Enthralling true tales, a darkly comic feminist revenge tale and short stories directed by filmmakers with disability will play out on the silver screen in Newcastle this weekend as part of the Travelling Film Festival.
The 2019 TFF program will showcase eight feature films and one fascinating documentary direct from the 66th Sydney Film Festival at Event Cinemas Kotara June 21-23.
"We can't wait to bring the Festival back to the local community in Newcastle," festival manager, Sanam Rodrigues, said.
"From a darkly comic feminist revenge tale, to enthralling accounts of true stories, this selection of nine fantastic films includes some of the most exciting films from this year's Sydney Film Festival."
Opening the festival is award-winning Australian writer-director Mirrah Foulkes' debut feature film Judy & Punch.
Starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman, this live-action reinterpretation of the famous 16th century puppet show turns the traditional story of Punch & Judy on its head and brings to life a fierce and epic female-driven revenge story.
Foulkes is set to attend the opening in Kotara on Friday.
"We're absolutely thrilled to bring Mirrah Foulkes to Newcastle as a special guest," Rodrigues said.
"Mirrah is well-known for both her esteemed acting career and her brilliant award winning short films.
"This is an excellent chance to get up close and personal with this talented Australian filmmaker."
The festival closes with Daffodils, a musical romance starring New Zealand pop star Kimbra, brimming with covers of beloved Kiwi classic songs by artists like Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, The Mutton Birds and Crowded House.
The songs frame a tale of romance, hardships and heartbreak and are filled with nostalgia for New Zealand life in the '60s, '70s and '80s.
Other films showing across the weekend include Skin starring Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott) and Danielle Macdonald (Netflix's Dumplin'), a story about a white supremacist that transforms for love, and Slam, a tense mystery set in Western Sydney tackling Islamophobia.
True stories include Kursk, a gripping account of the Russian submarine disaster starring Colin Firth, Yuli, a moving biography of Cuban ballet luminary Carlos Acosta, the first black principal dancer of the prestigious Royal Ballet, and The Biggest Little Farm, which follows filmmaker John Chester, his wife and dog as they lovingly chase their dream to set up a sustainable farm in harmony with nature.
Also screening will be Photograph, a whimsical love story following a Mumbai street photographer who convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancé, and the stunningly cinematic The Third Wife, the story of an arranged marriage in 19th century Vietnam.
Additionally, this year all short films included in the TFF Newcastle program (Deluge, Magnetic and Prone To The Drone) are created by filmmakers with disability as part of a Create NSW initiative to boost participation of underrepresented groups in the screen industry.
Tickets start at $10 from sff.org.au/tff/tickets.
- WHAT: Travelling Film Festival Newcastle
- WHEN: Friday, June 21 - Sunday, June 23
- WHERE: Event Cinemas Kotara (Westfield Kotara Rooftop)
- SINGLE TICKETS: $14.50 Adult / $12.50 Concession / $10 Student/Kids
- 9-FILM FULL SUBSCRIPTION: $85.50 Adult / $76.50 Concession
- 5-FILM FLEXIPASS: $55 Adult / $50 Concession
The 2019 TFF Newcastle Program
Opening Night - Friday, June 21
Judy & Punch - Mirrah Foulkes's astonishing, indefinable feature debut reimagines the Judy & Punch puppet show as a darkly comic feminist revenge tale starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman.
Saturday, June 22
The Biggest Little Farm - A genuine crowd-pleaser that follows filmmaker John Chester, his wife and dog as they chase their dream to set up a sustainable farm, with plenty of enthusiasm but zero experience.
Skin - Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) and Australian actress Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$, SFF2017) star in this remarkable true story of a white supremacist who transforms for love.
The Third Wife - Set in late 19th century Vietnam, Ash Mayfair's exquisite feature debut focuses on a teenager in an arranged marriage, who learns quickly about her world's suffocating patriarchy. Screens with short film Deluge.
Slam - A young Muslim activist and slam poet goes missing in this tense Sydney-set mystery with a sharp perspective on Islamophobia by Partho Sen-Gupta (Sunrise, SFF 2015).
Sunday, June 23
Yuli - Cuban ballet luminary Carlos Acosta is both star and subject of this moving and unusual fusion of biography and dazzling dance, by Spanish director Icar Bollan (The Olive Tree, SFF 2016). Screens with short film Magnetic.
Kursk - Matthias Schoenaerts, Colin Firth and Léa Seydoux star in director Thomas Vinterberg's (The Commune, SFF 2016) gripping account of the K-141 Kursk submarine disaster in 2000.
Photograph - Ritesh Bhatra (The Lunchbox, SFF 2014) returns with a whimsical love story about a Mumbai street photographer who convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancé. Screens with short film Prone to the Drone.
Daffodils - A stirring musical romance brimming with decades of New Zealand hits from Crowded House to Bic Runga.