Program Announcement 2018

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 –


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.

Sweet Country

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.

“Uncompromising, deliberate, and eerily beautiful, director Warwick Thornton’s rugged Australian Western puts a new spin on an old story.” – J.R. Kinnard, Seattle Times

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.

“Dedicating their film to the incredible courage of all ‘sister girls’ and ‘brother boys’ in Australia, the filmmakers hope it will spark a national conversation about equality, racism and the most marginalised and at-risk Australians in the country – Indigenous gay men and transgender persons.” – Teresa Tan, ABC
Black Divaz © Joseph Mayers

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.


“Waru is an incredible cinematic experience that will leave you wanting to hear many more stories from these eight women.” – The Matinee

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.


“Playing out like a highly-entertaining comedy routine, The Eleven O’Clock is a flat-out riot.” – Kiko Martinez, San Antonio Current
The Eleven O'Clock
Hotel Coolgardie

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.


“One of the most captivating Australian documentaries in recent memory…humorous, absorbing, uneasy and often disturbing.” – Cinema Australia

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.

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