Artsday / ‘Lions’ are roaring at the film archive

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David Wenham, Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman in “Lion”.

Another day, another “Artsday” from arts editor HELEN MUSA.

SAROO Brierley’s best-selling book inspired the award-winning film “Lion”. Now  his adoptive mother Sue has published a book telling her own story. Sue and Saroo will join this Friday for a conversation titled “Lioness” at the National Film and Sound Archive, 6pm, November 20. Bookings at

CANBERRA Rep’s regular rollicking Christmas comedy is Alan Ayckbourn’s wacky comedy, “Absurd Person Singular”. Billed as “wild comedy of Christmas-party disasters”, it’s at  Canberra Rep Theatre (Theatre 3), 3 Repertory Lane, November 19 (preview) to December 5. Book at 6257 1950.

A still from “Best Story About Pizza You’ll Ever Hear” by Canberra’s Callum Lawrence.

CANBERRA’S Short Film Festival is now in its 25th year, but because of Covid, director John Frohlich has split the event into two “mini-fests”. Part one opens this weekend and part two in March. There’ll be screenings at Dendy Cinemas and Smiths Alternative, over two weekends November 20-29. Book at

From ‘Real to Reel’ craft films

DESIGN Canberra has a big weekend of open studios coming up, kicking off with “Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival”, an eclectic program of shorts celebrating craft and making, whether traditional, contemporary, subversive or diverse. At Shine Dome, Acton, sessions at 4.30pm and 6.15pm, Saturday, November 21. Book here.

THE Novellas hail from the Bega Valley, singing bittersweet songs inspired by contemporary works of fiction from Australia and beyond. Actor Patrick Dickson joins them in the role of “HAŇT´A”, a character who springs forth from the book “Too Loud a Solitude” by Czech author Bohumil Hrabal. Performance at Windsong Pavilion, Barragga Bay, Bermagui, 7.30pm (doors open 7.15pm) Friday, November 20. Book at

“Untitled” by Jess Cochrane in “Here I Am: Art by Great Women”.

KAMBRI at ANU have announced a full program of events as part of “Here I Am: Art by Great Women”, a new family-friendly festival celebrating women creatives running from November 20 to February 28. It showcases more than 100 featured artists in outdoor public art and gallery exhibitions, live art and music events, public talks, film screenings, ArtHack and more.

At City Walk Gallery, Garry Shead, “The Artist’s Last Muse”NANCY Sever’s City Walk Gallery is presenting “Out of Lockdown: Prints from Basil Hall Editions”, an exhibition of limited edition prints from the studio of one of Australia’s leading printmakers, as well as a folio of small etchings made on his 90th birthday by Warlpiri artist, Paddy Japaljarri Sims, is presented for the first time in Canberra. Upstairs at 131 City Walk (next to King O’Malley’s), Civic, Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-5 pm, Friday, November 20-December 19.

Sophie Hawkshaw and Zoe Terakes in ‘Ellie and Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt)’

DIRECTOR-writer Monica Zanetti and executive producer Brian Cobb, both from Canberra, will join lead actors Julia Billington and Sophie Hawkshaw at the Dendy Canberra Centre this Thursday, for the local premiere of their feature “teen lesbian rom-com” “Ellie (& Abbie & Ellie’s Dead Aunt)”. Dendy Cinemas, 6.30pm, Thursday November 19. Book here


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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