By – the DUB team. The Down Under Berlin team has come together again this year, not only to bring you a fabulous five day festival of films from down under but to let you know their favourites!
DUB staff has thought hard about the films in this year’s program that struck a chord with them and why. We want to share with you all our film fav’es, so can see them too.
Please enjoy our STAFF PICKS 2017!
DUB MEMBER: Auste Serapinaite – Guest Management
“Watching Possum I couldn’t help but remember an episode from my own childhood, when I wanted to swap my annoying little brother for a kitten (no worries, it didn’t happen). In Dave Whitehead’s film, instead of a kitten there’s a possum, and instead of swapping… well, something much more epic is going on.
Fear, bravery, thirst for adventure, brotherly love, and oh-so-much mocking. Throw in the cutest outfit ever (hint: a balaclava and red rain boots)… and it’s a must-watch for everyone who has a sibling or who was a child!”
DUB MEMBER: Charmaine Gorman – Co-Director, Content Manager
“Horror can be a hard genre to get right. A horror short film, even harder. Christian Rivers gives us 15 minutes of awesome horror mystery in Feeder. A musician who’s lost his inspiration unexpectedly finds it, but only by offering a sacrifice to a beast beneath the floorboards of his new home. This film is crawling with tension and doesn’t show too much of that which is lurking beneath the floors, so the imagination of the audience is able to get the better of them. This kind of horror film, one that’s not all a bloody mess and severed heads, is a more sophisticated journey into this neighbourhood you won’t want to ever move into…..and yes there’s a little bit of blood too.”
FILM: PECKING ORDER – on Friday 15 Sept 2017, 19.30h
DUB MEMBER: Diana Kluge – NZ Programming
“I am not a chicken fan, and poultry pageantry keeps me as excited as a hot water bottle in summer. But Slavko Martinov’s heartwarming documentary changed my perception, and believe me it will change yours. Feathers fly high among the members of Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club during their preparation to the 2015 National Poultry Show. While Doug, the determined Club President, faces an internal intrigue to shove him off the throne, other members get ready for the big day sharing their own philosophy and tricks in front of the camera. Soon it’s clear that this isn’t just an ordinary hobby, it’s an obsession and a way of life, but foremost, it’s a highly entertaining slice of NZ society at its best.“
DUB MEMBER: Barbara Lüders – Festival Assistant
“This film is a visual and sound explosion. It takes you in the world of a little boy, his view and impressions of the adults, his fears, and hopes. By Rex Kane-Hart, it’s poetic, artistically, experimentally and reminds of the films from Peter Greenaway. This is definitely my favourite short film at the festival.”
FILM: SPOOKERS – Closing film! on Sunday 17 Sept 2017, 20.15h
DUB MEMBER: Frances Hill – Founder, Co-Director
“Zombie brides, creepy clowns, chainsaw-wielding freaks, plus lots and lots of blood. This is the stuff of nightmares. But for the crew at Spookers in New Zealand, this is all in a day’s work. Florian Habicht’s documentary almost scared me out of my seat, the make-up and costumes at Spookers are amazing! And it looks like a lot of fun scaring the pants off willing customers each night, although I don’t know if I’d want to face so many fears in one night!
But I loved getting to know the people behind the blood and gore and fabulous dance moves, and hearing their stories. Spookers is a beautiful portrait of a loving and caring family of freaks that creates one of the most popular attractions in New Zealand.”
DUB MEMBER: Phil Baudert – Festival Assistant
“So funny! Set within the ordinary beauty of small-town Australia and Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, The Cycle looks beyond our, often, manic obsession with sports as a metaphor for recognition and success. But what about really taking responsibility for your own life and your personal quest for freedom? Michael Shanahan in The Cycle gives a hilarious performance as Jimmy Masterman, unable to think, change or put up with his humble existence instead compensating as a frenzied wannabe elite cyclist – or better still super hero table tennis player? Self-ironic insight into (not only) Aussie everyday life and mindsets; Jess Newman has made a nicely produced and good fun to watch!”
FILM: HOUNDS OF LOVE – on Friday 16 Sept, 2017 20.30h
DUB MEMBER: Sabrina Wittmann – Co-Director, Festival Manager
“Hounds of Love is one of the most gripping films I’ve ever seen. I literally sat down and didn’t move before the film had ended. It was as if the chains in the film (yes, there will be chains) reached out to me and bound me to watch all the horror the same way as teenager Vicky has to observe every move of her abductors in order to survive. The stunning performances in this psychological thriller – especially by young talent Ashleigh Cummings (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) – will still haunt you days after. Considering that Hounds of Love is the first feature film by director Ben Young I can’t wait to see his next film.”
DUB MEMBER: Liz Babidge – Press Coordinator
“’The Aquarium’ is my favourite short film of the festival. What starts with a perfectly normal and innocent suburban situation ends after a journey that is anything but innocent. The interplay between child and adult power to take advantage of a situation is superbly portrayed as schoolgirl Penny sets her sights on the school visit to the aquarium. Director Jacobie Gray and cast achieve a beautifully shot and highly professional short film around a harrowing subject matter.”
DUB MEMBER: Maria Linsel – Festival Assistant
“When your ultimate goal as a 17-year-old is to join the local 40+ Women’s Bowling Troupe, you can be sure there is not much else to do in (what filmmaker Andrew Shanks and Sara West call), your ‘dip-shit town’.
In the middle of nowhere, the place where dreams are made and quickly destroyed, the colourful and shining bowling alley becomes Joey’s and Scooter’s safe harbour. To me, this is one of those quirky and strangely funny movies, yet sensitive and heart-warming, that leaves you with a smile on your face. And for all of those audience members who are not into the strange kind of humor and quickly end up asking themselves: and why exactly is that funny now? Watch it for the colours!”
FILM: BARBECUE – on Sunday 17 Sept 1.15pm
DUB MEMBER: Martin Bayer – DUB Photographer
“For some, “Barbie” does not refer to a long-legged doll, but is rather the meat and potatoes of every summer season. But let us get to the meat of the matter before I feast on even more cheap puns: “Barbecue” mouth-wateringly examines the global traditions that bring people together around a hearth. It is not only an interesting documentary on the different methods to cook meat over fire around the world, but also an insight into cultural differences and similarities. Matthew Salleh and Rose Tucker made an intriguing memorial to those who grill. But be prepared to either get very hungry after watching “Barbecue” or become a staunch vegan: one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”