Down Under Berlin 2016
With the festival motto Life Happens, the festival presented a total of 37 Australian and New Zealand feature and short films as well as documentaries that capture the stories of love and friendship, loss and regret, coming-of-age and finding oneself, and how the choices we make define our lives.
For the entire program, check out the festival calendar below (COMING SOON) or the program brochure here.
The festival opened with a sold out session of Australia's first Indigenous contemporary dance film Spear (2015) by acclaimed choreographer Stephen Page who brings Bangarra Dance Theatre’s outstanding work to the screen.
As for the closing: In keeping with tradition Down Under Berlin, picked an absolute cinematic banger for the big finale and hosted the German premiere of Taika Waititi’s universally acclaimed hit comedy Hunt For the Wilderpeople (2016). In fact, it turned out to be the most successful screening event in Down Under Berlin history with six(!) sold out screening for this superb comedy!
If you love short film Down Under Berlin 2016 had lots in store for you this year. Not only did it screen a short film before - almost all - feature presentations, but it also curated short film programs presenting the best submissions of this year. There were four slots to choose from and each one was a real treat: The Future is Now, Friends and Fools, Hope and Betrayal and Lucky Dip.
Some of the filmmakers who couldn't attend the film festival this year sent special video messages to introduce their films, including director Thomas Hudson (The Last Stupid Thing) whose video message you can watch here.
Audience Award Winners
Winner of the 2016 Audience Award for "Best Film" went to Australian independent film Love Is Now by Jim Lounsbury that combined a tragic romance with breathtakingly beautiful imagery.
Short film winner in 2016 was Australia’s confronting but eytremely well-made The Disappearance of Willie Bingham, by Matthew Richards. Our official prize sponsor of 2016, the Berlin-based tech startup LUUV, provided two of their highly innovative camera stabilizers solidLUUV to the winners in each category.
Sam Eather, producer of ‘Love Is Now’
Interviews and Q&A sessions
A very special component of the festival program was the chance to attend Q&A sessions with some of this year’s filmmakers. A good number of talented individuals from the film industry made their way to Berlin especially for the festival.
In the case of Stuart McBratney, director of Pop-up, the audience enjoyed a very personal skype chat in our festival lounge. There was ample opportunity to stick around for discussions after a screening or mingle with filmmakers and the DUB team at the 2016 Festival Party. Video documentation of Q&A sessions and interviews with filmmaker are now available on our YouTube channel.
Apart from its wonderful audience, Down Under Berlin thanks its new and long year partners for their support and promotion of the festival. Partners and supporters in 2016 were: The Australian Embassy and the New Zealand Embassy, our media and marketing partners Zitty, DIE DRAUSSENWERBER, EXBERLINER, Berliner Fenster, FluxFM, our loyal supporters and advertising customers Adina Apartment Hotels, BierBier, Die.Projektoren, Moviemento Kino, the New Zealand Film Commission, Oma Marnie’s Pies, Tim Tam Shop, Lockwood Berlin, and last – but not least – Audience Awards prize sponsors LUUV.
Festival Calendar 2016