Opening the Festival is Mirrah Foulkes’ Judy & Punch – starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman, this visceral and dynamic live-action reinterpretation of the famous 16th century puppet show turns the traditional story of Punch & Judy on its head and brings to life a fierce, darkly comic and epic female-driven revenge story.
The Festival closes with Daffodils – a musical romance brimming with New Zealand hits from Crowded House to Bic Runga. New Zealand pop star Kimbra stars as a singer whose dying father opens up about his life before she has to rush off to a gig.
Other Australian highlights are Skin – the true story of a white supremacist who transforms for love, starring up-and-coming Australian actress Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$, SFF 2017); and Slam – a tense mystery set in Western Sydney tackling Islamophobia, by Sydney-based French director Partho Sen-Gupta (Sunrise, SFF 2015).
True stories include: Kursk – a gripping account of the Russian submarine disaster starring Colin Firth, Matthias Schoenaerts and Léa Seydoux; Yuli – a moving biography of Cuban ballet luminary Carlos Acosta, the first black principal dancer of the prestigious Royal Ballet; and documentary The Biggest Little Farm, following filmmaker John Chester, his wife and dog as they chase their dream to set up a sustainable farm.
Also screening will be Photograph by Ritesh Bhatra (The Lunchbox, SFF 2014), a whimsical love story following a Mumbai street photographer who convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancé; and The Third Wife about a teenager in an arranged marriage in 19th century Vietnam.
“We can’t wait to bring the Festival back to the local community in Newcastle!” said Festival Manager, Sanam Rodrigues. “From a blackly comic feminist revenge tale, to enthralling accounts of true stories, this selection of nine fantastic films include some of the most exciting films from this year’s Sydney Film Festival.”
Started by David Stratton in 1974, the Travelling Film Festival tours 18 regional locations year-round, including six Queensland centres, nine in New South Wales and three in the Northern Territory, as well as TFF at Sea.
The 2019 Travelling Film Festival at Newcastle screens at the Event Cinemas Kotara: 21 – 23 June. For more information and screening times, visit: www.sff.org.au for details.
Image: Judy and Punch (supplied)