Tagged: MIFF

THE NINTH TOWER, a narrative short film about last year’s controversial hard lockdown at the nine towers in Flemington and North Melbourne housing estates, will premiere next month at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The film, inspired by real events, was written, directed and produced by Kauthar Abdulalim, an Australian filmmaker with East-African and South-Asian heritage.

THE NINTH TOWER focuses on the story of one tower resident, teenager Hassan (played by Aslan Farooqui), a carer for his ill mother, who is pushed to the brink when the state government suddenly imposes the lockdown and it becomes impossible for him to leave to buy the medicine that his mother critically needs.

Hassan’s confrontation with the police exemplifies the distress and cultural barriers faced by many tower residents, often already traumatised by experiences with authorities in their countries of origin.

“I was privy to what was happening in the towers from the inside. The hard lockdown was difficult for me to watch with the narratives portrayed on mainstream media not matching the ones I was hearing. The film is my attempt to portray an alternate perspective about what actually happened; and to capture the intensity and trauma of what it felt like to be caged in forcefully with little to no access to essentials,” Kauthar says.

Tower resident and collaborator on the film, Mahir Muhammad, says: “THE NINTH TOWER has helped capture and amplify the voices and experiences of residents in a way that’ll remain long after the Covid-19 pandemic has ended. It’s important to acknowledge this film not only as a testament to the traumatic events that took place last year but as a lesson for the future; there are clear learnings on how not to engage and treat disadvantaged communities and public housing residents; especially as we continue to navigate out of the pandemic and expect future lockdowns.”

Kauthar won the BMW Short Film Competition at the 2018 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne with her film FOUND, set on the day of the Lindt Cafe siege in 2014 exploring the issue of Islamophobia in Australia. Kauthar is a graduate of Film Victoria’s Story Lab initiative. She has worked on feature documentary productions with the ABC and SBS in the capacities of an Impact Producer and Production Manager and has founded her own independent production company, Blacksand Pictures, where she is developing a slate of projects. Kauthar also has a degree in Islamic Studies.

Kauthar has also just been announced as a participant in this year’s Screen Diversity Showcase, an initiative of MEAA’s Equity Foundation with major support from Screen Australia and partners the Australian Directors’ Guild and Australian Writers’ Guild. The Showcase brings together five writers, five directors and ten performers from diverse backgrounds. The selected creatives will collaborate on five distinct projects, all to be filmed as five-minute proof of concepts. The program will culminate with all participants gathering in Sydney to film and edit their projects, before exhibiting them at the Showcase event, attended by the key decision-makers in Australian television and film.

THE NINTH TOWER premieres at MIFF on Wednesday August 11 at 9.15pm and on Saturday August 14 at 4.15pm.

Umbrella Entertainment is proud to announce the theatrical release date of its latest quality Australian cinematic drama, STREAMLINE – starring Jason Isaacs, Levi Miller and Laura Gordon – which will screen in cinemas nationally on September 2, 2021.

The feature film debut of writer/director Tyson Wade Johnston, STREAMLINE will have its World Premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival in August, followed by regional screenings as part of the MIFF Travelling Showcase, and CinefestOZ Film Festival.

STREAMLINE is a coming-of-age sports drama about a fifteen-year-old swimming prodigy fighting to stay afloat as he faces pressure in the world of competitive sports, amidst overwhelming family problems.

Featuring a cameo performance by Australian swimming champion and Olympic gold medallist, Ian Thorpe (who is also Executive Producer on the film), the stellar cast also includes Jake Ryan, Tasia Zalar, Sam Parsonson, Hunter Page-Lochard and Joey Viera.

STREAMLINE is a Bronte Pictures production, made with assistance from Screen Queensland, Screen Australia and Pantalon Pictures. It is produced by Blake Northfield, Nathan Walker and Jay Douglas.

The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Logo

This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘The BFG,’ ‘The Measure Of A Man,’ ‘Central Intelligence,’ and ‘The Wait’. This episode also contains interviews with Steven Spielberg, Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, John Cabrera (Melbourne WebFest), Thomas Caldwell (MIFF), Jack Sargeant (Revelation Film Festival), Emma Vestrheim (Scandinavian Film Festival), Em Baker (‘Spoke’ ), Jason Burrows (‘The Member’), Nora Niasari (‘The Phoenix’), Jeff Hann (‘The Coffee Man’), Kier-La Janisse (Monster Pictures), Perri Cummings (‘Trench’) and Paul Anthony Nelson (‘Trench’).

If you’re a Melbourne listener of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show make sure you take a listen this week if you would like to win a double pass to a special screening of ‘Swiss Army Man’ starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. The screening will be held in Melbourne on Thursday the 7th July. If you can make the screening and would like a chance to win the tickets just listening to this week’s show and answer the question Dave asks by sending us a private message at either our Facebook or Twitter page.

You can listen to The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show or download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.

MIFF Premiere Fund

The State Government of Victoria has delivered a $900,000 renewal of the Melbourne International Film Festival MIFF Premiere Fund, which provides strategic minority co-financing to new Australian films that then go on to premiere at MIFF.

“The MIFF Premiere Fund’s continuation is important for MIFF, audiences, local filmmakers, and the State’s creative economy,” said MIFF Chair Claire Dobbin. “Generating a pipeline of world premieres for MIFF, and screenings for the MIFF Premiere Regional Showcase, the Premiere Fund helps MIFF remain the Southern Hemisphere’s leading film event.”

“Together with MIFF 37ºSouth Market & Accelerator, the MIFF Premiere Fund reinforces Melbourne’s position as a creative industries capital,” said MIFF Industry Director and Premiere Fund Executive Producer Mark Woods. “Securing finance for independent Australian films is always a challenge and the contribution of the Premiere Fund has helped close the financing gap on some 45 films. The Fund is also proud of its part in fostering diversity and equality with nearly 50% of the Premiere Fund titles having feature debut directors, 31% having female directors and 53% female producers, while 13% had indigenous elements, 29% CALD community elements and 9% LGBTI engagement.”

The MIFF Premiere Fund is one of a suite of MIFF Industry Programs, which also include MIFF 37ºSouth Market, Australia’s only festival-based movie financing market, and the MIFF Accelerator emerging director workshop.

With combined budgets of more than $100 million, the MIFF Premiere Fund’s 45 films include the likes of BRAN NUE DAE starring Geoffrey Rush, BALIBO starring Anthony LaPaglia, THE TURNING featuring Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne and Hugo Weaving, feature documentaries ELECTRIC BOOGALOO and IN BOB WE TRUST and the recent hit children’s film PAPER PLANES, starring Sam Worthington and David Wenham, that grossed nearly $10 million at the local box office. Following their world premieres at MIFF, the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported films also tour regionally with the MIFF Premiere Regional Showcase and have been selected for numerous overseas festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and Sundance.

“I strongly believe our industry in Victoria and MIFF is elevated by the significant opportunities the MIFF Premiere Fund provides and so it is wonderful that the Government is continuing the MIFF Premiere Fund,” said Seph McKenna, Head of Australian Production at Roadshow Films, the distributor of MIFF Premiere Fund-supported Bran Nue Dae, These Final Hours and this year’s family hit, Victorian Director Rob Connolly’s Paper Planes. “The MIFF Premiere Fund is an investment by the Government that guarantees Melbourne remains Australia’s premier film festival for all its constituencies from punter to filmmaker.”

“It is imperative for the state of filmmaking in Victoria that both the MIFF Premiere Fund and MIFF 37ºSouth Market continue to thrive and so I am thrilled that the Government is renewing the MIFF Premiere Fund,” said Lizzette Atkins who produced Rock N Roll Nerd, The Triangle Wars, Aim High In Creation and the upcoming Looking for Grace (starring Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell) with MIFF Premiere Fund assistance. “Speaking from experience, the MIFF Premiere Fund can play a critical role in a project reaching its final budget.”

“I am delighted the State Government will continue to support the MIFF Premiere Fund,” said Antony I Ginnane, who produced Last Dance and Patrick with MIFF Premiere Fund support. “The MIFF Premiere Fund has punched above its weight and each individual contribution it has made to fiction and documentary features has helped expand the quantum of Victorian production and provide vital employment.”

“I fully support the MIFF Premiere Fund – one of the most amazing film funds in Australia – if not the world!” said Veronica Fury who produced Machete Maidens Unleashed, Curse of the Gothic Symphony, First Fagin, Electric Boogloo and the upcoming Neon with MIFF Premiere Fund assistance. “It is a valuable and critical asset to Victoria and to Melbourne and so I am thrilled that the Government will allow this valuable and vital Fund to continue.”

“I wholeheartedly applaud the continuation of the MIFF Premiere Fund and its work in keeping Victorian independent film on the national and international landscape,” said producer/director Richard Lowenstein who, with Lynn-Maree Milburn, has made feature documentaries Auto Luminescent, In Bob We Trust and the upcoming Ecco Homo with MIFF Premiere Fund support.

“Finding financial support for films by new directors is increasingly difficult and the Government’s continuation of the MIFF Premiere Fund is very important for Victorian filmmakers,” said producer Philippa Campey who has produced Bastardy and Galore with MIFF Premiere Fund assistance. “I wholeheartedly support the continuation of this pivotal Fund which has become a fundamental part of our local sector and will be increasingly critical in the future with its support of quality, independent feature-length projects.”

“The wonderful thing about the MIFF Premiere Fund is it invigorates the 37ºSouth Market at MIFF and connects Victorian film-makers into the international film financing system opening up opportunities for networking and co-production that would otherwise not be there,” said producer John Moore who is producing the upcoming Putuparri & The Rainmakers with MIFF Premiere Fund support.