Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communication and the Arts today announced the Australian films selected for presentation at the 1996 Cannes International Film Festival. The announcement was made at a press conference held at Parliament House and hosted by the Australian Film Commission.
Two Australian feature films and three short films will screen in the official selection this year.
The Quiet Room, written and directed by Rolf de Heer (Bad Boy Bubby) and produced by Rolf de Heer and Domenico Procacci, will screen In Competition. Featuring Chloe Ferguson, Paul Blackwell and Celine O'Leary, The Quiet Room, tells of a marriage breakdown as seen through the eyes of a seven-year-old child. The film received funding from SBS Independent, the South Australian Film Corporation, Smile Productions (Rome) and Fandango SRL (Rome). Other Australian films which have screened In Competition include Breaker Morant by Bruce Beresford, My Brilliant Career by Gillian Armstrong, Evil Angels by Fred Schepisi and The Navigator by Vincent Ward and The Piano by Jane Campion (shared the Palme d'Or in 1993).
Love Serenade, written and directed by Shirley Barrett and produced by Jan Chapman (producer of The Piano), will screen in Un Certain Regard. Un Certain Regard selects films which express a personal vision and are interesting by virtue of subject matter and cinematic style. Love Serenade, starring Miranda Otto, Rebecca Frith and George Shevtsov, is the story of two sisters in an Australian country town who develop a fierce and competitive crush on their new neighbour, a brooding and self centred radio personality. Love Serenade was funded by the Australian Film Finance Corporation, the New South Wales Film & Television Office, Film Victoria and Beyond Films.
Australian films to have screened in Un Certain Regard include Tracey Moffat's Bedevil and Jane Campion's A Girl's Own Story.
This Film is a Dog, written and directed by Jonathan Ogilvie, and This Film is a Dog, directed by Michael Liu, will screen in Short Competition. This Film is a Dog was winner of the Tropfest 1996 short film festival and is a film about a dog trying to get its film into Cannes. Film Noir also screened at the Tropfest. The production of both films was funded by the filmmakers and received post-production funding from the Australian Film Commission (AFC). This Film is a Dog received post-production funding from NSW Film & TV Office. They are clever, witty depictions of the film profession. Gregor Jordan's Swinger won the Jury Prize in this category last year.
No Way To Forget, written and directed by Richard Frankland, will screen in Un Certain Regard. No Way To Forget is one of six films by Indigenous filmmakers produced for From Sand To Celluloid, the Indigenous Drama Initiative devised by the AFC in association with the State film agencies and SBS. This film was funded by the AFC and Film Victoria.
It will be another good year for Australian films at Cannes with a strong Australian presence in the official selection and the Marché, the commercial marketplace for films at Cannes. Films to be launched internationally in the Marché include: Brilliant Lies directed by Richard Franklin, Dating the Enemy directed by Megan Simpson Huberman, Dead Heart directed by Nicholas Parsons, Love and Other Catastrophes directed by Emma Kate Croghan, Lust & Revenge directed by Paul Cox, Mr Reliable directed by Nadia Tass, Not Fourteen Again directed by Gillian Armstrong, To Have and to Hold directed by John Hillcoat and Zone 39 directed by John Tatoulis.
Cathy Robinson, Chief Executive of the Australin Film Commission said "The profile of the Australian film industry internationally is extraordinary. Australian filmmakers' vision and creativity continue to capture the imagination and support from financiers and audiences alike. The AFC is proud of the achievements of Australian filmmakers and pleased to be able to provide continuing support to people and projects which are original and compelling."
John Morris, Chief Executive of the Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) said "The investors in these films have come from all over the world. The Australian Government is still the major investor in our industry, through the FFC, AFC and the various state agencies but our co-financing partners are now global. This is a remarkable achievement."