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DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN

BYRON BAY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

OCTOBER 12–21 2018

FESTIVAL PROGRAM

www.bbff.com.au


SPONSORS SPONSORS

GOVERNMENT PARTNERS

MAJOR MEDIA PARTNERS

THE BYRON SHIRE

netdaily VENUE PARTNERS

OFFICIAL WINE PARTNER

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GALA CATERING PARTNER

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MAJOR SPONSORS

INDUSTRY PARTNERS

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SPONSORS

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SUPPORTERS

2 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018 2018BBFF.COM.AU BBFF.COM.AU


GENERAL INFORMATION

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT It seems like yesterday we were launching BBFF 2017, with its call to action on marriage equality – since when the times have changed, and it feels good to know we were part of that historical reform. During the 2017 festival the Harvey Weinstein story broke and brought with it a wave of change for the film industry. Change comes after you’re able to identify what you’ll no longer accept or tolerate, and when you know where you want to go. Bringing about positive change is a thematic thread running through this year’s program too. Our opening night film, Michael Franti’s Stay Human, has that as its specific purpose. The closing gala film, Sharkwater Extinction, celebrates the work of Rob Stewart, who lost his life on a mission to protect nature. Still, there is much about contemporary life that gives cause for confusion, and even

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alarm. The world has never seemed so unsafe, society never more atomised. Byron Bay Film Festival does not shrink from bringing you films that confront the worrying issues. Edgy and sometimes confrontational, they are calls to action. And the cinematic experience alone is uniquely able to address some of the bewildering division and polarisation: by gathering people together to share, in silence, a creative work, it can serve to unify, inspire, and even heal. We are made more human by the experience: it has a transformative power, encouraging empathy.

J’aimee Skippon-Volke Festival Director

guilt-ridden soldier returning to Afghanistan seeking redemption, our films shine a light in the darkness. Film also has a purpose to entertain – and this year’s selection is brimming with fun and laughter – and a sense of wonder, both at the natural world, and at humanity itself: resilient, creative, unpredictable, loving, and sometimes just plain weird. I look forward to meeting this year’s BBFF audiences as they mingle with the talented filmmakers, actors and artists of every variety behind our 2018 films, at the glamorous parties and workshops that help make the festival the most exciting 10 days in Byron’s cultural calendar.

We’re asking you to dream with your eyes open, to use the stories we’re sharing as inspiration from which to draw your own boundaries and create a sense of direction.

There’s plenty of wondrous entertainment on offer outside the theatre too: film is evolving into a mind-blowing array of visual arts, or “immersive realities” that expand our horizons, taking us into colourful new worlds, allowing us to see other people’s perspective.

Whether it is troubled young men finding a new path, physicists studying the sky, abattoir workers discovering love, or a

Welcome to everyone who comes along and gets immersed with us – all in the interests of becoming better humans, of course.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 3


GENERAL INFORMATION

TICKETS

SAVE YOUR SEAT NOW!

Our system shows you which sessions are selling fast, for the first time many sessions will include allocated seating with the ability to choose the best seat in the house for sessions at the Byron Community Centre and Pighouse Flicks.

CHOOSING YOUR FILMS IS EASY

Go to bbff.com.au or download the easy- to-use BBFF App for Android phones and iPhones. This app is combined with an online ticketing system which includes a number of helpful features:

WISHLIST

SPECIAL OFFERS

Out BBFF app has more than just films on offer with our Film Festival Partners providing special discounted deals just for BBFF Ticket Holders.

ENCORE SCREENINGS

Browse the program at your leisure, highlight films you’d like to see, without pressure to book on the spot. You can plan your BBFF schedule, add screenings to your calendar and share with friends.

Audience favourites will receive special encore screenings – stay tuned to the app and our social media channels to learn which sold out sessions will be repeated.

FLEXI-PASSES

Buy 6, 10 or 20 tickets at discounted prices, redeem them against the films you want to see. You can book 1 ticket to 6 sessions, or bring your friends and book up to 4 tickets to 1 session, the choice is yours. Book as many films as you like in a single transaction or buy your pass now and book for individual films you want to see later at any of our venues.

YOUR PHONE IS YOUR TICKET

Buy tickets easily on your mobile with our apps and receive QR coded tickets for presentation and scanning at the door.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Vote for your favourite film. Ticket-holders will be able to vote for their Audience Favourite.

You can create your BBFF wishlist and buy your tickets and passes through our website or by downloading the ‘Byron Bay Film Festival’ app from the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store or going to bbff.com.au. Although tickets are available on the door during the festival all advanced tickets should be bought through the website bbff.com.au or the BBFF App.

Please note: It is a requirement that children under 15 are accompanied

by an adult. While every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this printed program is accurate, we encourage our audience to visit our website for the most up-to-date information. At the time of printing filmmakers are still finalising their schedules. For films with multiple screenings visit the website to confirm which session they are attending.

VENUES

Byron Community Centre

Pighouse Flicks

Brunswick Picture House

Regent Cinema

69 Jonson St, Byron Bay

1 Skinners Shoot Rd, Byron Bay

30 Fingal Street, Brunswick Heads

5 Brisbane St, Murwillumbah

Tickets are available Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm and evenings during films and events, and one hour before the film screening.

The Box Office is open from 11.30am to 9.30pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This venue has stairs and no disabled access or disabled toilet facilities.

The Byron Community Centre is our ‘Festival HQ’. We’ll be running an Information Booth and selling tickets at the venue from Wednesday September 19 between 10am and 1.30pm and every day during the festival from 10am to 7.30pm.

Legend Films in this program have icons to help you find the right session.

(next to the Byron Bay Brewery) Tickets available from 12pm Mon to Fri and 2pm weekends.

Director’s Pick Environment Social Justice Visual Feast

Drama Culture Local Surf

Feel Good Comedy Action Nominee

BCC – Byron Community Centre BPH – Brunswick Picture House PF – Pighouse Flicks RM – Regent Murwillumbah

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GENERAL INFORMATION

SPECIAL EVENTS BBFF FILMMAKERS’ BREAKFAST

Monday 15 October, from 8.30am till 11am, Byron Community Centre’s Balcony, Jonson St – $20 Aimed at filmmakers – but open to anyone who wants to hear the stories behind some of this year’s festival hits – the live broadcast event is the chance to break bread with the creatives and talk to them about their work. ABC North Coast settles in upstairs at the BBFF HQ – the Byron Community Centre – for a live show, with the always scintillating interviewer Joanne Shoebridge talking to directors, producers and actors about the films they have screening at the festival. It’s an intimate gathering, where anecdotes, ideas and dreams flow nonstop along with the excellent coffee courtesy of Byron Bay Coffee Company and tasty breakfast from the team at Laneway. Informality is the key, as filmmakers share their experience with each other and whoever is interested about how films are made. A limited number of tickets to this exclusive event are available to the public through the BBFF app and website.

MUSIC VIDEO SHOWCASE

Friday 19 October, 9.00pm, Byron Bay Brewery – Free Some music videos focus on the performer and the song; some tell stories that bring the song to life and add a whole other dimension to it. One such is Wonderwall – not the Oasis classic, but a seven-minute film from Ukraine bursting with excitement and romance, and the sense of loss that good pop music can so powerfully express. The song the film is based on is by Ukraine’s biggest rock stars, Skai. It’s a perfect fit for the teen drama with a real-world message, and a perfect centrepiece for one of the festival’s favourite feature events – the Music Video Showcase. Director and musician Alexander Denysenko realises his aim of combining cinematic narrative to help magnify the emotional soul of the music and to make a film that would be a “wonderwall”, something that gives strength and hope. Wonderwall’s a candidate for BBFF 2018’s Music Video Award – but it’s a tough field, with competition from the likes of DZ Deathrays: Like People, in which red Wiggle Murray gets his rock socks on with the head-banging ’Rays. Also in the running is Bianca Tomchin and Mathew Harvey’s colourful and highly original Who’s A Flybird?, Jonathan Nix’s trippy – and topical – Sola, the electronic funk and diversity of Victorian Cassie De Colling’s GRRRL Wanna Dance, and many more, including our own Bunny Racket. It’s a strong mix, with something for everyone and guaranteed to kick off the party and keep it going at the iconic Byron Bay Brewery.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

SPECIAL EVENTS DYING TO LIVE SPECIAL PANEL

CASH PRIZE FOR BEST SCREENPLAY

The finalists of the Byron Bay International Film Festival Screenplay Contest have been selected, with the winners to be announced during the festival. Thirteen finalists were chosen from a large field of entries from all around the world. “The diversity of the entries was quite remarkable this year,” said Contest Director Pim Hendrix. “Last year the field was dominated by Australian scripts, but this year’s entries were far more international and diverse. The range was really quite extraordinary, with a large portion of screenplays from the US and Europe, and even one from Japan.” The contest was open to feature-length scripts and is one of the few film-writing competitions in Australia to offer a cash prize. The winner receives a cash prize of $US1500, while the top three place-getters will each receive the latest screenwriting software package from Final Draft valued at over $US250. The winners will be announced on the evening of October 17 at the Byron Bay Community Centre before the screening of Book Week. Byron Shire screenwriter and filmmaker Clare Sladden won the inaugural contest last year for her screenplay Broken Head.

Sunday 14 October 6.00pm, Brunswick Picture House This screening of film Dying to Live will feature an extended Q&A with director Richard Todd, cast members (including local resident Holly Ralph) and special guests (including Zenith Virago, expert in holistic death and dying). DYING YOUR BEST DEATH – in order to truly “live your best life”, do you need to know how to die your best death? This panel discussion offers unique insights into accepting and embracing our mortality, so we can get more out of life.

BREATHE, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIENCE Friday 19 October, 12pm, Byron Community Centre – $15 Local filmmaker Darius Devas combines three of his passions: filmmaking, the ocean and breathwork practice, in this experimental and experiential screening that is sure to be like nothing else at the festival.

BREATHE

Devas was sponsored last year by the camera company Chronos, which shoots high-speed imagery at 1500 frames per second, creating ultra slow-motion imagery. With the help of a custom water-housing, he has been using the ocean as a canvas, building a body of work to explore what it means to be connected in a fractured modern world. The imagery he is creating is mesmerising and meditative. Devas’ more recent passion is breathwork practice, using simple techniques to create a state of catharsis, or active meditation. Devas spent three months in California last summer where he trained under the renowned teacher David Elliot. During the event, he will teach the audience a basic breathwork technique with the accompanying oceanic visuals washing over them, to create a unique experience of connection. Limited floor space will be available at the venue for those who wish to bring a yoga mat and pillow to enjoy the experience lying down. Not suitable for those aged under 18.

SPROCKETS SCHOOLS SESSIONS SPROCKETS

DISTRIBUTION: WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS:

Friday 19 October 9.30am–3.30pm, Girl Guide Hall, Carlyle Street Screenworks presents a one day workshop that provides insight into a range of opportunities for the international distribution of screen content. The guest speakers represent both traditional and non-traditional distribution models and are highly experienced in selling Australian screen content around the world. Tickets $90 general admission / $55 members available from www.screenworks.com.au

BBFF’s long-standing Schools Sessions move to December this year – a month when students will have more time for a little cinematic R’n’R – but the variety and high standard of the films and related activities remain the same. In its 11 years, the Schools Session has introduced thousands of Northern Rivers students from Maclean to Tweed to the joys of independent cinema, through seeing extraordinary – and out of the ordinary – films, and introducing them to some of the talented people behind them. Three tailored sessions encompass a wide mix of genres, create an entertaining program that is also an enriching educational experience. Films have the potential to fire the imagination and inspire new ways of thinking, exposing young people to different ways of seeing the world, and of expressing ideas. They can also act as a powerful catalyst toward building future careers in filmmaking. To enquire about a school booking visit bbff.com.au/schools.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

SPECIAL EVENTS BYRON HAS BECOME THE MEETING PLACE FOR VIRTUAL REALITY

AR WALKING TOUR

BBFF’s Realities Symposium Co_Lab_Create is now in its third year. Developed as a think-tank for the Australian realities industry, this event brings industry professionals together to discuss and examine the opportunities and threats they face – both as individuals and as a growing industry. Co_Lab_Create features a rich program of events, workshops and masterclasses – presented by Australian and international industry leaders. While the first day of the event is open only to those already working within the realities industries, registration to the event on Sunday, October 14 is also open to filmmakers and those genuinely seeking to develop content in the realm or connect with realities content makers.

Take a self-guided tour of Byron Bay and BBFF sites, powered by Augmented Reality (AR) technology. INSTALL and run the discovAR app then hold up and look “through” your phone to be guided around key sites of Byron Bay using special AR “Tags” or virtual 3D Objects. Each Tag shows you the distance to that site. CLICK on Tags to learn about each site through multimedia video clips and images. Watch associated festival screen previews and even interact with virtual creatures and objects that are hidden in plain sight! CAPTURE movies and pictures of your most glorious moments in AR right from the app using the camera button, then share with your friends and family via your favourite social media accounts. WIN! The best images and videos each day posted to BBFF’s social media channels will win prizes provided by BBFF and its sponsor partners. The tour is powered by tagSpace’s Augmented Reality (AR) technology with media created by SAE Qantm and BBFF. Browse tagspace.com/BBFF from your mobile device to install the AR tour and immerse yourself in a new reality!

The festival has a second initiative to help Make Diversity Reality within the tech and immersive realities industries, through the support of CreateNSW. NSW film, game and XR practitioners, including women, regional residents and people from diverse backgrounds, are invited to apply for placement within the Incubator, which will provide career and skills development through a bootcamp style program in the two days following Co_Lab_Create.

DiscovAR Byron Bay and win prizes!

www.tamarasmith.org.au

“Tamara Smith – MP for the most scenic region in NSW – let’s keep it that way.” TAMARA SMITH MP YOUR LOCAL MEMBER For email updates from Tamara sign up at www.tamarasmith.org.au/sign_up Shop 1, 7 Moon Street, Ballina NSW 2478 T 02 6686 7522 E ballina@parliament.nsw.gov.au Authorised by Tamara Smith, MP using Parliamentary entitlements.

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DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 7


GENERAL INFORMATION

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCES

Our festival has gained a strong international reputation for championing the emerging medium of immersive technologies and introducing filmmakers to the story-telling and world-building possibilities these realms provide. The festival now annually presents a selection of the very best Australian VR content at the Cannes Film Festival and works in partnership with other Australian film festivals and events to help them develop stellar VR programs. The selection curated for our own Byron audience includes a wealth of experiences from around the world, and Australia – fresh from some of the biggest international film festivals including SXSW, Sundance, Tribeca and Berlin.

CHORUS

I SAW THE FUTURE

THALU: DREAMTIME IS NOW

USA | Director: Tyler Hurd | Producer: Chris Milk | Executive Producer: Adam Rogers

France | Director: François Vautier | Producer: Jérémy Sahel

Australia | Director: Tyson Mowarin | Producer: Justin McArdle

In a dark expanse that could be the cosmos, we hear a voice: that of Arthur C. Clarke, whose face – taken from a BBC archive dating back to the 1960s – appears in the distance. A multitude of shimmering pixels creates an enveloping and immersive space out of which emerge the thoughts of the famed author of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Voyage into the Dreamtime stories of the ancient Ngarluma people of northwest Australia. An Indigenous mine worker is transported to the spirit world, where he meets the spirits and custodians of the land and learns about how they are connected to humankind, even as their sacred sites are under threat by the modern world.

Crystals, lasers, monsters, heroines. You and your friends are fantastical female warriors from different corners of the universe, banding together to battle evil with dance lasers in this epic journey of empowerment, all orchestrated by the song Chorus by Justice. This piece is a social experience which transforms you and a few friends into fantastical female warriors and sends you off on an epic journey to faraway Tron-like fantasy worlds from the 1980s, where everything is heavily synchronized to the intense visceral sounds of Chorus by Justice, to battle treacherous monsters and save an alien species from extinction.

CARRIBERRIE BATTLESCAR

VESTIGE

Australia | Director: Dominic Allen | Producers: Brendan O’Brien, Grace O’Brien France | Directors: Martín Allais, Nico Casavecchia | Producers: Atlas V, 1STAveMachine, Fauns, Arte France UK | Director: Aaron Bradbury | Producers: Paul Mowbray, Antoine Cayrol, Jill Klekas Basmajian

A journey through memories. A story of lost love. An emotional escapade unlike any other you’ve previously experienced – you’ll travel through the mind of Lisa as she remembers her lost love, Erik. Inside a void, fragments of memories of their life together appear. As you navigate the space to explore these moments, new memories are triggered, revealing new pathways through the story. Every viewing reveals a different journey towards this moment, uncovering the complex world of memory and grief.

BattleScar follows a year in the life of Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American living in late 1970s New York City. The film utilises Lupe’s handwritten journal to guide us through her experiences spanning across the year 1978 as she meets Debbie, another runaway kid living in the city. Debbie will introduce Lupe to the punk scene in the Bowery and expose her to the secret worlds co-existing on the Lower East Side in the late 70s. A coming-of-age drama that explores the theme of identity through the use of animation and immersive environments in virtual reality.

Carriberrie was filmed across Australia and celebrates the depth and diversity of Indigenous dance and song from the traditional to the contemporary. From the heart of the country at Uluru, actor and performer David Gulpilil welcomes you to a journey through time and space across Australia, from traditional ceremonial dance and song, to intrinsically contemporary and modern expressions. This piece features Byron Bay’s Bunyarra Dubay Dancers led by Arakwal elder Delta Kay. The group performs dances that tell the story of Ngoombil – the spoonbill bird who is the protector of the wetlands, and who tells the Bundjalung people when the lush and bountiful wetlands are healthy.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

AURORA

MY AFRICA

SPACE DREAMERS

Ireland | Director: Aoífe Doyle | Producer: Niamh Herrity

USA/UK | Director: Eugene TK Chung | Producer: Dr. M. Sanjayan

Australia | Director: Justin Davis | Space Dream VR

Experience the majesty of nature through a timelapse style narrative of day to night, spring to winter and life to death. Fleeting awe-inspiring moments of presence and gentle interaction invite us to reflect on the very nature of time itself. An uplifting visual feast that packs an emotional punch.

Narrated by Academy Award-winning and Kenyanraised actress Lupita Nyong’o, My Africa transports viewers to the untamed rangelands of Northern Kenya, where a community is reknitting the bonds that have long enabled people and wildlife to coexist. The story follows the journey of a young Samburu woman named Naltwasha Leripe as she takes viewers through her community’s daily life, tending livestock, digging “singing” wells deep into dry riverbanks and rescuing a baby elephant orphaned by a poacher’s gun.

Described by some as a technological drug trip, or a lucid dream in which you play the character of Jason, an astronaut who has just awakened from cryo-sleep after arriving on an alien planet in an exploration vessel. Your mission is to find and study an artefact; however, during the expedition the unthinkable happens, and you are swept into a world full of sound and beauty.

These are just some of the amazing experiences on offer at BBFF2018 for you and your friends to enjoy and explore. Your ticket will give you access to approximately 45 minutes of VR experiences. Tickets are $15 and you’ll also be able to use your flexi-pass to book your trip into alternative realities… These experiences will be installed upstairs at the Byron Community Centre from Monday, October 15. You are encouraged to book in advance online. For more information about our full selection of VR experiences, session times and booking details visit bbff.com.au/experience-vr.

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DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 9


GENERAL INFORMATION

GALA OPENING NIGHT FRIDAY OCTOBER 12

Byron Community Centre 6.45pm Red Carpet arrival for a 7.30pm sharp start – $80 The Gala Opening Night for the Byron Bay Film Festival is the region’s most glamorous cultural event, in which film lovers mingle with the stars and creative talent behind some of the world’s most dazzling contemporary cinema. This year, the festival’s 12th, there is a special reason to celebrate – the directorial debut of a man the region has come to consider one of its own, Michael Franti. His uplifting documentary carries a message we can all raise a glass to, and sets the tone for a 10-day adventure in which every facet of being truly human is explored. Join us on the red carpet to launch BBFF 2018, with a party and a film that calls upon us to share the love.

STAY HUMAN

USA | 94 min | Dir/Prod: | Michael Franti | Documentary | 2018 | International premiere

Musician and social activist Michael Franti’s directorial debut is an inspiring documentary which sums up the ethos of the Byron Bay Film Festival: creativity, inclusion, fearlessness and optimism. Having its International Premiere at Byron, Stay Human sees Franti travel to various corners of the globe to meet brave and resilient individuals who are living examples of what being human really means. These everyday people are succeeding in holding on to their humanity amidst the suffering and seeming hopelessness of the modern world through bigheartedness, courage and love. By sharing their experiences – and some that reflect upon his own struggles – Franti inspires us to do the same. Share the music and the message at our Opening Gala night celebrations, and enjoy delicious culinary offerings from the team at LaneWay, in collaboration with Byron Bay Mozzarella and led by superb chef Ryan O’Neill, who has more than 20 years’ experience in restaurants around the world. There’s also a range of fine beverages to toast this opening of proceedings and say: “Here’s to staying human!” 10 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


GENERAL INFORMATION

GALA CLOSING PARTY SATURDAY OCTOBER 20 Byron Community Centre 6.45pm Red Carpet arrival for a 7.30pm sharp start – $80

As the final curtain on our 10-day screen carnival draws near, the sense of an ending this year is made keener by tonight’s film. But while its creator, Rob Stewart, is no longer with us Sharkwater Extinction is a fitting memorial to his life and work and the Gala Closing can be a celebration of his legacy. His parents told BBFF that Rob “loved Byron Bay and would be honoured by this selection and would want it to be a call to action amidst what we are sure will be a true celebration of his life and mission”. So, in that spirit, and to toast a fine human being’s outstanding contribution to the planet, join his friends and colleagues to enjoy LaneWay’s delightful delicacies, drink and thank Rob and all those who help make the festival so special: actors, directors, production crews, and you, the audience.

SHARKWATER EXTINCTION

Canada | 87 min | Dir: Rob Stewart | Prod: Brian Stewart, Sandra Campbell, Patrice Theroux | Documentary | 2018 | International premiere

The centrepiece of 2018’s Closing Gala is a celebration of the life of Canadian filmmaker and shark conservationist Rob Stewart – overlaid with the sombre awareness that that life was cut tragically short. Rob’s courageous and determined activism led to global changes in the laws around the barbaric practice of shark finning. His death in a diving incident last year shocked many of his friends and fellow ocean-lovers in Byron Bay. Sharkwater Extinction, which has its International Premiere at Byron Bay, continues Rob’s mission and is his legacy, a disturbing but inspiring documentary that exposes the devastating assault upon the ocean’s apex predator. Rob’s parents, Sandy and Brian, have given the Byron Premiere their blessing: “We are so pleased Sharkwater Extinction is the Closing Night Gala film. Australia was always a very special home for Rob. He was passionate about the beaches, the ocean and the spirit of the people. Rob spent his life defending the oceans and sharks and his work will continue through the countless people he inspired – many of whom he met in Australia.” BBFF.COM.AU

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FEATURE FILMS

DRAMATIC FEATURE FILMS

ÁGA

Comedy, satire, romance, suspense, from Vanuatu to Vienna: BBFF 2018 brings you much of the human experience. BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | TUE 16 | 7.30pm Serbia | 106 min | Dir: Milko Lazarov | Prod: Veselka Kiryakova | Dramatic Feature Films | 2018 | Byron premiere

Amid the icy widescreen wastes of northern Siberia, Ága focuses on an intimate tale of a family divided that is exquisitely chilling in its sensitivity and sense of ancient traditions dying out, with goosebumpinducing scenery and musical score. Alone in the wilderness, ageing Nanook and Sedna look like the last people on Earth, eking survival out of the ice as their ancestors have for centuries before them. But the old ways are becoming more difficult: the animals are dying inexplicably and the ice is melting earlier every year. Their daughter Ága left the tundra a long time ago after a family row and when Sedna’s health deteriorates, Nanook embarks on a journey find her.

ARCTIC

BOOK WEEK

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SUN 14 | 4.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | MON 15 | 5.00pm

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | WED 17 | 7.30pm

Iceland | 97 min | Dir: Joe Penna | Prod: Noah C. Haeussner, Christopher Lemole | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

Overgård, a pilot played by Mads Mikkelsen, has crash-landed in the frozen wilderness of the Arctic, where he has been stranded for some time. A helicopter rescue mission fails horribly, leaving another survivor, a comatose woman. Overgard is forced to act. Shot in Iceland, Arctic is a solosurvival film, with the rugged hero battling all that harsh nature and fortune can throw at him. Here there’s the cold, hunger, and polar bears. This captivating slow-build adventure is the first feature from Brazilian Joe Penna, who tells the story with an unflashy integrity and even some grim humour. As the character has only his will to fall back on, the film demands of us to ask whether we would have what it takes.

Australia | 109 min | Dir: Heath Davis | Prod: Joanne Weatherstone | Dramatic Feature Films | 2018 | Byron premiere

Not the recent Hollywood ladies’ light comedy but a charming and darkly funny drama written and directed by Aussie auteur Heath Davis (Broke). Alan Dukes plays a jaded and frequently inebriated high school English teacher with a novel behind him, now reduced to trying to instil a love of reading in teenagers who have no interest in literature or learning. In an effort to resurrect his former sense of purpose, he writes a new book – trouble is, it’s a zombie story. Heath Davis based this film on his own experiences as a teacher. Shot in Katoomba and featuring Western Sydney locals as extras, Book Week’s tale of a loveable rogue redeemed gives Davis a second crowd-pleasing success.

THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS (DIE BESTE ALLER WELTEN)

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | THU 18 | 2.30pm Austria | 103 min | Dir: Adrian Goiginger | Prod: Wolfgang Ritzberger, Nils Dünker | Dramatic Feature | 2017 | Australian premiere

Based on a true story, indeed the director’s own story, of a boy growing up in Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and a hub of high culture – and a teeming underground drug scene. Seven-year-old Adrian’s mother is a heroin addict but despite this environment he has a happy and normal childhood. It seems the best of all worlds, although exposed to some seriously unsavoury characters, and the disapproving attentions of the child welfare services. Director Adrian Goiginger’s debut feature challenges the viewer to decide: is Helga fit to parent a young child? The temptation is to answer yes, despite Adrian’s need to occasionally escape into fantasy – imaginative adventures that are brought to life in this challenging, empathetic film.

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FEATURE FILMS

JIRGA

LIFE IS SWEET

MY NAME IS BATLIR, NOT BUTLER (BATLIR DEGIL BAHTLI)

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 21 | 4.30pm

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 21 | 11.30am

Australia/Bangalow | 78 min | Dir: Benjamin Gilmour | Prod: John Maynard | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

Vanuatu | 90 min | Dir: Peter Walker | Dramatic Feature | 2017 | Australian premiere

Made by Byron Shire resident Benjamin Gilmour, Jirga tells the story of former Australian soldier Mike (Sam Smith) as he returns to Afghanistan, and deadly danger, to find the family of a civilian he accidentally killed during the war. Seeking forgiveness, he puts his life in the hands of the village justice system embodied by the Jirga, the court of tribal elders. While gripping and suspenseful, the film also shows a great restraint, avoiding sensationalism in favour of thoughtfulness, preferring deep purpose to narrative drive. Gilmour (Son of a Lion) has said he wanted to counter the Islamic stereotypes and propaganda to demonstrate the human cost of conflict – civilians trying to survive and damaged and disillusioned soldiers haunted by their action.

Produced and filmed in Vanuatu and entirely spoken and sung in the language of Bislama by members of the Wan Smolbag Theatre, Life is Sweet follows the story of Sonia and Max as they struggle through their difficult marriage. Max thinks he’s free to do as he wants. Sonia and her friends are performers at Club Tequila, and when the MC gives them a chance to dissect the marriage in song they take over the nightclub to tell the story – and examine the role of women in a patriarchal society. Director Peter Walker’s idea was to be true to Pacific Island life but like The Sapphires, the story has universal appeal, approaching its themes of love, relationships and family with irony and a delicate human psychology.

Filmmakers in attendance

ON BODY AND SOUL (TESTRÖL ÉS LÉLEKRÖL)

REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SUN 14 | 6.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | FRI 19 | 7.30pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SAT 20 | 6.00pm Hungary | 116 min | Dir: Ildikó Enyedi | Prod: Ernö Mesterházy, Mónika Mécs, András Muhi | Dramatic Feature | 2017 | Byron premiere

A ravishing Hungarian romance, On Body and Soul, was an Oscar Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and won a swag of awards at last year’s Berlin Film Festival, including Best Film. Ildikó Enyedi’s first work in 18 years shows us that even the most jaded and damaged are capable of finding love, and that kindness and gentleness can be found in the ugliest setting. The unconventional romance follows two lonely workers in a Budapest abattoir who discover that each night they have exactly the same beautiful dream of a pair of deer frolicking in the woods – basis, surely, for a romance to match their shared visions. It is audacious, cutting-edge and courageous filmmaking that will touch audiences deeply.

BBFF.COM.AU

PIG (KHOOK)

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | WED 17 | 2.30pm Turkey | 90 min | Dir: Stare Yıldırım | Prod: Stare Yıldırım, Rick Porras, Harrison Reiner | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Australian premiere

Stare Yıldırım, the director, producer and co-writer of this extraordinary film, describes it as “Anatolianstyle magic realism, with some supernatural elements”, but it tells a tale that is only too common – that of a young man isolated by a physical defect. “I’m not actually overweight, I just have some excess in a certain area,” he confides. His skull is enormous at the rear. “It is said in Anatolia that a baby looks like whatever the mother craves while she is pregnant. My mother craved for watermelon.” His best friend is the whale in a poster on his wall – “the loneliest whale in the world”. Comedy, drama, fantasy – you decide – but it collected awards at festivals across the US this year.

THE FOUNDATION OF CRIMINAL EXCELLENCE

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | TUE 16 | 5.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SAT 20 | 2.00pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SAT 20 | 4.00pm Iran, Islamic Republic of | 108 min | Dir: Mani Haghighi | Prod: Mani Haghighi | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

A surreal black comedy with an underlying political message, Pig’s story revolves around the narcissistic but blacklisted Iranian filmmaker Hasan Kasmai. Other directors are getting slaughtered by an unknown serial killer and Kasmal is curious about only one thing: Why isn’t the killer after him? From Mani Haghighi (A Dragon Arrives), this study of middle-class Iranian life and the egoism of artists brings the government’s practice of blacklisting filmmakers and other artists out into the open but is primarily an examination of the king-baby syndrome of a creative despot rendered impotent by the state, with swipes at the destructive power of social media and advertising. Gaudy, noisy, and broadly comical, with a chilling satirical edge, Pig was a Best Film Nominee at Berlin.

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | TUE 16 | 2.30pm Latvia | 125 min | Dir: Oskars Rupenheits | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Australian premiere

Occupying perhaps the world’s narrowest niche genre – Latvian crime comedy – The Foundation of Criminal Excellence has become one of the country’s biggest film successes. Made under the darkly funny influence of the Coen brothers and Wes Anderson, it is bound to be a surprise hit of the festival. The setting is 1970s Latvia, where Imants Veide is writing a script about con artists and their scams. In the interests of authenticity, he tries his plots out for real, only to find himself entangled in real criminal schemes. A crew of colourful characters appear on the horizon, but Imant’s main adversary is his neighbour, the Iron Curtain’s most Iron Lady.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 13


FEATURE FILMS

THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SUN 14 | 6.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | WED 17 | 8.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | FRI 19 | 8.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SUN 21 | 6.00pm

THE MERGER

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | MON 15 | 6.00pm BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | THU 18 | 7.00pm Australia | 103 min | Dir: Mark Grentell | Prod: Anne Robinson | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron Premiere

In one of her finest performances, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays New York kindergarten teacher Lisa Spinelli who becomes obsessed with a student whom she believes is a child prodigy. When five-year-old Jimmy starts spouting wonderful poetry, Lisa takes it upon herself to cultivate his extraordinary gift. The task gives her purpose, and an escape from her mundane life. She road-tests his utterances at her poetry reading – but as her own work – catching the interest of her teacher (Gael García Bernal). Her motives are pure but she takes her mission way too far and it ends up driving her down a shocking, all-consuming path. Who knew poetry could fuel such a compelling thriller, lit by comedy and psychological complexity.

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 another club or fold. Living a hermitlike existence on the town’s fringe, former football star turned ‘Town Killer’ Troy (Damian Callinan), is coaxed into rescuing the team after striking up an unlikely friendship with young Neil who is struggling with the recent loss of his father. Teaming up with Neil’s mum Angie 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 Howard, Sea Change) and ‘star’ player Carpet Burn, it’s more change than they’re willing to take.

THE SCHOOL

TRANSIT

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 14 | 7.00pm

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | MON 15 | 8.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 20 | 1.15pm

Netherlands | 96 min | Dir: Sara Colangelo | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

Australia/Byron | 86 min | Dir: Storm Ashwood | Prod: Blake Northfield, Jim Robison | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

School’s out – forever! – replaced by a terrifying gang of feral kids who play by their own rules. Thrown amongst them by some punishing supernatural forces is Amy Payne, a doctor searching for her missing son. Her hospital colleague is the seemingly well-meaning but rather sinister Dr Wang, played by veteran actor Nicholas Hope (Bad Boy Bubby). Is he just another ghastly entity she has to battle – along with her own demons? The hellish setting for the film is the abandoned 19th century Gladesville Mental Hospital – “Perfect architecture for this otherworldly story,” says director/co-writer Storm Ashwood. Bronte Pictures, the production company behind the film, is made up of talented young people who grew up in Byron Shire. Bronte already has an international profile which The School can only enhance. Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance 

Germany | 101 min | Dir: Christian Petzold | Prod: Antonin Dedet, Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Olivier Père | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

As German troops near Paris, Georg, a German refugee, escapes to Marseille carrying the documents of a dead author whose identity he has assumed, including a visa to Mexico. He listens in to the refugee chatter in his hotel, and the cafés and bars that line the harbour. Why move on at all? Are new beginnings possible elsewhere? Everything changes when Georg falls in love with the mysterious Marie, whose husband has disappeared. He’s said to have been in possession of a Mexican visa for him and his wife... Gripping and suspenseful, Transit is based on the 1942 novel written by Anna Seghers in Marseille and makes use of the breathtaking, almost uncanny parallels between historical fact and present-day Marseille.

THE REPORTS ON SARAH AND SALEEM

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | SUN 14 | 3.30pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | FRI 19 | 2.30pm Palestine, State of | 127 min | Dir: Muayad Alayan | Prod: Muayad Alayan, Rami Musa Alayan | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

Sarah is Israeli and runs a cafe in West Jerusalem. Saleem is a Palestinian deliveryman from East Jerusalem. Despite being worlds apart, they embark on a risky affair with potentially catastrophic consequences. When a late-night tryst goes awry and threatens to expose them, their frantic efforts to save themselves only worsen matters. Caught up in the deadly and constant socio-political tensions of the region, Sarah and Saleem find themselves trapped in a web of deceit that looks set to doom them. This taut thriller set across the IsraeliPalestinian border remains staunchly apolitical in its message. Instead, the machinations and mistrust of the highly volatile region serve as the plot devices that drive the action.

WOMAN AT WAR (KONA FER Í STRÍÐ)

REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SAT 13 | 4.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 13 | 8.00pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | FRI 19 | 6.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SAT 20 | 6.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SUN 21 | 8.00pm Iceland | 100 min | Dir: Benedikt Erlingsson | Prod: Benedikt Erlingsson, Carine Leblanc, Marianne Slot | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Byron premiere

Not a stirring story of a Blitz heroine but a quirky and heroic tale for our times nevertheless, in which Halla, a 50-year-old respectable Icelandic woman leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known as “The Woman of the Mountain,” she wages a secret and effective war on the local aluminium industry, including industrial sabotage. But just as she is planning her boldest operation yet, she learns her application to adopt a child has finally been accepted. Will she abandon her role as saboteur and saviour of the Highlands? Or carry out one final attack to cripple the corporation? The newest offering from Benedikt Erlingsson (Of Horses and Men), is charming and funny but with sinister undercurrents.

14 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


PROGRAM

TUESDAY 16

PROGRAM

WED 17

BYRON BAY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

SUNDAY 14

11.00am $15

1.30pm $15

4.15pm $15

MONDAY 15

7.00pm $15 2.30pm $15 5.00pm $15 7.30pm $15

29 30 21 26 25 21 26 28 26 18 26 19 26 27 14

Towards The Sun A Little Wisdom Bavure Robhot Babs Twenty One Points More Human Than Human Making Waves The Last Babushka Doll Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda Reruns The School

30 19 25 28 25 30 21 27 30 21 28 14

Themba Backtrack Boys Telephone Arctic Via House of Teeth Pick of the Litter

30 19 29 12 23 26 21

16 BYRON BYRONBAY BAYFILM FILMFESTIVAL FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 SUNDAY TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018 – FRIDAY 6 TO 15 OCTOBER 2017

THURSDAY 18 FRIDAY 19

23

The Foundation of Criminal Excellence

13

5.00pm $15

Reruns Pig (Khook) Mamoon Staying The Night Nice Women Ága

28 13 27 29 28 12

Shoreless (Uferlos) My Name is Batlir, not Butler (Batlir Degil Bahtli) Ringo Rocket Star and his song for Yuri Gagarin Cielo Sam Did It Book Week

28 13 28 20 28 12

La Mort, Père & Fils (The Death, Dad & Son) The Best of All Worlds (Die Beste Aller Welten) Your Face Global Jam Passion Gap The Cleaners Bavure Strong Culture (Strongfala Kalja) The Fine Art of Being Zion Meeting Mick The Gnomologists Pachinko Kusama: Infinity

27 12 30 28 22 25 29 29 27 29 28 20

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem

14

Home Techno The Edge of Paradise: Taylor Camp The Story On Body And Soul (Teströl és lélekröl)

26 29 22 30 13

Aamir Teach A Man To Fish Amber Flush Transit YOUNG AUSTRALIAN FILMMAKERS Distortia On Six Pack Skin Like Bark Small Town P.D. Behind Barres The Intentions of Tape F. Scott Fitzgerald Drop Pocket Locker Room

25 21 25 14

7.30pm $15

2.30pm $15 5.00pm $15 7.30pm $15 2.30pm $15 5.00pm $15

7.30pm $15

2.30pm $15 5.00pm $15 7.30pm $15 11.00am $15 1.15pm $15

SATURDAY 20

FAMILY FRIENDLY SHORTS Bunny Racket Wheels of Fortune 11.15am Via Pioneers $10 Discord Hypertrain Family Inclusion Makes the pass for Negative Space four: $35 World More Vibrant Act Natural It’s a Bird Thing The Sandpit Litterbugs The Clams 1.00pm You Can You Cvn’t $15 Our Power Chasing Monsters 3.00pm 1 Mètre/Heure $15 Own The Sky Hold Down On My Terms 5.30pm Hand Made $15 Phenomenality In Perpetual Motion Big Wata Drummer Girl 8.00pm Lady M $15 Woman at War (Kona Fer Í Stríð)

10

3.30pm $15

6.45pm CLOSING GALA PARTY for 7.30pm sharp start Sharkwater: Extinction $80

11.30am $15

SUNDAY 21

FRI 12

6.45pm for OPENING NIGHT a 7.30pm sharp start Stay Human $80

SATURDAY 13

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE

2.30pm $15

2.00pm $15 4.30pm $15 7.00pm $15

Last Drinks at Frida’s Strong Culture (Strongfala Kalja) Life is Sweet A Picture of Other People Dying to Live A Restless Peace Damask Rose Jirga The Story Round Trip Backtrack Boys

24

11 27 29 13 25 20 25 26 13 30 28 19 BBFF.COM.AU BBFF.COM.AU


PROGRAM

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE

29 14

T16

8.00pm $15

The Immaculate Misconception I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story

29 20

W17

8.00pm $15

Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times The Kindergarten Teacher

30 14

8.00pm $15

Interstellar Timelapse Cielo

27 20

6.00pm $15 8.00pm $15

Lust In Translation I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story Hot Water The Kindergarten Teacher

27 20 26 14

2.00pm $15

The Goth Pig (Khook)

29 13

4.00pm $15

SPECIAL ENCORE SCREENING

6.00pm $15

The Norwegian Sex Scandal (Sex-stuntet på Quartfestivalen) Woman at War (Kona Fer Í Stríð)

4.00pm $15

SPECIAL ENCORE SCREENING

8.00pm $15

Your Face Global Jam Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

30 21

7.00pm $15

Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times A Little Wisdom

30 19

7.00pm $15

Telephone The Merger

29 14

6.00pm $15

4.00pm $15

SKIN The Silver Branch Culpra Muruba Undermined – Tales from the Kimberley Jockey The Edge of Paradise: Taylor Camp

28 22 26 27 22 27 22

6.00pm $15

SPECIAL ENCORE SCREENING

14

30 30 14 30 14

Dying To Live Panel– Sun 14 Oct 6.00pm, Brunswick Picture House

6

Filmmakers Breakfast – Mon 15 Oct, 8.30am, Byron Community Centre

5

Screenplay Winner Announcement – Wed 17 Oct, 7.30pm, BCC

6

Distribution: What Are Your Options – Fri 19 Oct 9.30am–3.30pm, Girl Guide Hall, Carlyle Street

7

Breathe, Experiment, Experience – Friday 19 Oct, 12pm, BCC

6

Music Video Showcase – Friday 19 Oct, 9.00pm, Byron Bay Brewery

5

8.00pm $15

MURWILLUMBAH REGENT CINEMA Lady M Woman at War (Kona Fer Í Stríð) 1 Mètre/Heure Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

27 14 25 21

4.00pm $13

God’s In The Making Via A Little Wisdom

26 23 19

6.00pm $13

On Body And Soul (Teströl és lélekröl)

13

6.00pm $13

Lady M Woman at War (Kona Fer Í Stríð)

27 14

4.00pm $13 6.00pm $13

Pig (Khook)

13

On Body And Soul (Teströl és lélekröl)

13

4.00pm $13

1 Mètre/Heure

25

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

21

6.00pm $13

The Hermit A Little Wisdom

29 19

30

SPECIAL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES

BBFF.COM.AU BBFF.COM.AU

7.00pm $15

SUN 21

SAT 13 SUNDAY 14 FRI 19 SATURDAY 20 SUNDAY 21

6.00pm $15

The Story Twenty One Points The Kindergarten Teacher Wiki Woman at War (Kona Fer Í Stríð)

SAT 13

Telephone Transit

SUN 14

8.00pm $15

20

T16

14

Dying to Live

W17

The Merger

8.00pm $15

14

T18

MON 15

6.00pm $15

6.00pm $15

The Reports on Sarah and Saleem

FRIDAY 19

30 12 27 14 26 25 27 22

4.00pm $15

8.00pm $15

29 19 30 20

3.30pm $15 6.00pm $15

SUN 21

Waiting (Zain) Arctic Keiu The Kindergarten Teacher Dolls Astrid Lupus The Cleaners

8.00pm $15

SAT 13

27 20 29 30 20

SUN 14

Keiu I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story Sink Hole The Rolling Ground Fish Out Of Water

Something To Hold On To Backtrack Boys Waiting (Zain) Happy Sad Man

F19

6.00pm $15

6.00pm $15

SAT 20

28 20

F12

8.00pm $15

Shoreless (Uferlos) Cielo

T18

PIGHOUSE FLICKS LOUNGE CINEMA

4.00pm $13 6.00pm $13

TICKETS: Online at bbff.com.au or with the BBFF App 6 Ticket Flexipass: $80

10 Ticket Flexipass: $125

20 Ticket Flexipass $230

LEGEND Director’s Pick Environment Social Justice Visual Feast

Drama Culture Local Surf

Feel Good Comedy Action Nominee

Feature length films are highlighted in bold.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 17


SPONSORS

Proudly sponsoring and supporting BBFF since its inception

18 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


FEATURE FILMS

FEATURE DOCUMENTARIES We witness the natural world under siege, our humanity affected and altered by technology, but there’s comfort to be found in the simple things of life – dogs, art, pop music, the surf and sky, service to others, and community.

A LITTLE WISDOM

BACKTRACK BOYS

BIG WATA

REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SUN 14 | 4.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 14 | 11.00am BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | WED 17 | 7.00pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SUN 21 | 6.00pm

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | SAT 13 | 6.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | MON 15 | 2.30pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 21 | 7.00pm

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 13 | 5.30pm

Australia | 100 min | Dir: Catherine Scott | Prod: Catherine Scott | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

Big Wata is a surf film with a difference. During the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, the younger members of a traditional fishing community discover their identity and purpose through surfing as they join the country’s only surf club. Seeking to break free from local restrictions, a suspended club member embarks on a journey, only to return with a new appreciation of home. Big Wata tells an uplifting story that takes the viewer to village life in Sierra Leone. Beautifully shot, with stunning landscapes, it shows the diversity and resilience of West Africa, and how a dream can help to light up a dark time.

Canada | 92 min | Dir: Yuqi Kang | Prod: Maro Chermayeff, Sean Farnel, Yuqi Kang | Documentary | 2017 | Aust premiere

A Little Wisdom is Mongolian director Yuqi Kang’s intimately observed portrait of orphaned monks living in an isolated monastery in Lumbini, Nepal. Here, in the birthplace of Buddha, we follow the daily routine of five-year-old novice monk Hopakuli, who has been at the monastery since he was two. Kang is a Buddhist and watching the day-to-day activities of her subjects deepened her appreciation and understanding of the practice, she said. The film’s beautiful photography and gentle pacing is as lulling as a meditation, but while its subtle rhythms and symbols evoke Buddhist teachings, A Little Wisdom also reveals the contradictions between Hopakuli’s austere monastic upbringing and a child’s natural fascination with the world beyond.

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The heart-warmingly hopeful story told in Backtrack Boys is likely to make it the audience’s favourite documentary this year. By turns funny, moving and inspiring, the film meets troubled teens Rusty, Zach, and Alfie as their headlong course towards jail is interrupted by rule-breaking jackaroo Bernie Shakeshaft, who enlists them to tour with his legendary dog jumping team. Backtrack is a youth program run out of Shakeshaft’s shed on the outskirts of Armidale. When Shakeshaft recruits the “boys”, it’s their last chance to prove that they are more than just delinquents with no future. The story follows the boys’ journey – and the dogs that help tame their wild ways.

Netherlands | 79 min | Dir: Gugi Van der Velden | Surf Documentary | 2018 | Australian premiere

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 19


FEATURE FILMS

CIELO

DYING TO LIVE

FISH OUT OF WATER

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | FRI 12 | 8.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | WED 17 | 5.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | THU 18 | 8.00pm

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | SUN 14 | 6.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 21 | 2.00pm

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SAT 13 | 8.00pm

Chile/Canada | 78 min | Dir: Alison McAlpine | Prod: Sean Farnel, Carmen Garcia, Alison McAlpine | Documentary | 2017 | Australian premiere

It is no surprise that director Alison McAlpine is also a poet, because Cielo is quite simply a love poem to the night sky as seen from the Atacama Desert, Chile. It transports viewers to a space within which they can ponder the infinite and unknown, and is in itself an act of reverence and awe, drifting between science and spirituality. Planet Hunters in the Atacama’s astronomical observatories and the desert dwellers who work the land and sea share their evocative visions of the stars and planets, their mythic stories and existential queries with remarkable openness. Visually mind-blowing, Cielo is a triumph of the cinematographer’s art.

HAPPY SAD MAN

Australia | 90 min | Dir: Richard Todd | Prod: Richard Todd, Ben McNeill | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

Dying to Live is the latest offering from Richard Todd, maker of the electrifying David and Goliath story Frackman, and similarly fearless. It goes deep into the complex world of organ and tissue transplantation to tell the heartrending stories of four people awaiting life-saving organs in Australia. Why must they wait for so long? What does it take to decide to become a physical philanthropist? Each of the characters we meet is undergoing extraordinary personal challenges, their experiences demanding an answer to why does Australia, a global leader in transplant research and innovation, have such a low donor-participation rate? Dying to Live was among The Guardian’s 10 Australian films to watch in 2018. The Picture House Screening is followed by a special Q&A and Panel. The Byron Screening will be followed by a special Q&A with the director and cast members, moderated by guest host Benjamin Gilmour (a former paramedic, and director of award-winning movie, Jirga).

I USED TO BE NORMAL: A BOYBAND FANGIRL STORY

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | SAT 13 | 8.00pm Australia | 92 min | Dir/Prod: | Genevieve Bailey | Documentary | 2018 | NSW premiere

This disarmingly honest documentary about men’s mental health has garnered comments such as “an absolute pleasure to watch”, and “rich with personality, building empathy without being didactic or heavy-handed”. Happy Sad Man delves into the complex inner worlds of a number of Australian men, from Bondi Beach to the Outback, surveying their hopes, anxieties, joys and sorrows, and challenging the way we think about masculinity. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Genevieve Bailey’s smash debut I Am Eleven (2011). A natural story-teller, Bailey’s focus on another group whose portrayal in popular culture is often superficial reveals again that those stereotypes don’t match up with reality. Filmmakers in attendance

Australia | 79 min | Dir: Israel Cannan | Prod: Tom Hudson | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

This feature length documentary follows the epic journey of two businessmen searching for meaning while attempting to travel 3000 miles from New York to London across one of the world’s most treacherous oceans in a wooden rowboat. Pete Fletcher and Tom Hudson had never been out to sea and had no formal training as rowers before becoming partners in what became an all consuming and life-threatening mission. After re-building the old boat in Pete’s shed on the Mornington Peninsular, shipping it half way around and saying goodbye to loved ones, the pair set out to sea, where they soon learn the harsh realities of being alone with mother nature. Filmmakers in attendance

KUSAMA: INFINITY

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | THU 18 | 7.30pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SAT 13 | 6.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | TUE 16 | 8.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | FRI 19 | 6.00pm Australia | 92 min | Dir: Jessica Leski | Prod: Jessica Leski, Rita Walsh | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

I Used to Be Normal is a fun and intelligent documentary from Melbourne director Jessica Leski that empathetically addresses the seemingly inane adoration teenage girls have for their favourite boyband, whether it be the Backstreet Boys, One Direction, Take That or The Beatles. The film combines interviews with archival material, animation and home movies to explore the complex emotions of four diverse women whose lives were dramatically affected by their love of a boyband, and who found solace and joy in their fandom. It also looks at why pop music holds such a place in our hearts and shapes our interior world.

United States | 80 min | Dir: Heather Lenz | Prod: Dan Braun | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s vast body of work includes sculpture, installations, painting, performance, film, fashion and poetry, though she is most well known for her abstract dot paintings and mirror/infinity rooms. This documentary is about the now 88-year-old’s turbulent quest to become famous by creating the art she loved. It follows Kusama from her early life in a regional city, her early correspondence with Georgia O’Keeffe, and her joining the New York art world. In America she battled sexism and racism before returning to Tokyo, and her home in a mental institution for over 30 years. Interviews, old videos, archival photographs and letters help bring the trailblazing artist to life.

Filmmakers in attendance

20 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


FEATURE FILMS

MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN

OUR POWER

OWN THE SKY

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 14 | 1.30pm

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 13 | 1.00pm

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 13 | 3.00pm

Netherlands | 79 min | Dir: Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting | Prod: Bruno Felix, Tommy Pallotta, Femke Wolting | Documentary | 2018 | Australian premiere

Australia | 56 min | Dir: Peter Yacono | Prod: Anissha Vijayan | Documentary | 2018 | World premiere

Australia | 90 min | Dir: Gregory Read | Prod: Marcus Gillezeau, Ellenor Cox | Documentary | 2018 | World premiere

Our Power is an emotional and intense examination of the socio-economic and environmental issues facing Victoria’s Latrobe Valley community in its transition to a post-coal world following privatisation in the 1990s and the devastating 45day Hazelwood mine fire of 2014. It explores the valley’s 90-plus-year history of providing power to Victoria and beyond and the emergence of what director Peter Yacono describes as an “alternative narrative starting to stir in the Valley … The fire has been the spark in the community. The community is looking for justice right now and want to be in control of their own destiny,” says Yacono, who spoke to more than 20 groups to offer a snapshot of the various opinions around the region.

David Mayman’s passion for jetpacks turns into an addiction as he pursues his seemingly impossible quest to fly around the Statue of Liberty. Growing up in middle-class Sydney suburbia, Mayman had the same dream as many young boys – to fly! When he sees the opening of the 1984 LA Olympics and the famous flight of the rocket pack into the stadium, his life’s ambition is born. He joins elderly engineer Nelson Tyler and Bill Suitor, the stadium pilot to build one but financial problems, an accident and near-drowning in Sydney Harbour bring his journey to heel. His wife and kids are increasingly isolated and left wondering if it’s really worth it. Then Mayman’s quest takes on a more altruistic perspective.

Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

PICK OF THE LITTER

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA

TEACH A MAN TO FISH

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | MON 15 | 7.30pm

REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SAT 13 | 6.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SUN 14 | 4.15pm BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | TUE 16 | 7.00pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SUN 21 | 4.00pm

BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 20 | 11.00am

This feature-length documentary explores the promises and the complex role of Artificial Intelligence and the consequences of those promises becoming reality – with implications that are strange and unsettling. The film has been described as “heaven” for fans of Isaac Asimov and other sci-fi philosophers and writers – and even the Terminator series. As an example of the kind of paradoxical dilemmas that AI throws up, co-director Tommy Pallotta (with Femke Wolting) attempts to build an intelligent robot to see if it can replace him as the film director. Will our creation, infinitely smarter, interconnected and even selfaware render humanity obsolete? But amongst the scare-mongering here, there are also examples of how robotics and AI will improve our quality of life.

United States | 80 min | Dir/Prod: | Don Hardy Jr, Dana Nachman | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

Pick of the Litter is set to win the hearts and minds of the festival audience as it traces the lives of a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their quest to become Guide Dogs for the Blind. It’s the ultimate canine career and despite being almost unbearably adorable, not every candidate makes the grade. The cameras follow these pups through a two-year odyssey as they train to become dogs whose ultimate responsibility is to protect their blind partners from harm. We meet a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human. Only the best of the best make the cut. The pick of the litter.

BBFF.COM.AU

Japan | 102 min | Dir: Stephen Nomura Schible | Prod: Stephen Nomura Schible, Eric Nyari | Documentary | 2017 | Byron premiere

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is a poetic, reflective portrait of one of the most important artists of our era, whose career spans four decades, from pop star, to actor, to Oscar-winning film composer. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and The Last Emperor are among his achievements. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Sakamoto became an iconic spokesman against nuclear power. When he was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 he stopped working but was lured back to write the score for Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant. Coda reflects upon his personal crisis, and that of his country and the whole world. It stands as both a portrait of an extraordinary career and an intimate examination of the creative process.

Australia | 83 min | Dir: Grant Leigh Saunders | Prod: Tom Zubrycki | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

As a fair-skinned Aboriginal man with a Norwegian wife and two kids, award-winning filmmaker Grant Leigh Saunders is still struggling with his identity in middle age. Concerned that he has been away from his home country for 20 years, Saunders seizes the opportunity to quit everything to spend time with his father, Ray, with the aim of salvaging a relationship he spoiled some time ago. The autobiographical film of their fishing trip follows an emotional journey: despite a promising artistic career, Saunders has secretly wanted to be a fisherman, just like his father and his grandfather Horry. As he learns to catch fish, Saunders also learns about the history of his family’s triumph over trauma. Filmmakers in attendance

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 21


FEATURE FILMS

THE CLEANERS

PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SUN 14 | 8.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | THU 18 | 5.00pm Germany | 89 min | Dir: Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck | Prod: Christian Beetz, Georg Tschurtschenthaler | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

This noirish documentary which looks at the lives of some of the anonymous men and women in Manila who screen 25,000 Facebook posts a day and decide what to delete was a nominee at the Sundance Festival. What do we really know about what – and why – posts are “cleaned” from the social media we use so blithely? How does the internet rid itself of what it doesn’t like – including political and religious content? You may be surprised by who is controlling what you see.

UNDERMINED – TALES FROM THE KIMBERLEY

THE EDGE OF PARADISE:

TAYLOR CAMP • KAUA’I • 1969-1977

THE SILVER BRANCH

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | FRI 19 | 6.00pm BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | FRI 19 | 5.00pm BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | SUN 21 | 4.00pm United States | 86 min | Dir: Robert C. Stone | Prod: John Wehrheim | Surf Documentary | 2018 | International premiere

If you lived through the 60s and can’t remember much of it, this documentary will take you back – and show to younger viewers what being a hippie is really all about. In 1969, Howard Taylor, brother of actress Elizabeth, bailed out 13 young Mainlanders jailed for vagrancy and invited them to live on his ocean-front land at the end of the road on Kauai’s North Shore. So began Taylor Camp, seven acres of paradise housing an alternative community in a clothing-optional, pot-friendly, free-love village. For most it was the best time of their lives, says director Robert C. Stone. But some locals and the authorities hated it and things got heavy. Nostalgia and good vibes guaranteed.

Ireland | 73 min | Dir: Katrina Costello | Prod: Ken O Sullivan | Documentary | 2018 | Australian premiere

This bittersweet evocation of the end of an era is an uplifting and emotional celebration of people and place, which captures the delicacy of the natural world; the heart and soul of a farmer-poet; and the ancient rural spirit of Ireland. Patrick McCormack, deeply entwined with ancestral traditions and the natural world, must stand up for all that is sacred to him when the government threatens his way of life. The Silver Branch is about the search to reconnect with nature and culture as primary sources from which we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our surroundings. It enchants audiences because it is a story of life, love, family and grief, and our common contemporary struggles.

SPECIAL ENCORE SCREENINGS

Most years of the festival, some films are such a hit with audiences that we feel a duty to screen them again – and sometimes more than once. Such screenings are in response to audience demand and we are unable to schedule them before the festival has begun. If you have missed out on one of the most popular films – or would like to see a favourite film again, or take your friends – go to bbff.com.au for details of an Encore Screening. The site will be updated regularly.

BRUNSWICK PICTURE HOUSE | FRI 19 | 8.00pm Australia | 90 min | Dir: Nicholas Wrathall | Prod: Nicholas Wrathall, Stephanie King | Documentary | 2018 | Byron premiere

Australia’s vast and unspoiled Kimberley region is under threat, with mining, pastoralism and irrigated agriculture driving an unprecedented land grab. Undermined investigates the politics of an area now branded “the future economic powerhouse of Australia,” and what this means for our First People and their unique cultural landscapes. As pressure from industry exposes the limits of Indigenous land rights, what will remain of over 200 remote Aboriginal communities? We follow young leader Albert Wiggan, veteran cattleman Kevin Oscar and Senior Elder June Davis through David-and-Goliath battles to preserve their homelands, asking the question: for whose benefit is this development? Filmmakers in attendance

22 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


SHORT FILMS

FAMILY FRIENDLY SHORTS You might not expect it, but the selection of Family Friendly Shorts contains within it some of the most bold, most artistically adventurous filmmaking of the entire festival. Diverse forms of animation, innovative cinematography, and plot lines that range from the heart-warming to the instructive to the unsettling make these sessions an altogether satisfying experience – as much for adults as for children. For some of the films, there’s the added bonus of meeting the filmmaker and asking about their work. BUNNY RACKET – WE WANT MORE!

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am Bangalow | 2 min | Dir: Richard Farmer | Prod: Richard Farmer, Andy Walker | Music Video | 2018 | World premiere

VIA

DISCORD

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am BCC | MON 15 | 7.30pm RM | SUN 14 | 4.00pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

United Kingdom | 3 min | Dir: Izzy Burton | Prod: Tom Box | Animation | 2017 | Aust premiere

INCLUSION MAKES THE WORLD MORE VIBRANT

Australia | 2 min | Dir: Nicolette Axiak Prod: | Nicolette Axiak | Animation | 2018 | NSW premiere

Being forced into constant violin practice to satisfy her mother’s vicarious ambitions leads a young girl to resist, and causes unhappiness for them both.

The irrepressible King Bunny reminisces in song about all the things that made being a kid great in the 80s, including BMXs, MTV and Evel Knievel.

An exquisitely animated record of a life well lived, through epic environments and a meaningful narration, guiding us to open our eyes to the good things that happen every day.

ACT NATURAL

THE SANDPIT

WHEELS OF FORTUNE

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

Tyagarah | 4 min | Dir: Luca Fox | Short | 2018

Australia | 7 min | Dir: Matt Pearson | Prod: Matt Pearson, Elspeth Trautwein | Short | 2018 | Sneak preview

Australia | 10 min | Dir: Hannah Keogh | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

The scene is an everyday social gathering but Miles, 18, has high-functioning autism and is out of his depth, so he lets us in to what’s going through his head.

Jasmine spends her lunch digging for pebbles in the school sandpit. She’s an outcast to the other kids, but Alex sees her differently.

A loyal friend and the wisdom of his Star Wars heroes encourage a disabled teenager to triumph over the forces of darkness and stand tall.

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am Australia | 3 min | Dir: Genevieve Clay-Smith | Prod: Chloe Lawrence-Hartcher | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

A little boy helps his blind mother experience a stirring work in an art gallery – and stimulates appreciation in other visitors as well.

PIONEERS

(LES PIONNIERS DE L’UNIVERS)

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am France | 5 min | Dir: Benjamin Bernon, Clémentine Courbin, Matthieu Guevel, Anthony Rege, Jérôme Vanbeneden | Prod: ArtFX | Animation | 2017 | Australian premiere

During the USSR space race, Macha and Vassily work secretly on a special project, and prove that even the little people are allowed to dream of reaching the stars.

HYPERTRAIN

NEGATIVE SPACE

IT’S A BIRD THING

LITTERBUGS

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

BCC | SAT 13 | 11.15am

Switzerland | 4 min | Dir: Fela Bellotto, Etienne Kompis | Animation | 2016 | NSW premiere

France | 6 min | Dir: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata | Prod: Ikki Films, Manuel Cam Studio | Animation | 2018 | NSW premiere

United Kingdom | 15 min | Dir: Peter StanleyWard | Prod: Nicole Carmen-Davis, Chris Musselwhite | Short | 2016 | Byron premiere

There’s no waiting at the station for this train. It’s all aboard for a trip through space and time that brings the traveller – and his cat – to a familiar destination: himself.

Our hero recalls how his dad taught him how to pack a travel bag. For them, it was the perfect way to form a bond.

France | 6 min | Dir: Sylvain Bonnet, Justine Gautheret , Mathilde le Gloahec, Maximilien Ly, Johanna Nizard , Leo Pieri, Andrea Roncancio, Jeremy Souillet, Ludivine Vincent | Prod: ISART Digital | Animation | 2017 | Australian premiere

BBFF.COM.AU

In the underworld of the favelas, little Aaron lives a lonely life – until the day he sees a bird flying overhead and discovers a dream of freedom in his heart.

Helped by the flying mechanical creatures she has made, a young inventor and a pint-sized superhero defeat the town bullies and find an unexpected friendship.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 23


SHORT FILMS

YOUNG AUSTRALIAN FILMMAKERS DISTORTIA

SIX PACK

SMALL TOWN P.D.

TAPE

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

Tyagarah | 7 min | Dir: Luca Fox | Prod: Natalie Grube | Short | 2017

Byron Bay | 6 min | Dir: Madeline Mack | Prod: Madeline Mack, Michael Lincoln, George Basil | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Australia | 7 min | Dir: Indianna Bell, Josiah Allen | Prod: Indianna Bell, Paul Forza | Short | 2018 | NSW premiere

Australia | 9 min | Dir/Prod: Jordan Giusti | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Dark comedy in which a man down on his luck and nursing a beer as he walks home from work is mugged by a child.

When a teenager goes to run an errand for his girlfriend, he triggers a chain reaction among the unnecessarily large team of bored cops in a small Australian town.

DROP POCKET

ON

SKIN LIKE BARK

BEHIND BARRES

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm

Australia | 9 min | Dir: Margaux Hemard | Prod: Tink Hanger | Short | 2018 | Byron premiere

Australia | 2 min | Dir: Jelena Sinik | Prod: Jelena Sinik | Short | 2018 | Byron premiere

Australia | 10 min | Dir: Declan Caruso | Prod: Declan Caruso, Celine Wienand, Christine Marie Milo | Short | 2017 | NSW premiere

Australia | 12 min | Dir: Sophia Bender | Short | 2017 | NSW premiere

An ageing boxer prepares for his toughest fight. He’s struggling to stay engaged with reality after years of head trauma, but stands to lose more than his mind.

A middle-aged man visits his childhood town after 20 years and over a game of pool attempts to reconnect with the son he abandoned as a toddler.

THE INTENTIONS OF F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm Australia | 17 min | Dir: Jay Perry, Shaun Perry | Prod: Rhys Sherring | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

Two hitmen on a routine assignment engage in a profound conversation on the meaning of The Great Gatsby, and lose sight of the job in hand.

In this age of attention scarcity, where is our gaze falling? On takes a curious and playful glimpse at the connectedness and enduring loneliness of the modern condition.

LOCKER ROOM

BCC | SAT 20 | 3.30pm Australia | 14 min | Dir: Greta Nash | Prod: Honeylyn Lisson | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

After coming across something she wasn’t meant to see, a 16-year-old girl begins to examine her close friendship with three boys from the school football team.

The consequences of his violent behaviour traumatise a teenage schoolboy, himself a victim of toxic masculinity. Does he have the courage to take responsibility for his crime?

A scruffy 19-year-old living in his car finds a videotape outside the abusive home he’s run away from, sparking a search for a VCR he can play it on.

Fragile ballet student Adelina is overburdened by her art but battles to succeed, slipping in and out of reality as she fights to discover her inner strength.

The edgy, independent ethos of the Byron Bay Film Festival exerts an enormous attraction upon young filmmakers, 110 of whom submitted entries this year. The diversity of genre and creative approach is staggering, and cause for great optimism for the future of filmmaking in Australia. The 10 selected, six of them by women, range from concise and incisive slices of zeitgeist issues such as cyber-porn, toxic masculinity and social isolation, to high comedy and joyful silliness.

24 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


SHORT FILMS

SHORT FILMS The several dozen short films selected for BBFF 2018 represent a tiny handful of the thousands of works being created all around the world – big, sometimes beautiful stories, condensed into a few minutes, with themes and ideas that could fill a feature. They punch well above their weight, with an impact way beyond their modest length, leaving us with a smorgasbord of sensations and myriad memories.

1 MÈTRE/HEURE

A PICTURE OF OTHER PEOPLE

A RESTLESS PEACE

AAMIR

BCC | SAT 13 | 3.00pm RM | SAT 13 | 6.00pm RM | SUN 21 | 4.00pm

BCC | SUN 21 | 2.00pm

BCC | SUN 21 | 4.30pm

BCC | SAT 20 | 11.00am

Australia | 10 min | Dir: Jason Fitzgerald | Prod: Brittany Blacka, Jason Fitzgerald, Will Kelly, Nicholas Kraak, Lachlan Linton-Keane | Short | 2018 | NSW premiere

Australia | 5 min | Dir: Krystle Wright | Prod: Canon Australia | Short Doc | 2017 | Byron premiere

United Kingdom | 16 min | Dir: Vika Evdokimenko | Prod: Vika Evdokimenko, Emma Stone | Short Doc | 2017 | Aust premiere

An emergency services operator takes a call from a young boy whose mother has collapsed. As she guides him through the CPR process while they wait for the ambulance, she is struck by numerous parallels between the boy’s home life and her own.

Australian photographer Stephen Dupont has a fascination with disappearing worlds and death. Camera in hand, he finds veins to mine in war, in Mexico’s Day of the Dead and in professionals who deal with the deceased. Witnessing his mother’s death, he asks himself: “How far can I take it?”

Aamir, 13, is stranded alone in the largest unofficial refugee camp in Europe. Katlyn, a thinly stretched volunteer, is his last hope for salvation. Inspired by true events, this BAFTA nomination was shot on location in the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp by Robbie Ryan in collaboration with local refugee communities.

Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

AMBER FLUSH

ASTRID

BABS

BAVURE

BCC | SAT 20 | 1.15pm

PF | SUN 14 | 8.00pm

BCC | SUN 14 | 1.30pm

Bangalow | 12 min | Dir: Beth Roland | Short | 2017 | NSW premiere

Spain | 18 min | Dir: Luigi Abanto Varese | Prod: Daniel Gimenez Pajares | Short | 2016 | Byron premiere

United Kingdom | 12 min | Dir: Celine Held | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

BCC | SUN 14 | 1.30pm BCC | THU 18 | 7.30pm

France | 9 min | Dir: Nicolas Deveaux | Animation | 2018 | Australia premiere

Caught up in our mundane lives, we humans miss out on the amazing. On an airplane wing, a company of snails performs a wonderfully slippery choreography…

Felix is a recent widower who struggles to manage his late wife’s florist’s shop. He’s in desperate need of positive change and Amber Flush – the use of vibrant colours to create contrast with the dark – provides it, in this beguiling film about discovering happiness in the simple things of life. Filmmakers in attendance

BBFF.COM.AU

Former war photographer Miguel takes photos of dead women for a photographic project. The body of one, named Astrid, transfixes him. His girlfriend, Susan, is feeling rejected and ignored. Miguel determines to revalue his life and obsession, but it may be too late to save his relationship.

An estranged son discovers an alarming purchase made by his late father, and achieves an unexpected emotional connection with the old man.

France | 4 min | Dir: Donato Sansone | Experimental | 2018 | Australian premiere

Bavure portrays the evolution of a human being from his creation to his awareness of the mysteries of the universe. It is a metaphor for the creation of the world and a parable of the artistic process.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 25


SHORT FILMS

CHASING MONSTERS

CULPRA

DAMASK ROSE

DOLLS

BCC | SAT 13 | 3.00pm

BPH | FRI 19 | 8.00pm

BCC | SUN 21 | 4.30pm

PF | SUN 14 | 8.00pm

Australia | 5 min | Dir: Krystle Wright, Toby Pike | Prod: Canon Australia | Short Doc | 2018 | World premiere

Australia | 3 min | Dir: Adam Marriott | Prod: Barry Pearce | Short Doc | 2017 | NSW premiere

Australia | 7 min | Dir: James L Brown | Prod: James L Brown, Bill Irving | Short Doc | 2017 | Australian premiere

Broken Head | 5 min | Dir: Clare Sladden, Jasmine Sladden | Prod: Clare Sladden | Short | 2018 | Byron premiere

Damask Rose is a short documentary film based in Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan. An improvised song about loss, hope and a longing for homeland.

A man’s unconventional companions are having a bad effect on his love-life but he can’t turn his back on them. They, however, believe it’s time for a change.

For the past 20 years, Australian photographer Nick Moir has been chasing weather systems around the world. Nick journeys through the famous Tornado Alley stretching across the American Midwest that produces catastrophic yet beautiful storms that earn the appropriate nickname, Monsters on the Plains.

A short but beautiful exploration of Culpra, an Aboriginal homestead within Kemonok National Park, where it sits on the Murray River, halfway between Mildura and Robinvale. It is rich in history and spiritual significance for the Barkandji people, and is home to a number of significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites.

Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

DRUMMER GIRL

GOD’S IN THE MAKING

HAND MADE

HOLD DOWN

BCC | SAT 13 | 8.00pm

RM | SUN 14 | 4.00pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 5.30pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 5.30pm

Bangalow | 6 min | Dir: Sophie Hexter | Prod: Poppy Walker | Short Doc | 2017

Australia | 7 min | Dir: /Prod: | Jaden Bowen | Short Doc | 2018 | NSW premiere

Australia | 4 min | Dir: Jonathan May | Prod: Liliya May | Surf Doc | 2017 | Byron premiere

Australia | 6 min | Dir: Noah Cornale | Surf | 2018 | Australian premiere

Drummer Girl follows the story of profoundly blind Renee Kelly, creating a real intimacy with Renee and her music and conveying her determination to never give up her dream of playing in a band.

In 1954, nuclear atomic testing was running rampant. To help save humanity from itself, the Aetherius Society rose around their leader, Dr George King. Sixty-three years later, the only remaining group of the society in Australia is still striving to keep the world from falling into catastrophe.

A portrait of Mark Rabbidge, a professional longboard surfer who shaped many surfboards for champion surfers in the 80s/90s, including his wife, the 1990 world champ Pam Burridge. Mark lives on the South Coast of NSW, Australia and continues his lifelong pursuit of uncrowded waves and passion for building cars.

The “hold down” refers to the sometimes terrifying time a surfer is held under water after being dumped by a wave but this is more generally a look at surfing as a spiritual outlet, and growing up in the waters of the Mid North Coast.

HOME

HOT WATER

HOUSE OF TEETH

IN PERPETUAL MOTION

BCC | FRI 19 | 5.00pm

PF | FRI 19 | 8.00pm

BCC | MON 15 | 7.30pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 5.30pm

Australia | 5 min | Dir: Spencer Frost | Surf Doc | 2017 | Byron premiere

Byron Bay | 20 min | Dir: Madeline Mack | Prod: Madeline Mack, Nell Teare | Short | 2018 | World premiere

United States | 26 min | Dir: Susanna Styron | Prod: Joshua A. Foster | Short | 2016 | International premiere

Australia | 5 min | Dir/Prod: | Krystle Wright | Surf Doc | 2017

Jeanne, a French divorcee, is trying to create an identity for herself in LA after escaping a marriage but struggling as a foreigner with no credit history or job. Then she meets Hunter, a charismatic and seemingly nice guy.

After 28 years of marriage, Lucy and Greg decide to call it quits, and Greg moves out. When her 26-year-old daughter, Charlotte, comes to visit and decides her mother needs to “get back in the game”, Lucy comes up against the limitations – and liberation – of life on her own.

Filmmakers in attendance

A celebration of the life of a man called Bob. He’s always put the ocean first, which has led to him being homeless and living in a van. But he loves the ocean and his life as much as ever, and of course still surfs every day. Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

For artists there is a fine balance between passion and obsession. This short film explores the work of Krystle Wright and the different facets of fear in her life and her work. Filmmakers in attendance

26 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


SHORT FILMS

INTERSTELLAR TIMELAPSE

JOCKEY

KEIU

PF | THU 18 | 8.00pm

BPH | SUN 21 | 4.00pm

Australia | 5 min | Dir: Russell Wiltshire | Experimental | 2017 | Australian premiere

Australia | 16 min | Dir: Nick Richardson | Prod: Ryan O’Gorman | Short | 2018 | World premiere

PF | SAT 13 | 6.00pm PF | SUN 14 | 6.00pm

Australia’s night sky like you’ve never seen it before! Featuring the Milky Way, star trails, and the enigmatic Aurora Australis.

A satire on the media industry and the rise of alt-right politics which follows John Slate, the King of Breakfast radio, as he becomes embroiled in a racism scandal and refuses to apologise.

LA MORT, PÈRE & FILS (THE DEATH, DAD & SON)

Finland | 14 min | Dir/Prod: Juuli Linneo | Short | 2018 | NSW premiere

Selma is depressed. She’s wasting away at her work and living with her fairy-like sister. One by one Selma’s colleagues try to shake her back into the land of the living.

Filmmakers in attendance

BCC | THU 18 | 2.30pm France | 14 min | Dir: Paronnaud Vincent, Waltgenwitz Denis | Prod: Jousset Marc, Capron Perrine, Ruby Thibault, Schmerkin Nicolas | Animation | 2017 | Australian premiere

A son doesn’t want to take over the family business. He has a secret dream to become a guardian angel, which will trigger a succession of collapses and require his dad to get him out of a mess.

LADY M

LAST DRINKS AT FRIDA’S

LUPUS

LUST IN TRANSLATION

RM | SAT 13 | 4.00pm BCC | SAT 13 | 8.00pm RM | FRI 19 | 6.00pm

BCC | SUN 21 | 11.30am

PF | SUN 14 | 8.00pm

PF | FRI 19 | 6.00pm

Australia | 12 min | Dir: Bjorn Stewart | Prod: Lois Randall, Kodie Bedford | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

France | 9 min | Dir: Carlos Gomez Salamanca | Prod: Ikki Films, Nocroma, JPL Films | Animation | 2016 | Australian premiere

Australia | 8 min | Dir: Peter Varney | Prod: Travis Wilks | Short | 2017 | NSW premiere

Sydney, 1944. A lonely married jazz singer and a troubled Indigenous soldier find solace in an underground speakeasy, where the rules of the outside world don’t apply.

In 2011, a security guard was killed by a pack of dogs protecting a housing development in Bogota, an individual’s tragedy lost amidst the gung-ho triumphalism of the city’s politicians.

United Kingdom | 12 min | Dir: Tammy Riley Smith | Prod: Karen Newman | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

An ageing actress seeks an audition for the part of Laby Macbeth in an upcoming production. When it becomes clear that she has no chance, and is instead offered the part of one of the witches, look out!

Two hikers are attracted to each other but don’t speak a common language, resulting in comical attempts to connect.

Filmmakers in attendance

MAKING WAVES

MAMOON

MEETING MICK

MURUBA

BCC | SUN 14 | 4.15pm

BCC | TUE 16 | 7.30pm

BCC | THU 18 | 7.30pm

BPH | FRI 19 | 8.00pm

Goonellabah | 6 min | Dir/Prod: | Karenza Ebejer | Short Doc | 2017

United Kingdom | 6 min | Dir: Ben Steer | Prod: Tom Box | Animation | 2017 | Byron premiere

Ocean Shores | 7 min | Dir: Susie Forster | Prod: Susie Forster, Tim Winton-Brown | Short Doc | 2017

Using projected animation onto polystyrene film sets, Mamoon follows the story of a mother and her infant child who are forced to leave their home when mysterious, dark shadows envelop the light in which they exist.

Tim Winton-Brown met Mick on the dance floor when Tim was recovering from the accident that left him with incomplete quadriplegia. Mick’s creativity was infectious and started Tim on his own artistic journey.

Australia | 7 min | Dir: Annette Omondi, Federica Fichera, Ksenia Fedotova, Priyankar Ray | Prod: Citt Williams | Short Doc | 2017 | World premiere

Max McAuley is a young professional dancer with Down Syndrome. In this story, he is the principal dancer in a choreographed work that is inspired by the watery world of his dreams. Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

BBFF.COM.AU

Marilyn Wallace and Christina Howley monitor the water in a Queensland rainforest, Marilyn using traditional Indigenous methods and Christina the whitefella science. Here it’s suggested the two methods could come together for the greater good.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 27


SHORT FILMS

NICE WOMEN

ON MY TERMS

PACHINKO

PASSION GAP

BCC | TUE 16 | 7.30pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 5.30pm

BCC | THU 18 | 7.30pm

BCC | THU 18 | 5.00pm

Canada | 6 min | Dir/Prod: Anik Salas | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Australia | 8 min | Dir: Jake Blackburn, Quentin Curzon, Bradley Nisbet | Short Doc | 2017 | NSW premiere

USA | 4 min | Dir: Luis Grane | Prod: Tomas Basile | Experimental | 2017 | Australian premiere

United Kingdom | 20 min | Dir: Matt Portman, Jason Donald | Prod: Gavin Schneider, Matt Portman | Short | 2017 | Australian premiere

A base jumper, grounded by his duty to his family, yearns for the freedom of the sky.

A visitor immersed in Tokyo considers how the heavy set of implicit rules might take a toll on the individual psyche and mess with human instincts. People coexist with animated cartoon characters and have imaginary interactions with ancestors by honouring traditions.

Elani survived her brutal childhood by carefully watching people. Now she plans to use her relationship with Mikey to get out of Cape Town for good. All she has to do is manage his ego for one more night.

PHENOMENALITY

RERUNS

RINGO ROCKET STAR AND HIS SONG FOR YURI GAGARIN

ROBHOT

BCC | SAT 13 | 5.30pm

BCC | SUN 14 | 7.00pm BCC | TUE 16 | 5.00pm

A young doctor invites her mother to have lunch in the park to tell her important news. The animosity between them reaches a whole new level that will change their relationship forever.

Australia | 13 min | Dir: Lucas Jatoba | Prod: Wendy Harper, Ric Friar, Lucas Jatoba | Surf Doc | 2016

Netherlands | 15 min | Dir: Rosto | Animation | 2018 | Australian premiere

Big wave pioneer Ric Friar drowned and came back from the dead to sleep with Twiggy. Friar literally became the “King of Poo” and made a fortune in the process, in a life of adventure, insanity and bravado.

Everything’s different but nothing has changed. A trip through a sunken maze of memories and dreams.

ROUND TRIP

BCC | WED 17 | 5.00pm Netherlands | 10 min | Dir: Rene Nuijens | Prod: Rene Nuijens, Marko Nicolic | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

BCC | SUN 14 | 1.30pm France | 6 min | Dir: Donato Sansone | Prod: Schmerkin Nicolas | Animation | 2017 | Australian premiere

A dry, tragic musical comedy film about a gipsy who thinks he can be famous by writing a song for the first man in space.

An ordinary domestic argument turns into an organic and surrealistic fight between two humanoid robots. It’s a battle to the death.

SKIN

SAM DID IT

SHORELESS (UFERLOS)

BCC | SUN 21 | 7.00pm

BPH | FRI 19 | 6.00pm

BCC | WED 17 | 7.30pm

Australia | 6 min | Dir/Prod: Ren Thackham | Short | 2018 | Byron premiere

United Kingdom | 24 min | Dir/Prod: | Alasdair Boyce | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

PF | FRI 12 | 8.00pm BCC | WED 17 | 2.30pm

On a mysterious dirt road in the harsh yet beautiful Australian outback, Ned Williams is trying to escape authority and Constable Rose is trying to get out of the desert without being shot, run over... or eaten

In the remote and wild northwest of Scotland, a lonely fisherman commits a selfish act following the chance encounter with a mysterious woman. In this rugged landscape the boundaries between folklore and the harsh realities of life are enigmatically blurred.

United States | 10 min | Dir: Dominic Burgess | Prod: Natalie Britton, Dominic Burgess, Casey Graf, Ari Schneider | Short | 2017 | Byron premiere

Sam is about to meet his celebrity idol. The only problem is, Sam works in a hospital morgue, and his idol is wheeled in dead, hurling Sam’s world into chaos and despair.

Austria | 35 min | Dir: Tamara Koenig | Prod: Tamara Koenig, Sarah Hackenberger | Short | 2017 | Australian premiere

On the point of spiritual collapse, a young traveller meets an old drop-out in a desolate mountain hut which soon reveals its mysterious aura - a meeting that forces him to confront the most important decision of his life before it’s too late.

28 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


SHORT FILMS

SINK HOLE

SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO

STAYING THE NIGHT

PF | SAT 13 | 8.00pm

BPH | SAT 13 | 6.00pm

BCC | TUE 16 | 7.30pm

Australia | 7 min | Dir: Alex Serafini, Madeline Kelly | Prod: Julia Corcoran, Madeleine Levins | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Australia | 4 min | Dir: Ande Cunningham | Short | 2017 | NSW premiere

Australia | 6 min | Dir: Joshua Lundberg | Prod: Georgia Woodward | Short | 2017 | World premiere

Claude is a depressed man about to take his own life when he is interrupted by an old school friend, Doug, who fails to realise (or chooses to ignore) Claude’s desperate condition, instead going off on a wild tangent about his own demons.

Pencil’s dad finally reaches out, but his timing is all wrong.

Jake sneaks in his boyfriend Max while his single mum is out for the night. Things take a turn when Max tries to sneak back out. Filmmakers in attendance

STRONGFALA KALJA (STRONG CULTURE)

BCC | THU 18 | 7.30pm BCC | SUN 21 | 11.30am Australia | 3 min | Dir: Jarryd O’Keefe | Prod: Ash Burgess, Maeve McKenna | Short Doc | 2017 | NSW premiere

A warrior chief in a small village in Vanuatu prepares for a traditional war dance ceremony that honours the ancestral culture of his people. Filmmakers in attendance

TECHNO

TELEPHONE

THE CLAMS

THE FINE ART OF BEING ZION

BCC | FRI 19 | 5.00pm

BCC | MON 15 | 5.00pm PF | MON 15 | 8.00pm BPH | THU 18 | 7.00pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 1.00pm

BCC | THU 18 | 7.30pm

Australia | 14 min | Dir: Abbie Pobjoy | Prod: Hazal Alakus | Short Doc | 2018 | Byron premiere

Ocean Shores | 4 min | Dir/Prod: Susie Forster | 2016

Poland | 24 min | Dir: Tadeusz Łysiak | Prod: Maciej Ślesicki | Short | 2017 | Australian premiere

Ryszard, a 60-year-old farmer living in a small Polish village, cares for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s. He stumbles across a young girl who introduces him to the world of techno music which helps him momentarily forget about his grim responsibility.

Norway | 20 min | Dir: Alistair Cheyne | Prod: Natalia Valtanen | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

A journey into the world of sounds, their meaning and the memories they carry, as Viktor is on the verge of losing his hearing and becomes desperate to contact his son.

Explore the inner workings of the Melbourne Clams – a group of 30 women who transitioned from an ordinary book club to feminist synchronised swimming performers in order to combat the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Through the lens of Down Syndrome, Zion Levy Stewart captures the heart and soul of his family and friends on canvas and ceramics. Once unable to bear leaving a mark on a blank piece of paper, Zion is now one of the most prolific and bestselling artists in Australia’s Byron Shire.

Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

THE IMMACULATE MISCONCEPTION

THE GNOMOLOGISTS

THE GOTH

THE HERMIT

BCC | THU 18 | 7.30pm

PF | SAT 20 | 2.00pm

RM | SUN 21 | 6.00pm

Australia | 8 min | Dir: Tristan Winter | Short Doc | 2018 | World premiere

Australia | 13 min | Dir/Prod: Ashley Harris | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Spain | 15 min | Dir/Prod: Daniel Diez | Animation | 2018 | Australian premiere

The locals of Gnomesville, Western Australia share the history and the conflicts they’ve faced with the evergrowing population of Gnomes.

Three mates prepare for a weekend getaway but an unspoken tension resides among them with the realisation they’re slowly drifting apart. When a creepy neighbour appears, their close bonds are severely tested.

Strong storms ravage an inhospitable place. In the middle there’s a strange warrior, armed and prepared for combat. But he suffers a rare metamorphosis before a world for which he’s not prepared.

Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

BBFF.COM.AU

PF | TUE 16 | 8.00pm United Kingdom | 25 min | Dir: Michael Geoghegan | Prod: Russell Curtis | Short | 2015 | NSW premiere

Belief, family and honour. Sinead, underage and pregnant, lives with her grandparents. Her grandmother, the matriarch of this dysfunctional family and a pious Catholic, will stop at nothing to get this birth proclaimed immaculate.

DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 29


SHORT FILMS

THE LAST BABUSHKA DOLL

BCC | SUN 14 | 4.15pm Australia | 14 min | Dir: Angelo Salamanca | Prod: Georgina Luck | Short | 2018 | Byron premiere

In the Blue Mountains, a paramedic faces his most confronting case. With seconds to decide, will he follow rules and prolong a patient’s suffering or risk his career by ending their pain? Starring some of Australia’s most well-loved actors.

THE NORWEGIAN SEX SCANDAL

PF | SAT 20 | 6.00pm Norway | 14 min | Dir: Kristoffer Kumar, Mads A. Andersen | Prod: Roy Furuhaug | Short Doc | 2018 | International premiere

THE ROLLING GROUND

THE STORY

PF | SAT 13 | 8.00pm

BCC | FRI 19 | 7.30pm PF | SUN 21 | 6.00pm BCC | SUN 21 | 7.00pm

Australia | 14 min | Dir: Simon Cunich | Short | 2018 | NSW premiere

Following the death of her grandmother, Sarah is left a cassette tape and a map. There begins a strange treasure hunt in the Snowy Mountains.

Australia | 4 min | Dir: Steven Tandy | Short | 2018 | NSW premiere

A man recalls and reflects on the time he witnessed an emergency – but how appropriate is his story.

Filmmakers in attendance

An urge to save the environment with sex shocked the world when Tommy and Leona had sex in front of thousands at a Norwegian rock festival. This short doco reveals how their ecological journey continued.

THEMBA

TOWARDS THE SUN

TWENTY ONE POINTS

BCC | MON 15 | 2.30pm

BCC | SUN 14 | 11.00am

South Africa | 19 min | Dir: Sara Momtazian | Prod: Michael Stephanus | 2017 | Australian premiere

United Kingdom | 20 min | Dir: Monica Santis | Prod: Rosa Santis | Short | 2017 | Australian premier

BCC | SUN 14 | 1.30pm PF | SUN 21 | 6.00pm

Themba, son of a domestic worker, is given a second chance by his teacher to re-write a test he failed. He runs home to find his mother is not well and encounters other obstacles at home that will prevent him from studying.

A girl confronts her scarring past when she is placed at an immigrant children’s shelter for unaccompanied minors in Texas. As her future hangs in limbo, she embarks on a healing journey to recover a sense of her own power through her artwork.

WAITING (ZAIN)

WIKI

YOU CAN YOU CVN’T

YOUR FACE GLOBAL JAM

BPH | SAT 13 | 8.00pm PF | SUN 14 | 4.00pm

PF | SUN 21 | 8.00pm

BCC | SAT 13 | 1.00pm

Poland | 29 min | Dir: Veronica Andersson | Prod: Maciej Ślesicki | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Australia | 14 min | Dir: Brendan Toole | Short Doc | 2018 | NSW premiere

BPH | TUE 16 | 7.00pm BCC | THU 18 | 5.00pm

Spain | 13 min | Dir: Pello Gutierrez | Prod: Iñaki Sagastume | Short | 2018 | Australian premiere

Javier is a stiff and mournful singer of songs laden with existential angst. He’s in a band that entertains the residents in aged care, until the offer to be part of a double act sparks a creative crisis.

Wiki is an autistic and curious young girl who has to face the harsh reality of living with an alcoholic mother after her grandmother dies. Amongst all this chaos, she meets Mateusz – a big fan of Warsaw city buses – who brings back some sunshine into her life.

Filmmakers in attendance

New Zealand | 10 min | Dir: Pete Circuitt | Prod: Rob Linkhorn | Short | 2017 | Australian premiere

A light-hearted and eccentric buddy movie about a grown man, his imaginary friend and his mum. Set over a single day in suburban New Zealand.

Danny Lim, better known in Sydney as “that sandwich board guy with the dog”, inspires and provokes with his artistic protests – everything from women’s rights to climate action and marriage equality. Now he’s fighting a legal battle for the freedom to describe the PM in his own words. Filmmakers in attendance

Filmmakers in attendance

TWO STRANGERS WHO MEET FIVE TIMES

BPH | WED 17 | 7.00pm PF | WED 17 | 8.00pm United Kingdom | 12 min | Dir: Marcus Markou | Prod: Sara Butler | Short | 2017 | Australian premiere

Two strangers meet at five key turning points over the course of their lives. Initial conflict gives way to compassion and eventual friendship.

United States | 4 min | Dir: Ken Mora | Prod: Bella Fe Media, LLC | Animation | 2017 | Australian premiere

In 1987, Bill Plympton, now heralded as “The King of Indie Animation” was nominated for an Oscar for his debut handdrawn animated short film, Your Face. In 2017, animators around the world came together for the 30th anniversary of that nomination to ‘Jam’ this historic milestone and celebrate Plymton’s global influence. Filmmakers in attendance

30 BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL – FRIDAY 12 TO SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2018BBFF.COM.AU


GENERAL INFORMATION

DIRECTOR’S PICKS It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, says J’aimee Skippon-Volke, about choosing a Top 10 from the 135 feature, documentary and short films selected for screening at this year’s festival. As Festival Director I had a part to play in the selection of all of the films in this year’s festival, so naturally every one of them will have something about it that I liked or admired, or found bold or interesting – or important enough – to merit a place in the final cut. To narrow that selection down even further into a Top 10 is a tough call, mainly because so many of the films are of an exceptional standard – original, moving, informative or just highly entertaining, technically brilliant or cinematographically stunning (or both). That is always the case with the Byron Bay Film Festival: it attracts entries – nearly 1000 again this year – from the most gifted and creative talents working in film. But this year the standard and range is truly outstanding – which is great for you, the audience, and wonderful for the reputation of the festival, but which makes my task all the more challenging. However, this is a personal selection: as with all art, appreciation is a subjective business – “liking”, valuing, or being moved by a work is as profoundly personal with films as it is with music, and sometimes cannot be explained. The films screening at Byron this year extend from the sublime to the intentionally ridiculous, the transcendent to the mundane, travelling from the vast and perpetually frozen Arctic to a small, sultry Pacific Island. Much of human – and some heavenly – life is here. And it is in the heavens, or the visible sky at least, that one of my favourites is centred. Cielo is first and foremost stunningly beautiful to look at, documenting as it does in lengthy time-lapse shots the skies above Chile’s Atacama Desert. It was also made by a poet, and her narration contains within it philosophical jewels that shine like the brightest star. So do the thoughts of the physicists in the mountain-top observatory and the campesinos on the desert floor, who all express in their singular ways the sky’s mysticism and the mesmerising power it holds over them. We cannot grasp infinity, director Alison McAlpine

For a hot tip on a great film look for the Director’s Picks marked with this icon.

says – but this film gives us a glimpse of what it feels like. My other picks among the documentaries have more prosaic subjects. You might even say they are concerned with the nuts and bolts of human existence: technology, and the ever expanding role of Artificial Intelligence, are the subject of More Human than Human, which considers seriously the standard sci-fi question: is our future secure, as robots and other non-human creations enter our lives more and more, including, as here, our creative ventures. I found it stimulating, and a tiny bit scary. More disturbing is the first-class documentary The Cleaners. Billions of people are actively participating in social media, not always aware that all they post, “likes” and comments are being observed. As much as we look at it, social media is looking at us. And sometimes it doesn’t like what it sees, and removes – or censors – our feeds and favourite places. But there is no “it”. Social media is being regulated by a bunch of anonymous men and women who see their job as protecting us. The Cleaners meets some of them in the Philippines and examines the power they wield, often unknowingly, to alter “reality”. Thankfully it is more about politics than porn, but these “moderators” do not emerge unscarred from the visual deluge and The Cleaners sensitively reveals their vulnerability. Our Power and Backtrack Boys examine other aspects of earthly reality, the shocking and the hopeful: Our Power proved an emotionally fraught study of the issues facing the Latrobe Valley community, as the world turns away from coal, and following the devastating fire at the

THANK YOU

TO OUR SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS The Byron Bay Film Festival marks its 12th year in 2018, and it just keeps getting better, becoming a ‘must-have’ event for the international film industry. But none of it would be possible without the generosity and encouragement of our sponsors and supporters. We thank the local businesses for their contributions and input, and the individuals in the community for their amazing goodwill. Thanks should also go to the BBFF team, and especially to the volunteers and interns who have laboured tirelessly to make the festival the best it can possibly be, and a highlight of Byron Bay’s cultural calendar. BBFF.COM.AU

Hazelwood mine. It’s fair and balanced reporting, but had me outraged. On the other hand, I was moved, amused and uplifted by the story of the Backtrack Boys – young men, many Aboriginal, seemingly doomed to a life of trouble, find connection with something beyond themselves, something they can love and serve, and have that returned to them in spades: a dog, being part of a team, working and travelling together. It is their chance to avoid dehumanising fate of going into “juvie” and put a smile on my face. Big Wata also offers hope – and I found the story of Sierra Leone surfers so unexpected, so gratifying and simple, that it will stay with me for longer than the more conventional surfing films. It’s one of the least privileged corners of the planet, but there’s no surf rage here and the film is a lesson in gratitude. There’s a sense of hope again in the left-field romance of On Body and Soul, which blends dream sequences with a grim workplace. Out of this unlikely setting a love story flowers between a flawed man and a frightened woman – real life heroes. A colleague has noted my “dark sensibility” and my liking the short films Telephone and Techno may be proof of that: in each a man suffers by being cut off from the one he loves – a son, a wife: the settings are bleak, isolated, but the imagery, the cinematography, the stories I found entrancing. Life is hard but, once again, the human spirit shines through. “Stories” again captivated me in both Transit and Reports on Sarah and Saleem – stories of people enduring, keeping love alive in worlds gone mad – the German invasion of France, and the dangerous and divided corners of Jerusalem. The thematic current running through the 2018 festival is how best we can “stay human”, and dramas such as these four films express that idea in the most seductive, non-didactic way. I was beguiled by them. I’m sure you will be too.

BBFF BEST FILM AWARDS The 2018 Byron Bay Film Festival will present awards for excellence in the following 14 categories: Dramatic Feature, Documentary, Short Film, Surf Film, Byron Film – our Locals Award, Animation, Experimental Film, Cinematography, Environmental Film, Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year, Screenplay, CinematicVR Experience, Best InteractiveVR Experience and Music Documentary. At the time of printing many of the nominees are indicated in the program with this icon, however the full list of nominees will be available on 1 October at www.bbff.com.au/nominees. DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 31


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Byron Bay Film Festival 2018 Program  
Byron Bay Film Festival 2018 Program