Down Under Berlin 2015
In 2015 Down Under Berlin turned 5! #highfive Accordingly, our anniversary edition was held over the course of 5 days, 16-20 September 2015, at Moviemento Kino in Berlin. For an overview of all the Australian and New Zealand goodness that unfolded during the festival, check our program!
2015's theme was Paradise Unknown, offering wide and inspiring options to explore Australia as well as New Zealand and their reputations as paradise in a different way. Stories about ageing, daily survival, hopes, family, travelling and different lifestyles showed how far and sometimes close they are from the definition of paradise. Der Tagesspiegel, one of Berlin’s leading daily papers, described the 2015 festival program as the continuation of a great display of Australian and New Zealand film. A wonderful glimpse under the veil of Australia's and New Zealand heavenly landscapes, and into the multitude of nuances and experiences each country has to offer.
Audience Awards Winners
The two winning films in 2015 were the documentary Once My Mother (2013) by Sophia Turkiewicz which received the Audience Award and short film Stuffed (2013) by Warwick Young. Stuffed was named best film in the The New Talents Showcase category. The film’s protagonist is Peter, a 40 year old amateur taxidermist who lives with his mother. When she dies he does all he can to keep her with him. Shot on location in Dungog this film tells the moving story of a man trapped in time and the lengths he goes to, to hold on to the past. Watch the trailer at prairiedogfilms.net/stuffed
We were honoured to have producer Rod Freedman introduce Once My Mother. In this very personal documentary Sophia Turkiewicz investigates the circumstances that led to her mother abandoning her in an Adelaide orphanage. She learns about her mother’s wartime escape from a Siberian gulag and – now in middle age – examines her troubled relationship with her mother and discovers the story behind the miraculous wartime escape from a Siberian gulag, her subsequent survival against the odds and the truth about an historic betrayal involving Stalin and the Allies. To find out more go to oncemymother.com.au
Messages from Down Under
Given how far away Berlin is from Down Under we often show video messages by our film makers just before we screen their film. That way they get to introduce their own films and say hi to the audience. You can find one such video below. It is an intro by Natalie Cunningham and Ror Akot to the documentary ROR(2013) which we screened at our closing night in 2015.
Festival Calendar 2015