBER: May Drewes, Press
“ After the Apology is a landmark documentary that explores the continued practice of child removal in Australia and the response to it within Indigenous communities. It shocks many people to learn that the number of Aboriginal children being removed today by Australian welfare agencies is still high, in fact much higher than during the time of the Stolen Generations. In this documentary, we get to know four grandmothers that are fighting back. It is heart-wrenching to hear their individual stories but even more impressive to witness them not only bringing their grandchildren back home but also taking on the system and changing it. In the hope of reuniting with their grandchildren, these women started a national movement to place extended families as a key solution to the rising number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care; a solution that is much more beneficial for the affected families and children. This is a topic that still needs a lot more coverage and cannot be talked about enough – a must-see documentary!”
Screening 23rd September 2018
FILM: Terror Nullius
DUB MEMBER: Rosie Condon / Social Media
“‘Terror Nullius’ - a political satire, an installation piece, historical documentary, video art project, or as The Guardian described, a LSD-infused YouTube compilation video?! Either way, you need to see it! The filmmakers unique approach involves taking one form of media and mixing it with another, to create new meaning and messages. The outcome in ‘Terror Nullius’ are scenes you’d never have imagined, such as asylum seekers being greeted by Russell Crowe's character from ‘Romper Stomper’. This approach confronts the audience with provocative topics, as well as humorous and random mash-ups. Explosive, bold, entertaining, artistic, “un-Australian”, fearless and fun...there are so many ways to describe this 55-minutes of media. Or as the filmmakers say, it’s “an un-writing of Australian national mythology”. You’ll just have to see it for yourself to figure it out! And, when else will you see Pauline Hanson in a Mad Max gang... ”
Screening: Saturday 22 September 2018.
That's it, folks. The festival starts very soon, so get your tickets now!
We'll see you at the movies!
- Your DUB team 🙂