H IS FOR HAPPINESS
HEARTS AND BONES
JUDY AND PUNCH
PALACE CINEMAS | SUN 20 | 2.00pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | SAT 26 | 6.00pm
PALACE CINEMAS | SUN 20 | 4.15pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SUN 20 | 6.00pm PALACE CINEMAS | THU 24 | 6.30pm
PALACE CINEMAS | SAT 19 | 6.30pm PALACE CINEMAS | SUN 20 | 6.30pm PIGHOUSE FLICKS | WED 23 | 7.00pm PALACE CINEMAS | FRI 25 | 6.30pm REGENT MURWILLUMBAH | SAT 26 | 6.00pm
Australia | 103 min | Dir: John Sheedy | Prod: Julie Ryan, Lisa Hoppe, Tenille Kennedy | Dramatic Feature | 2019 | NSW premiere
Featuring the incomparable Miriam Margolyes and with a dazzling cast of Australian stars that include Richard Roxburgh, Deborah Mailman, Joel Jackson (who joined us at BBFF2017 with Jungle) and Emma Booth, H Is for Happiness is true to its title, offering a gleeful coming of age story of young Candice Phee (a picture perfect Daisy Axon). Based on the young adult novel My Life as an Alphabet, the film embodies a semiserious theme that should appeal to Byron’s new-age positive thinkers (of deciding upon and “manifesting” your own cheerful reality), when Candice embarks upon a programme of schemes to make her depressed and divided family happy again. Be warned: viewers are likely to be affected by irrepressible laughter and long-lasting high spirits.
Australia | 107 min | Dir: Ben Lawrence | Prod: Matt Reeder | Dramatic Feature | 2019 | Byron premiere
Hugo Weaving excels as war photographer Daniel Fisher returning home from South Sudan and preparing an exhibition of his work from the world’s conflict zones. When South Sudanese refugee Sebastian, who has built a happy life for himself and his family in Australia, learns that the exhibition may contain photographs of a massacre in his village 15 years earlier, he appeals to Daniel to not include them The two strike up a friendship, but Weaving’s character is plunged into a moral and professional dilemma when he makes a shocking discovery. Set in Melbourne, and with not an African gang in sight, this engaging, intelligent, complex and moving film has a powerful message for all of contemporary Australia.
Australia | 105 min | Dir: Mirrah Foulkes | Prod: Michele Bennett , Nash Edgerton , Danny Gabai | Dramatic Feature | 2019 | Byron premiere
BYRON COMMUNITY CENTRE | SAT 26 | 1.15pm
PALACE CINEMAS | SAT 26 | 4.15pm
Ukraine | 89 min | Dir: Roxy Toporowych | Prod: Nilou Safinya | Dramatic Feature | 2018 | Australian premiere
Colombia / France | 95 min | Dir: Franco Lolli | Prod: Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral, Sylvie Pialat, Benoît Quainon, Franco Lolli, Daniel García | Dramatic Feature | 2019 | Byron premiere
PIGHOUSE FLICKS | THU 24 | 7.00pm PALACE CINEMAS | SAT 26 | 6.30pm
Actor Joel Jackson will be in attendance
An original love story of a promising young artist and injured soldier set against contemporary Ukraine revolution against Russia. Julia, a photojournalism student living in war-torn Ukraine, finds her path towards independence and a brighter future challenged after meeting and falling for English, a young soldier fresh from the war zone. Capturing a fleeting love story in a very specific time and place one year after the 2014 revolution in Kyiv, Julia Blue is a different kind of war story providing fascinating insight into Ukrainian culture and idiosyncrasy, old and new. Performance-driven, artistic and subtle, it is told through the eyes of a young woman who must ultimately choose the best path for her future. A delightful, creative and realistic film, Julia Blue and its emerging female writer/director are ones to watch. Filmmakers in attendance
Single mother Silvia is weary, laden with the various, overlapping burdens that include caring for her cancer-stricken mother, handling an office corruption crisis, caring for her son and navigating a possible new romance. Her mother, Leticia, a lawyer like her daughter, is gradually losing the battle, but remains feisty, quarrelsome, fuelling some of the film’s many scenes of nervy, loaded domestic conflict. Director Franco Lolli cast his own mother and cousin in the lead roles, ensuring the an authenticity and vigour to the argumentative energy between them. Litigante, which opened Critics Week at Cannes, nails the fractiousness and fear of caring for a loved one while painting an empathetic portrait of overburdened modern motherhood, and does so with grace and a reassuring truthfulness.
An “epic female-driven vengeance story speaking volumes through its feminine inversion of the traditional hero’s journey”, says Australian director Mirrah Foulkes of her first feature film, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It is also, she adds, “bat-shit crazy and fun”. Set in a misnamed town of Seaside in the 17th Century, this ambitious and fiendishly comic fairytale for our times focuses on puppeteers Judy and Punch whose marionette theatre is the one vestige of civilisation in a town plagued by superstition and misogyny, where witchhunts and stoning are prized entertainments. Once a master of his craft, Punch (Damon Herriman) is now a drunk. He fits right in to Seaside but it’s his wife, Judy (Mia Wasikowska) who has to carry the show. Finally, wronged once again, she exacts sweet revenge.
Australia | 94 min | Dir: Abe Forsythe | Prod: Bruna Papandrea, Jessica Calder, Jodi Matterson, Keith Calder, Steve Hutensky | Dramatic Feature | 2019 | NSW premiere
Lupita Nyong’o is utterly charming in this comedy horror film shot in Sydney and featuring Taylor Swift songs, nursery rhymes, bloodthirsty zombies and non-stop gags. Written and directed by Abe Forsyth (Down Under) the story begins as washed-up muso Dave (Alexander England) crashes at his sister’s place to recover from a rough relationship break-up. He jumps at the chance to join a kindergarten expedition to a cuddly petting zoo alongside the enchanting Miss Caroline (Nyongo) whose temperament matches her sunshine-yellow frock. The zoo features a rather large monster, Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad) whose childfriendliness is less than skin deep. But he’s a pussycat beside the flesh-eating creatures that escape from a nearby military facility, forcing Caroline to pick up a shovel and lose some of her sweetness.
DREAM WITH YOUR EYES OPEN – BYRON BAY FILM FESTIVAL 13
Programme of films and events at the 2019 Byron Bay International Film Festival