20th filmfest gets its first female director

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AS THE CANBERRA International Film Festival launched its 20th anniversary program, there was further because for celebration —for the first time it has a female director, Alice Taylor.

A scene from Blue World Order
A scene from Blue World Order

As well, a fairly recent loved affair between the festival and the National Film and Sound archive has been turned into a marriage with the NFSA chief Michael Loebenstein’s announcement that the Archive would partner with the festival for at least another three years.

Taylor, who also credited local film maker Konrad Lenz and Ronin Films’ Andrew Pike for support in her role,  told those present that she would be adding a focus on films made by women to the festival’s impressive hit list of Asian, Indigenous and  Canberra film, promising “more complex female characters on screen.” Eight feature films in the program would be directed by women.

One that ticked two boxes  would be the film “Footprints on our land,” about local Indigenous Elder  Aunty Agnes Shea,also an example of giving “a  voice to stories you don’t always see,” as Taylor  said.

Those present  were treated to a snippet from local sci-fi feature “BLUE WORLD ORDER” (AUS) directed by Che Baker,  which  includes a cameo by Chief Minister Andrew Barr, on hand to perform the official launch today.

The 11-day program of local and international films, events, industry workshops and special guests would, she said,   include the following program highlights for 2016:  Australian premieres of ZOOLOGY (RUS) on Opening Night, ROSA (PHL), PLAY YOUR GENDER (CAN), AKOUNAK TEDALAT TAHA TAZOUGHAI (NER), AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY (USA), KILLS ON WHEELS (HUN), and HORTENSIA (ARG).

The  20th Anniversary Gala screening of CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION (AUS) would be  attended by director Peter Duncan and actor Richard Roxburgh, who now  work together on hit TV series “Rake”.  A Halloween double feature would see the screening of  documentary THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX (FRA) and (ROB ZOMBIE’S) 31 (USA).

Canberra International Film Festival 2016, National Film and Sound Archive, Oct 27- Nov 6, all details at ciff.com.au

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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