The drought is over. Down Under Berlin’s 2018 program has arrived and you better be bringing your brolly, because this year it’s raining Aussie and Kiwi Cinema.
The wait is over! We’re delighted to share the motto for the 8th annual Down Under Berlin Film Festival –
LANDSCAPES OF US
This year our festival program will take you on a guided cinematic tour of some of the tastiest Australian and Kiwi scenic landscapes. A feast not just for the eyes, but also the soul. These epic scenes will invite you into the inner landscapes of the stories they represent; the personal, emotional, social, historical and political landscapes of Down Under.
After its run at Venice, Toronto and Sundance, this year we’re opening the festival with the Berlin Premiere of Warwick Thornton’s award-winning Sweet Country (2017). One of the most important Australian films of last year, the film is Thornton’s take on an Australian Western, with 1920’s Northern Territory as its backdrop. Sam Neill stars alongside Hamilton Morris and Bryan Brown in a story of justice itself being put on trial after an aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self-defense.
Adding to our slew of amazing Indigenous filmmaking is Larissa Behrendt’s important documentary After the Apology about the next wave of a “Stolen Generation” as well as the celebrated documentary Black Divaz, a story about an Aboriginal Drag Queen contest, just one example of LGBTIQ content within this year’s program.
2018 has been a big year for women in film. Down Under Berlin is proud to announce that 50% of our program are films directed by women. Highlights include New Zealand feature Waru, directed by eight female Maori filmmakers, and the political satire Terror Nullius, made by female art collective Soda_Jerk.
We’re back again this year with 2018’s edition of the “Battle of the Shorts: AUS vs. NZ”, round 1, and 2, but also for the first time, a guest reel from ‘“Australian Short Films Today”’ - an initiative of the Chris and Francesca Beale Foundation - featuring Academy Award Nominated The Eleven O’Clock, starring Josh Lawson and Damon Herriman.
Addressing timely topics such as the treatment of Indigenous Australians and masculinity, we’re wrapping up the festival with Pete Gleeson’s bold documentary Hotel Coolgardie, which confronts with the depiction of rural Australian life. The film gracefully encapsulates this year’s focus on sociocritical themes in cinema Down Under.
So, whatever your taste, the landscapes of Down Under Berlin 2018 have got something to entertain and challenge you by what Australia and New Zealand lay out on their sleeve: their hearts.
Join us at Moviemento for our biggest year of films yet! We’ve got a whole smorgasbord full. See you at the movies!
Read the rest of the DUB program here.
Keep your eyes peeled for our blogs in the weeks to come which will be spotlighting some of our favourites. Like the DUB Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or subscribe to the newsletter so that you don’t miss a thing.
Eloise Walker is an Australian filmmaker living and working in Berlin. She likes to call herself a Berlinerin, but they traditionally don’t eat Vegemite on toast for breakfast.