Australian feature and short feature films promoted at key film markets throughout 2007.
Australian cinema in all its glorious diversity shines brightly in this catalogue, with dramas, comedies, thrillers and horror films exploring everything from love and sex to environmental issues, cross-cultural conflict to Australian surf culture. Several directors have made their feature debuts in the past year, while many well-known filmmakers have attained new artistic and commercial heights. In particular, the legendary George Miller again debunked the 'never work with animals' maxim, following up the success of Babe with another cute global phenomenon - this time in the form of a dancing penguin. Happy Feet won Best Animated Feature at the 2007 Academy Awards and has taken over A$450m worldwide.
Cherie Nowlan, whose first feature Thank God He Met Lizzie starred a young Cate Blanchett, returns to the big screen with Clubland, starring English supremo Brenda Blethyn. Nowlan's film achieved great sales success at Sundance in January 2007. Matthew Saville's debut Noise also screened at the festival. Tony Ayres (Walking on Water) returned to Berlin in 2007 with his sumptuous feature The Home Song Stories, starring the beautiful Joan Chen. He was joined by second-timer Darren Ashton with Razzle Dazzle, depicting the life of students - and their mothers - in an Australian dance school.
Other highlights this year include internationally-renowned Australian director Gillian Armstrong offering a very different take on the Houdini legend with Death Defying Acts, starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Australia's Guy Pearce. Greg McLean, whose Wolf Creek terrified audiences around the world in 2004, moves from the outback to the crocodile-infested swamps of northern Australia with Rogue. Well-known Australian actor Richard Roxburgh makes his directorial debut with Romulus, My Father starring Eric Bana (returning home after starring in several US features) and Franka Potente. And the master of low-budget films with big ideas, Rolf de Heer, follows up Ten Canoes with the silent black-and-white comedy Dr Plonk.
While the films in this catalogue are distinctly Australian in their tone, look and sensibilities, they tell powerful stories that will undoubtedly capture, inspire and enthral audiences around the globe.
Finally, in recognition of the increasing popularity of theatrically-released documentaries, this catalogue contains several feature docs from some of Australia's most talented filmmakers, including Night by festival favourite Lawrence Johnston (Eternity, Life) and Forbidden Lie$ by renowned documentary maker Anna Broinowski (Helen's War, Hell Bento!! ). Also featured is the controversial Bra Boys, a compelling story of surfie outcasts in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Bra Boys broke the opening-weekend box office record for an Australian feature documentary, and after just a few weeks became the highest-grossing Australian theatrical feature documentary ever released.
Please see the feature documentaries web page for a full listing of the seven feature documentaries in this year's catalogue.