Everybody’s Oma, we’re still here, Blaze and Seriously Red

Today he made a documentary about his mother’s last years, Everyone is Oma, will have a world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival next month. Described as an “uplifting film that charts the family’s playful, moving and hopeful journey in the spotlight and behind the scenes”, it is competing in the $10,000 Best Australian Documentary competition.

Festival director Nashen Moodley has unveiled a strong lineup of Australian feature films and documentaries for the 69th festival, which runs from June 8-19.

“People were talking about what was happening in our little house in Forresters Beach on a global scale”: Jason Genderen takes his mother shopping at a supermarket he set up in his home.Credit:Sydney Film Festival

Returning to the traditional winter slot after the pandemic forced it to be postponed until November last year, the festival opens with the anthology film We are always here, a celebration of Aboriginal, Maori and South Pacific Islander resilience by 10 mostly emerging filmmakers.

“We have international filmmakers coming back,” says Moodley. “We have parties and activities. It feels like we’re getting closer to what the festival was like before the pandemic. »

In a break from tradition, the closing night film has yet to be chosen, but it seems unlikely that one of the country’s two big films at Cannes this month – Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic Elvis or the fantasy romance of George Miller Three thousand years of nostalgia – will be late additions to the program.

The official $60,000 competition for ‘bold, cutting-edge and courageous’ filmmaking includes two audacious Australian films that have been well received at overseas festivals: Archibald Del Award-winning artist Kathryn Barton Flambéwhich is described as the magical story of a 12-year-old girl who witnesses a shocking crime, and Goran Stolevski You won’t be alonea supernatural tale about a shapeshifting witch in a Macedonian village.

In official competition of the festival: Del Kathryn Barton's Blaze, about a girl who witnesses a terrible crime.

In official competition of the festival: Del Kathryn Barton’s Blaze, about a girl who witnesses a terrible crime. Credit:Sydney Film Festival

Also in competition, the first winner of the Berlin Film Festival (Spanish drama by Carla Simon Alcarras), an Indonesian drama set in the tumultuous 1960s (Kamila Andini’s Before, now and then) and a tense Mexican thriller about a teenager’s search for his long-lost father (Lorenzo Vigas’ The box).

Noomi Rapace stars as Bosilka in director Goran Stolevski's You Won't Be Alone, which is also in competition at the festival.

Noomi Rapace stars as Bosilka in director Goran Stolevski’s You Won’t Be Alone, which is also in competition at the festival.Credit:Sydney Film Festival

In addition to a political thriller set in a small Turkish town (Emin Alper’s film burning days), there is a documentary about a French couple who became daredevil vulcanologists (Sara Dosa’s fire of love) and a love story about an elderly indigenous couple struggling to maintain their way of life in Bolivia (Alejandro Loayza Grisi’s utama).

Promising Australian films screened elsewhere in the festival include Gracie Otto’s seriously red, a comedy about a woman who becomes a Dolly Parton impersonator; by Craig Boreham Lonely, about a country boy who discovers Sydney’s gay dating culture; and David Easteal The plainsa docudrama set in a car as a Melbourne lawyer drives home.

Particularly topical is Rowan Devereux Expelled: A Modern Romance, about four housemates trying to survive in the Sydney rental market.

$10,000 documentary competition includes Maya Newell’s film The dream life of Georgie Stoneabout a transgender teenager, Luke Cornish’s keep walkingwhich centers on two Sydney street dancers, and Brodie Poole’s General Herculesabout a staggered election for mayor of Kalgoorlie.

Emma Thompson plays a woman who hires a sex worker in the comedy Good Luck To You, Leo Grande.

Emma Thompson plays a woman who hires a sex worker in the comedy Good Luck To You, Leo Grande.Credit:Sydney Film Festival

Moodley says it’s been a good year for comedies at the festival, quoting Cooper Raiff Cha Cha real smoothabout a college graduate played by the director who falls in love with an older mother played by Dakota Johnson, and Australian director Sophie Hyde Good luck to you, Leo Grandewhich has Emma Thompson as a retired widow who hires a young sex worker.

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Then there’s Armagan Ballantyne’s absurd comedy Kiwi Naked Tuesday, which has Damon Herriman and Jackie van Beek as a couple trying to salvage their marriage during a new-age retreat, and Craig Roberts’ The Phantom of the Open, with Mark Rylance as the worst golfer to ever play at the British Open.

Although there are fewer big-budget Hollywood movies than when King Richard, Dunes and Zola screened last year, Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain star in John Michael McDonagh’s noir comic The Forgivenand Amy Schumer, Richard Jenkins and Steven Yeun star in Stephen Karan’s family comedy Humans.

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Email the writer at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @gmaddox.



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