MIFF Travelling Showcase

Acute Misfortune

The Eulogy

Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley

The Merger

ACUTE MISFORTUNE

Friday 19th October 6.15pm 

Daniel Henshall and Toby Wallace star in this Age Critics Award winner, an adaptation of Eric Jensen’s biography about notorious artist Adam Cullen.

When 19-year-old wunderkind journalist Erik Jensen (now editor of The Saturday Paper) was invited by bad-boy Australian painter Adam Cullen to write his biography, Jensen (Toby Wallace, Romper Stomper) jumped at the chance. Despite a turbulent relationship, the two formed a unique bond that lasted until Cullen’s death in 2012 aged just 46.

Shooting in the Blue Mountains where Cullen was based, Acute Misfortune spins Jensen’s award-winning book into a subtle, striking tale of two wildly different men. Making his debut as a feature film filmmaker, theatre director and actor Thomas M Wright (Top of the LakeBalibo, MIFF 2017) delivers a portrait of the writer and of the artist as a troubled and troubling man. With remarkable access – Daniel Henshall (Fell, MIFF 2014; The BabadookSnowtown) wears Cullen’s actual clothing as he fully inhabits the role, and the artworks that appear onscreen are the real deal – this MIFF Premiere Fund-supported feature was co-scripted by Jensen, with Wright, and is executive produced by Robert Connolly (Paper Planes, MIFF 2014; Tim Winton’s The Turning, MIFF 2013; These Final Hours, MIFF 2013).

Winner of The Age Critics Award at MIFF 2018.

"Beautifully made and intensely thoughtful ... this in an enthralling drama: the best and most interesting Australian biopic since Chopper in 2000." – The Guardian

THE EULOGY

Saturday 20th October 4pm 

Inspired by Paul Keating’s eulogy for Geoffrey Tozer, music educator Richard Gill explores the remarkable, tragic story of Australia’s greatest pianist. 

Born in India but raised in Victoria, the late Geoffrey Tozer was a child prodigy who played with the Victorian Symphony Orchestra when he was nine years old, and at 13 became the youngest ever recipient of a Churchill Fellowship. He was a virtuoso pianist and improviser with an unprecedented repertoire, whose career saw him lauded around the world. But in Australia he struggled to achieve recognition, despite the well-documented patronage of then Treasurer Paul Keating. Tozer died in poverty in 2009, aged 54; at his memorial service, Keating delivered a characteristically unforgettable 45-minute address.

Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund and drawing extensively on Tozer’s own archives, The Eulogy sees Keating re-stage his famous funeral oration, around which director Janine Hosking (My Khmer Heart) weaves a long overdue commemoration for the under-appreciated musician. Conductor and music educator Richard Gill AO goes on a journey to rediscover and restore Tozer’s historical legacy, while interviews with family and friends offer revealing, previously un-earthed insights, into his life and loves.

"[Tozer] deserved to be remembered alongside the Australian triumvirate of Nellie Melba, Percy Grainger and Joan Sutherland." – Paul Keating

THE MERGER

Saturday 20th October 6.15pm 

Special Screening of 'The Merger' with writer and star Damian Callinan for a post-screening Q&A

In the tradition of The Castle and Ali’s Wedding, one of Australia’s most popular comedians, Damian Callinan adapts his entertaining and topical stage play, The Merger for the big screen!

Bodgy Creek is a struggling town. The drought won’t let up, jobs are scarce after the mill was shut down, and the footy team looks like it will have to merge with anoher club or fold. Living a hermit-like existence on the town’s fringe, former football star turned ‘Town Killer’ Troy Carrington (Damian Callinan), is coaxed into rescuing the team after striking up an unlikely friendship with young Neil (Raffety Grierson) who is struggling with the recent loss of his father.

Teaming up with Neil’s mum Angie (Kate MulvanyThe Great Gatsby) who runs a nearby refugee support centre, they unite to recruit the new arrivals to save the team and take the community on a journey of change. But for some, like Neil’s grandfather and Club President, Bull (fan-favourite, John HowardSeaChange) and ‘star’ player Carpet Burn (Angus McLarenHotel Mumbai), it’s more change than they’re willing to take.

With a winning cast including Penny Cook (A Country Practice), Nick Cody (Please Like Me), Zenia Starr (Hotel Mumbai), Aaron GocsSahil Saluja (Tomorrow, When the War Began), Ben Knight (The Warriors), Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit) and Fayssal Bazzi(Peter Rabbit), The Merger is a hilarious and heart-felt comedy from the team who brought you Backyard Ashes.

 

 

UNDERMINED: TALES FROM THE KIMBERLEY

Sunday 21st October 4pm 

A powerful and distinctly Australian, yet sadly universal, story of the battles Indigenous peoples face against development on their homelands.

Award-winning director Nicholas Wrathall investigates the true costs of development in the world-famous Kimberley, where mega-mining and pastoral developments threaten not just the pristine environment but more than 200 Indigenous communities and their peoples’ sacred links to Country. 

Kimberley Traditional Owners – including activist, musician and Bardi man Albert Wiggan and academic and Yimardoowarra woman Dr Anne Poelina – question what meaningful negotiation looks like and offer humanising portraits of those at the centre of this battle in Australia’s spectacular north-west corner, which governments aspire to make "the future economic powerhouse of Australia". With the highest percentage of Aboriginal people living on Country in Australia, what will this mean for the Kimberley’s custodians, lands and cultures, and will they survive these pressures?

Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, Wrathall (Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, MIFF 2013) delivers a powerful and urgent film that, while distinctly Australian, tells a sadly universal story of the David-and-Goliath battles Indigenous peoples face against development on their homelands. Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley asks for whose benefit is development of this scale and, ultimately, what is the path to social justice for first peoples in 2018?

 

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