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Film Festivals: from Greek to Japanese

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Programs for the Greek Film Festival and Jewish Film Festival have been announced, along with first tastes from the Japanese Film Festival and Brisbane International Film Festival.
Film Festivals: from Greek to Japanese
Australia's multicultural society produces a wealth of specialist film festivals. Upcoming offerings include a tribute to the Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, a hit comedy from Israel and a director-actor married couple from Japan. For a more eclectic selection, the Brisbane International Film Festival has also announced its opener The Sweeney and closing film. Director Joe Wright’s (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) vision of Tolstoy’s classic tale of obsessive love, Anna Karenina, will close the festival on Saturday 24 November.The adaptation was written by renowned playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard, and Wright has set the story in the empty shell of a 19th Century theatre. Greek Film Festival The 19th annual Greek Film Festival opens in Sydney on 16 October, and Melbourne 17 October with over 30 films on offer including films from the growing ‘Greek Weird Wave.’ The festival will open with screenings of Nisos 2, a comedy with unexpected twists and grotesque situations, sequel to the 2010 festival launch film. Late great filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos will be honoured with a screening of his work Landscape in the Mist, which director Martin Scorsese called ‘A powerful film with startling imagery.’ Angelopoulos died tragically in a road accident earlier this year in Piraeus, Greece. Director, animator, writer and animator Anna Kannava will also be honoured with a combined screening and launch of her book Stefanos of Limassol. According to filmmaker Bill Mousoulis (Director Wild and Precious) Kannava’s work was infused with love and grace, and she said of her work, ‘Suddenly I had fallen in love and this time I knew it was for real. I had discovered filmmaking.’ After a ten-month battle with cancer, Kannava died on May 5 2011 at the age of 51. The festival closes October 4 with a screening of Tony Krawitz’ film Dead Europe, an adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ novel The Slap. Sydney 16 Oct – 4 Nov Palace Norton Street Melbourne 17 Oct – 4 Nov Palace Cinema Como Adelaide 1 – 4 Nov Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas Brisbane 1 – 4 Nov Palace Centro Cinemas Jewish Film Festival The 2012 Jewish Film Festival’s new Director Eddie Tamir has assembled a line-up of 34 features and documentaries from 14 countries, including 24 Australian premieres. Tamir said, ‘I’m delighted to build upon the festival’s proud history by screening films that celebrate the global Jewish experience in all its diversity and rich ethnicity. From drama, to comedy, real-life adventure to key historical events, our Festival has something to cater for all cinematic tastes.’ The program includes The Law in These Parts (Grand Jury Prize Winner at 2012 Sundance Film Festival), Yossi (Winner of Best Narrative Feature at 2012 Tribeca Film Festival) and romantic comedy Dorfman, starring Elliot Gould. The Israeli box office hit The World is Funny, which was nominated for 15 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars) and directed by Shemi Zarhin, will launch the festival in Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney 1 – 18 November Event Cinemas Bondi Junction Melbourne 7 – 25 November Classic Cinema Elsternwick Japanese Film Festival The Japanese Film Festival has announced their theme for the 2012 festival is ‘Totally Sweet,’ in celebration of their sweet 16th year. Four special guests will be in attendance at Sydney and Melbourne screenings. Tamiyo Kusakari will be promoting her latest role in a film about euthanasia, A Terminal Trust. Kusakari began her career as a ballerina and transitioned into acting, winning Best Actress at Japan’s Academy Awards for her debut role in Shall We Dance? Masayuki Suo (who is married to Kusakari) will also be in Sydney as the director of A Terminal Trust. Suo’s film Sumo Do, Sumo don’t, won Best Picture at Japan’s 17th Academy Awards, and his film Shall We Dance? won 13 awards at Japan’s 20th Academy Awards. Miwa Nishikawa will be in Sydney at the screening of her latest film Dreams for Sale. Nishikawa made her debut as a screenwriter and director with Wild Berries in 2003, and her second feature film Sway was shown at the 38th Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Her film Dear Doctor was an official selection and award winner in the 33rd Montreal World Film Festival. Kenji Uchida will be in Melbourne for the screening of his latest film Key of Life. Uchida’s first film A Stranger of Mine won four category awards at the 58th Cannes International Film Festival and his film After School won Best Screenplay at the Japan Academy Awards. Sydney 14 – 25 November Event Cinemas George st Melbourne 29 November – 9 December Hoyts Melbourne Central and ACMI Cinemas Brisbane International Film Festival The opening and closing nights for the Brisbane International Film Festival have been announced, and festival passes have gone on sale. The festival will open on 14 November at Palace Barracks Cinema with The Sweeney, a modern take on 70s TV cop dramas, followed by the opening night party on the Barracks bridge. The festival will close with a screening of Anna Karenina.

The Australian Greek Film Festival 2012 (TV Trailer) from StationaryMovement on Vimeo.


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