Media Release
1 September 2014

Europe’s largest festival of Australian film celebrates home in Berlin

-Festival Overview and Opening Film
-Festival theme 2014: Make It Home
-Film program 2014: Special Focus sections
-Events in 2014

As the Australian community in Berlin is growing so is the capitol’s festival for Australian film: In its 4th year, Down Under Berlin has developed into the largest festival for Australian film in Europe. From 11th to 14th September Down Under Berlin will present historical moments in Australian film as well as current highlights and talents of tomorrow. Down Under Berlin allows its audience to experience rare insights into cultures of the southern hemisphere: Many of the 70 feature and short films, documentaries and experimental films are celebrating their German or European premieres this year at Moviemento Kino.

The feature film Red Dog (2011, Kriv Stenders) will open the 4th Down Under Berlin festival. The award-winning family film is one of the most successful Australian productions in recent years and is based on a true story. The film takes the viewer along on the adventures of a dog that roams the Australian outback. This cinematic journey reminds the audience that home is not only a place, but a shared experience. Red Dog introduces the theme of the 4th Down Under Berlin festival: MAKE IT HOME.

The complete festival program is available online here: http://www.downunderberlin.de/

Theme in 2014: MAKE IT HOME
With a long history of migration, Australia and New Zealand have become home for millions, many of whom search for their ancestral homes in other parts of the world. The plurality of home means that we can find it in unexpected places, and with people who become our family. In the special focus Aussies Abroad we take a look at a number of filmmakers from Down Under who have found their cinematic inspiration in places and people all around the globe. This program includes the Cannes Jury Prize winning feature Bunny (2014) from director Annika Glac. The film poetically observes the story of a young woman’s everyday life in wintry Warsaw. Accompanying this special program will be Down Under Berlin’s panel discussion with attending filmmakers on 13th September at 4.30pm.

Link: https://www.downunderberlin.de/festival-2014/
Link: https://www.downunderberlin.de/films/aussies-abroad/

Further Special Focus programs:
This year, Down Under Berlin takes a look at music in film:  The Australian film festival presents shorts like Emo – The Musical (2013, Neil Triffett), which premiered in Germany at the 2014 Berlinale, or the short documentary Sound Proof (2013, Darren Cole), on the challenges faced by the alternative music scene in Melbourne. The program also includes feature-length documentaries like The Chookman (2014, Marc Cousin), Damn Right I’m a Cowboy (2004, Rob de Kok) and Busking for Berlin (2014, Carl Tomich).

The Open Screen program is curated by guest festival Xposed International Queer Film Festival with short queer films from Australia. The New Talents Showcase presents student films from Australia, including works from the world renowned Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the Western Australian Screen Academy at Edith Cowan University in Perth (WA Screen Academy).

The section Indigenous Australia explores the history and current issues of indigenous life and culture in Australia and New Zealand. This program features productions by established directors, like Charles Chauvel (Jedda, 1955), who launched the career of Errol Flynn, and Berlinale favourite Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah, 2009 and Rosalie’s Journey, 2003). The celebrated journalist and filmmaker John Pilger (Utopia, 2013) and the experimental visual artist Tracey Moffat (Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy, 1990) are also featured in this section. Another highlight and the closing feature of the festival is the hit musical Bran Nue Dae (2009) by Rachel Perkin’s .

For the first time Down Under Berlin presents a selection of short films by Maori filmmakers, curated by the New Zealand Film Commission, in which the protagonists try to find out where they belong. The audience witnesses experiences of traditional tribal leaders and how modern practices can coexist with cultures of tradition. The New Zealand program also brings another kind of entertainment to the big screen: Jonathan King’s cult horror comedy Black Sheep (2006) pits humans against genetically modified killer sheep. Zoe McIntosh’s The Deadly Ponies Gang (2013) is a documentary on the edge of the genre, a fun adventure in the lives of Dwayne and Clint in the New Zealand countryside.

Link: https://www.downunderberlin.de/films-2014

Events and Discussions 2014

Down Under Berlin Opening Party:
Thursday 11.09., 10pm, Venue: Geist im Glas, Lenau Str. 27, 12047 Berlin, free entry

Multimedia Book Presentation in German – Through the Outback mit Jan Bauer:
Saturday, 13.09., 5pm, Moviemento / Kino 2, Tickets: 6 Euro

DIY Travel Comic Workshop with Jan Bauer
Sunday 14.09., 4.00 – 5:30 pm Moviemento Kino / Lounge, Tickets 6 Euro

Filmmakers Panel Aussies Abroad:
with Sarah Doyle (You Me & Her), Conor Lui (Mitaki Lahi), Jack Rath (Between Home – The Odyssey of an unusual Sea Bandit), Diane Bussuttil (Fresh Fruit), Thomas Schumacher (Tony Windberg. A Painter in the Woods), Carl Tomich (Busking for Berlin) Bryn Chainey (Moritz und der Waldschrat) tbc
Saturday, 13.09. at 4.30 pm, Moviemento / Kino Lounge, free entry

Film and Discussion on the situation of indigenous communities in Australia:
Screening of the documentary Utopia (2013, John Pilger)
Attending the discussion is Sarah Reinke (head of the Berlin office of the Society for Threatened Peoples)
Saturday, 13.09., 6:30 pm, Kino 1, Tickets: 8 Euro

Live Music from Australian bands – Where Music meets Movies:
Friday: 5.09., 8pm Kent Eastwood
Saturday: 6.09., 8pm Tim McMillan
Sunday: 14.09., 8:30pm PHIA und Josh the Cat (Closing Party & Concert)
Venue for all concerts: Melbourne Canteen, Pannierstraße 57, 10247 Berlin, free entry

Link: https//www.downunderberlin.de/events-2014/

About Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival
Down Under Berlin was founded in 2011 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and is a project of the non-profit registered association of the same name. In its 4th year the festival has become the largest of its kind in Europe. As such, the festival presents film cultures from Australia, but also stories of Australian history and the present, across all genres. Furthermore, Down Under Berlin is a platform for Australian and New Zealand filmmakers to reach a German audience. In 2014 the festival motto is: Make It Home.

Press material and information on filmmakers can be found on each film page. If you require further material please contact us:

Berit Becker
Communications and Program
Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival
berit.becker@downunderberlin.de
Mobile +49 151 20 64 76 28

Jack Bradford
Communications and PR
jack.bradford@downunderberlin.de

You can download the media release here.