Six Australian projects selected for Sundance

PrintSix Australian projects have been invited to screen at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in 2015.

South Australian Closer Productions’ Sam Klemke’s Time Machine will have its world premiere in the New Frontier Film section and Oscar Raby’s Assent will screen in the New Frontier Installations section. Two short films, Kitty Green’s The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul and Tim Marshall’s Followers, will premiere to the world in the Sundance Shorts Competition.

Previously announced feature films, Kim Farrant’s Strangerland (Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Hugo Weaving) and Ariel Kleiman’s Partisan (Vincent Cassel) will screen in competition in the World Cinema Dramatic program.

“It is a great honour to have six of our skilful filmmakers recognised by the leading indie film festival in the world,” says Screen Australia CEO, Graeme Mason. “Having their work premiere at such a highly competitive festival is a fantastic opportunity for these filmmakers to showcase their talent.”

“It is particularly special to have such an eclectic range of Australian projects invited to the festival, from shorts to feature films, to feature and immersive documentaries – this demonstrates the breadth of remarkable projects Australia produces.”

Sam Klemke’s Time Machine is about an obsessive filmmaker, Sam Klemke, who in 1977, aged 17, set out to record himself every year until his death. Sam filmed and narrated 50 years of his life, creating a strange and intimate portrait of what it means to be human. The film was written and directed by Matthew Bate, previously invited to Sundance Film Festival for his feature documentary Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, and produced by Rebecca Summerton.

Award-winning Assent is an immersive documentary using virtual reality technology to put the user in the footsteps of director Oscar Raby’s father, who in 1973, was a 22-year-old army officer stationed in the north of Chile, on the day when the Caravan of Death came to his regiment. The film screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and won the Audience Cross-Platform Award at Sheffield International Documentary Festival this year. The project was written, directed and produced by Oscar Raby.

The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul comes from the filmmakers of award-winning documentary Ukraine is Not a Brothel. The short film was written and directed by Kitty Green and produced by Kitty Green, Philippa Campey and Michael Latham. The film, set in divided and war-torn Ukraine, tells the story of little girls adorned in pink sequins auditioning to play the role of gold medal–winning figure skater Oksana Baiul – whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.

The Australian/UK dark-comedy drama, Followers, is about an elderly woman who sees a vision of Jesus by way of a young African man at her swimming class, and befriends him, believing God has sent him to free her from the loneliness. The short film was written and directed by Tim Marshall and produced by Christina Radburn and Grant Vidgen. Marshall partly funded the film with the money he received from the Iris Prize Festival in the UK for his winning short, Gorilla.

Screen Australia supported Partisan, Strangerland, Sam Klemke’s Time Machine and The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul through development and or production funding. The Australian contingent will also be represented by Margot Robbie in Z for Zachariah, Guy Pearce in Results, Ben Mendelsohn in Mississippi Grind and also in Slow West with Kodi Smit-McPhee and producer Emile Sherman, Bojana Novakovic in The Hallow from Ireland and Toni Collette in Glassland.

The annual Sundance Film Festival is part of the Sundance Institute founded by Robert Redford in 1981. The festival is internationally recognised for its discovery and support of independent films from around the world. It has showcased many Australian films including Young Love, Deeper Than Yesterday, The Babadook, 52 Tuesdays, Top of the Lake, Wish You Were Here, The Square, Mad Bastards, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure, Bran Nue Dae and Animal Kingdom.

The Sundance Film Festival will take place 22 January – 1 February 2015. For more information, visit: www.sundance.org/festivals/sundance-film-festival for details.

Image: Sam Klemke’s Time Machine – courtesy of Closer Productions

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