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Monday
Jul212014

A CHANGE OF SEASONS: THE JEFF CANIN INTERVIEW

With the wealth of debate on key issues and the availability of broadcast quality technology, the 'enviromental documentary' has become a ubiquitous genre. To rise above the new wave of 'message movies' takes keen insight, a fearlessness in one's filmmaking and a commitment for the long term. Director Jeff Canin is at the forefront of green-themed 'advocacy cinema'; his works with Cathy Henkel, most notably 2008's The Burning Season, have been recognised internationally. His first solo directorial effort, 2 Degrees, realeased under the banner of his recently-formed company Green Turtle Films, tackles the injustices brought upon the planet by world leaders at the Copenhagen 2013 Climate Change Conference as well as one small township's brave effort to tackle the issue of global warming. Ahead of a screening of his film at Sydney's Chauvel Cinema on August 20, Canin (pictured, below; with DOP, Damian Beebe, in the South Australian hinterland) spoke with SCREEN-SPACE about the all-consuming passion that the environmental documentary demands...    

What were the motivating forces that inspired the 2 Degrees film and intiative?

My previous film, The Burning Season, ended at the Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007. I was struck by the enormity of what governments were trying to achieve and fascinated by the machinations of the whole process.  Machiavelli would have had a field day. I've always been motivated by the desire to make a difference, and felt it was important to follow the negotiations until the meeting in Copenhagen, which was supposed to produce a legally binding agreement for significant cuts in carbon emissions. The working title was ‘The Road to Copenhagen’. But all through 2009, the mantra repeated over and over was ‘2 degrees’ and how vital it was to keep global temperature rises to below 2 degrees. Yet even this was controversial, because the small island states believe that any rise above 1.5 degrees is the kiss of death. But the industrialized countries believe that they can survive a rise of 2 degrees, and economically, anything below this will be too difficult and expensive. So the title of the film is also somewhat sardonic.  

What were your goals heading into production?

My goal was to make the highly convoluted United Nations process accessible for the general public. And through our interesting characters, inspire them to look at their own lives and ways they could reduce their own personal carbon emissions.  

The toughest lines to walk in an advocacy piece are between the message-based aims and what makes it ‘entertaining’. What were the ‘dos and don’ts’ you adhered to provide that balance in 2 Degrees?

We knew that a whole series of talking heads would kill the film. But how else do you explain the incredible complexity of what was going on? So we tried to interview people on the run, in situ as it were, rather than formal sit down interviews. We also tried to interview as many women as we could, as it was mostly men in suits. And to show the colour of where we were, especially outside the negotiations, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ecuador, for instance. Showing footage of forest dwellers and their struggle to survive, especially in the Congo (pictured, right).  Those images humanize and give a face to the issue.

The lack of action at Copenhagen 2013 in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence made for some gut-wrenching scenes; experts who base their entire lives substantiating truths were clearly shaken when the inaction of our leaders became evident. What was the experience of being there like?

It was your classic multi car pile up on a freeway, but in ultra slow motion. We watched the delegates struggling through this tortuous process, often negotiating right through the night, desperate to produce an outcome that was more than cosmetic and result in real emission reductions (pictured, left; the press corps assembled in Copenhagen). And to watch in complete disbelief as the world leaders arrive and spend two days making posturing speeches purely for the TV audiences back home, instead of sitting down to iron out the remaining issues. It was unbelievably frustrating, and was only tempered by how exhausted we all were.  

2 Degrees is a film of two distinct halves - the Copenhagen 2013 coverage and then the intimacy of the Port Augusta scenes. How did you settle on the structure of the film?

We tried to weave the two stories together from the beginning, but it just didn't work. When it's so complicated, you have to keep it flowing or people lose track.  We needed the Port Augusta story to provide the inspiration and counter the depressing saga of Copenhagen. So we set up the problem: the almost insurmountable task of getting 194 countries to agree on anything substantial. Then we contrast that with communities taking action and not waiting for world leaders to act. (Politicians) are not leaders, they are followers, and will not do anything that is an electoral risk. They will always follow behind the public, which is why we need to take action first and pressure our governments to follow. 

The strong central figure of Port Augusta mayor Joy Baluch (pictured, below) paints a crucial picture of the passion needed to fight for this, for any, cause. How would you best describe both her contribution to the film and being in her company during filming?

Joy's contribution to the film was immense. She is such a great character, and also because of her impact on us. Her courage was extraordinary. She was dying of cancer and in immense pain all the time we were filming her, but you would never know it from the footage.  We'd arrive to film and she would be in agony, but she wouldn't hear of delaying the shoot. "I'm in pain whether I'm in bed or doing the filming, so let's do it," she’d say. She was willing to do whatever she could to help the film come to life. It was so hard to see, yet we were so moved by her courage and determination to fight to the end. It was very humbling, and constantly put things into perspective. People find her incredibly inspiring, and I feel very lucky to have met her.

Are you ever concerned that in the future 2 Degrees will become a kind of ‘I told you so’ document, used to chart the terrible decline of our planet? Or is their still time for significant change?

I'm not a climate scientist so I don't know if it’s too late. I'm not sure anyone does. But in case it's not, we have to do everything we can to reduce our own personal carbon emissions, and pressure our governments to do more. And vote in governments that are going to take action, instead of kowtowing to the fossil fuel industries and letting them off the hook. The ‘big buck’ actions need to come from governments: banning all future coal exploration, phasing out existing coal mines, rapidly developing of solar thermal power and other renewable energy sources. Setting emission reduction targets that match what the science demands. We have to stop electing leaders like Tony Abbott who thinks, in his words, "climate change is crap.” It's extremely difficult to get anything significant through the UN process, when any one country can derail the negotiations. But having Governments there like the current Australian one guarantees the top down UN led process will fail. 

Catch a glimpse of the 2 DEGREES movie from Green Turtle Films on Vimeo.

 

Saturday
Jul052014

TRUE GRIT: THE TOM SKERRITT INTERVIEW

Tom Skerritt has never sought A-list recognition, preferring projects that challenge and engage his craft. From early credits that would become counter-culture classics (M*A*S*H; Harold and Maude), works that encompass his maturation as a character actor (The Turning Point; Ice Castles; Steel Magnolias; Top Gun) to the accomplishments that continue to emerge after five decades on screen and stage, the Detroit native has an built an avid fan base and industry reputation the envy of many. Closing in on his 81st birthday, the actor spoke to SCREEN-SPACE on July 4, a few hours before taking the stage at Melbourne’s Astor Theatre for a sold-out Q&A screening of his most iconic performance, as Captain Dallas, in Ridley Scott’s Alien…

“I was so lucky to be with a wonderful group of actors,” says Skerritt (pictured, below; Skerritt, far right, on-set with Sigourney Weaver, Harry Dean Stanton and Yaphet Kotto), who exhibits no tiredness despite jetting in from Los Angeles only hours before. He has spent a good part of 35 years recounting the production and phenomenon that is Alien, yet offers recollections with an engaging exuberance. “The film is based on the same principles as Hitchcock used, meaning that we all know that terror is out there but we are not quite sure where or what it is. You know something bad may happen if you turn the corner but you don’t quite know what it is,” he says. “Your mind really is the scariest thing you can confront.”

This visit represents a long overdue return to Australia for the actor, who followed Scott’s outer-space monster movie with A Dangerous Summer, a bushfire saga shot in New South Wales in late 1979. It is a largely forgotten work, not least by its leading man. “I recall the experience, sure, but I forgot the name of it. What’s it called?” Skerritt laughs. “I came here because I’d never been to Australia, it was a subject that I was interested in and, frankly, they were paying good money. But we were assured they were going to do rewrites, which I don’t believe ever happened, and some of it was just very ‘soap opera’.” Despite being produced by the great Hal McElroy and with a strong cast in place (“Wendy Hughes was such a wonderful person, as was James Mason,” Skerritt recalls), it proved to ultimately be less than the sum of its parts. “The producers had a lot of footage from a summer of terrible bushfires around Sydney so they thought, ‘Let’s make a movie out of that’,” says Skerritt with a laugh. “Which was fine, because you can start anywhere and make a good story out of it, but you’ve got to do the work.”

Twenty-five years prior, Skerritt arrived back home after military service and quickly became enamoured with the arts; a major in English studies led to a passion for writing, painting and photography. “Somewhere along the way I became very curious about the theatre from the point of view of a shy and self-conscious young man, just wondering how it might help me get out of this shell that I was in,” recalls the actor. “I wound up out in Los Angeles with a vision of being a film director. I did a lot of television back then but I really wanted to start directing and writing my own shows.” (pictured, left; Skerritt in NBC's The Virginian, 1964)

He hit Los Angeles just as the ‘Golden Age of Television’ was blossoming, and worked consistently. The behind-the-scenes talent and pace of production proved invaluable for the young actor. Skerritt recalls, “I worked with some extraordinary directors (which) helped me hugely as an actor and as a writer. Each skill works in unity with and affords a degree of sympathy for the other and learning and applying that means you can work on anything without letting your ego get in the way. Knowing what writers do, what directors do, what editors do, all that knowledge brings a richness to the work an actor does.”

One of those directors was Robert Altman, who warmed to the young actor’s eager, raw talent and attitude, guiding Skerritt through both career and life decisions. The friendship led to the break-out role of Capt ‘Duke’ Forrest, in a film that changed the Hollywood landscape, Altman’s Oscar-winning military satire, M*A*S*H. “He was my mentor and that is how I got the job,” Skerritt says. “I responded to his talent, of course, but also his philosophy about work and his approach to the business.” The set was a legendarily anarchic one, the suits of 20th Century Fox clashing constantly with the anti-establishment production. Skerritt is still surprised by the hit that it became. “Oh, we had no way of knowing that it was going to be as extraordinary as it turned out to be,” he laughs.

M*A*S*H was also the first of Skerritt’s standout performances in ensemble pieces; he is at his very best in roles that draw the best from others – Fuzz (1972; opposite Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch and Jack Weston); The Devil’s Rain (1975; with Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert and Ida Lupino); The Turning Point (1977;co-starring Anne Bancroft, Shirley Maclaine and Mikhail Baryshnikov); Alien, of course (1979); Top Gun (1986; pictured, right, with Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards and Michael Ironside); Steel Magnolias (1989; with Sally Field, Julia Roberts and Maclaine again); and, his greatest TV success, Picket Fences, for which he won a Lead Actor Emmy.

“I respond best to actors who, like me, don’t take it all too seriously and don’t try to show-off,” he offers, when asked to define his philosophy on acting. “I learnt very early on from the likes of Bob Altman and Hal Ashby that the great directors make the filming experience a creative effort. Plant a seed inside the actor, ask them to grow and develop their character, show them a level of trust with the script. Actors who really have a talent will embrace the challenge to grow.”

Monday
Jun232014

CURIOUS GEORGE: THE JENNIFER M KROOT INTERVIEW

Despite her films being warmly accessible works, Jennifer M Kroot favours the outsider's view of her America. In 2009's It Came From Kuchar, she offered a deeply affecting profile of the life and art of underground filmmaking giants, twins George and Mike Kuchar. Her latest, To Be Takei, is an off-kilter look inside the vast world and eccentric mind of Star Trek's iconic Mr Sulu, George Takei, a figure who has risen above TV bit-player status to help shape his adopted nation, despite decades of racial intolerance and homosexual persecution. With its Australian premiere at Perth's Revelation International Film Festival only a few weeks away, a forthright Kroot spoke with SCREEN-SPACE about the film that Variety lauded as "a unique blend of camp and conviction"...

Firstly, the most important question – are you a Trekkie? When did you first become aware of the unique human being that is Mr Takei?

Of course I'm a Trekkie! I have enjoyed the original Star Trek series for as long as I can remember. I watched the show in reruns after school and I've loved it ever since. Initially it was the glamorous outfits and campy lighting and sets that I enjoyed, and then later I understood how incredibly progressive the show was. It never actually occurred to me what George Takei's sexual orientation would be or that he would have been imprisoned in American internment camps, so when I found those things out much later I became fascinated with him. While To Be Takei is about much more than Star Trek, I do think it's important that as a filmmaker I have the inside understanding of what it means to be a Star Trek fan.

This man’s journey represents a kind of new American social paradigm. He has emerged from a country divided by race and social tension to become a leading advocate of tolerance and change. How did you settle on the balance between exploring ‘Takei the Man’ and ‘Takei the Icon’?

Because George is such a beloved pop culture icon and because George's personality allows him to laugh at himself, he has been able to reach a wide audience with his advocacy work, regardless if it's for racial or LGBT civil rights. He's the perfect spokesperson! The US is indeed divided, but almost everyone loves George Takei for these reasons. I'm certain that George is able to charm many conservatives with his message of tolerance and change. I think that George's fans, especially on Facebook, think that they actually know him like a friend, because of his graceful and funny style. So people think that they know Takei the icon as Takei the man. Does that make sense? (laughsThis film is a very personal look at George, his history, his relationship, his regrets, his dreams. But that is balanced with George Takei the icon and, at the age of 77, the reignited, reinvented rock star. I wanted to show how he isn't just a pop culture icon but also a civil rights rock star. 

Neither seems uncomfortable with attention, but were George and his spouse Brad (pictured, top) immediately open to the intrusion of a doco crew? Did they have any kind of final say on where your camera could go or influence on the final cut of the film?

George was more comfortable with cameras than his husband Brad. I think George actually forgot we were filming sometimes. Brad is more like most people, and usually did realize that the cameras were on, becoming self conscious at times.  They were not involved in the editorial process at all. It was very nerve-racking when they saw the finished film at Sundance, but they loved it and continue to be active in the promotion of the film.

Despite the very different personalities of your subjects, I recognised similarities between George Takei and The Kuchars (pictured, below; with the director). These are society outsiders, struggling against the accepted norm to express unique creativity in the face of preconceptions and prejudices. What does your study of these men say about you as a documentarian?

And both gay men named George with wonderful voices! (laughs) It is an interesting question. Both Georges channeled their outsider-ness into their art. George Kuchar is the underground version and George Takei the above ground/galactic version. Neither have a pretentious bone in their bodies, despite being widely acclaimed. They are both willing to laugh at themselves, which is a big part of why these Georges were and are so beloved.

It's funny, I don't meet a lot of people who enjoy both underground film and science fiction. I'm not sure why the two categories don't usually overlap.  For me, the campy qualities of Star Trek remind me of the camp style of the Kuchar brothers' early films, especially Sins of the Fleshapoids.  There's a misconception that camp or theatricality can't be deep or meaningful, but of course camp can be profound, (just as) realism can be banal. I think Star Trek and the Kuchar's films are both great examples of meaningful camp.

I love that both Georges are older people who are driven to do artwork or advocacy of some sort because of obsessions they've had since they were children. George Kuchar has passed away, but I thought of him when I was filming. I am definitely attracted to people who are able to channel personal obstacles into something positive. It's hard to do. I tend to think of myself as a negative person. I worry a lot. I get caught up in the endless horrors of organic existence, so I enjoy being around people who inspire me. It's especially hopeful when they are older people doing amazing things. 

Is it the film you envisioned it would be? Perhaps more importantly, is it a version of himself that George Takei envisioned when he agreed to take part?

It's more of a romantic comedy than I expected, but other than that it is the film I envisioned.  I didn't know George and Brad prior to filming, so I didn't envision their unique relationship dynamics. That was an exciting discovery. I knew that the film would be dense and complex with many themes, just like George. I knew that I wanted to play with time, and try to create a nonlinear structure, so that we could flip easily from the present to various points in the past, like memories. I was able to interview everyone that I hoped from the original Star Trek cast to Howard Stern to the late Senator Daniel Inouye. I'm not sure if George envisioned what the finished film would look like. He saw my previous film, It Came From Kuchar, and he liked it and apparently trusted me.

To Be Takei will screen Sunday 6th and Saturday 12th of July at Revelation Perth International Film Festival. Full program information and tickets can be found at the official website.

Tuesday
Jun172014

FIELD OF DREAMS: THE JOSH TANNER INTERVIEW

The first thing that strikes you about Josh Tanner is that he certainly looks like the current crop of young directors ruling the film world. Resembling a genetic level mash-up of JJ Abrams, Joss Wheedon and Wes Anderson, the Brisbane-based 26-year-old is also displaying the artistry and genre savvy of his doppelgangers; his fourth short film, The Landing, has spent the last 8 months sweeping award after award on the global festival circuit (most recently, the Best International Live Action Short at the prestigious Fantaspoa event). Ahead of his films sessions at Revelation 2014, Tanner spoke to SCREEN-SPACE about its origins, the filmmakers that inspire him and the complex production elements required to realise his unique vision... 


The Landing looks to be crafted by a filmmaker who imagined in detail each frame before stepping behind the camera. What were the narrative's origin?

As clichéd as it sounds, the concept of the film came out of a dream. I was in the middle of a barren field, painfully digging though dirt with my bare hands, eventually unearthing what appeared to be a buried spacecraft. A concept emerged involving the suppression of a UFO landing, not by the usual “government types”, but by the normal people that bear witness to it. This intriguing kernel unravelled into a story that my co-writer and producer Jade van der Lei and I got really excited about. The idea of delving into the cold-war 1950/60s era, which was a golden age of Science Fiction, was also an awfully exciting prospect. (Tanner, on set; pictured, right)

The pov the film shares with the boy can easily by classified as 'Spielbergian', but there are many other reference points. Who are the filmmakers and what are the films that inspire you and influenced The Landing?

There is an awful lot of Terrance Malick influence in there. Days of Heaven was a huge inspiration on visual style and location. Also Tree Of Life, (which provided) a structural and thematic point of view when it came to relationships with our parents and our connection to the past. There was definitely part of me that wondered what a Terrance Malick Sci-Fi film would look like, and hopefully we’ve achieved 1% of what that hypothetical film might be. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET as well as Kubrick’s 2001 weren’t also major influences on the film.

It is a film that shifts seamlessly between styles and genres; it is a memory piece, a political work, a domestic drama, a sci-fi vision. What themes and arcs most clearly define your directorial intent?

It sounds like a pun, but alienation really is the central theme of the film, and permeates the films relationships and broader concepts. It’s the alienation between a boy (Tom Usher; pictured, top) and his father (Henry Nixon; pictured, left), their ideologies, their innocence and maturity, and their past and present. The crash-landing of this visitor brings them both a dark but alluring adventure, and the potential fulfilment of their own personal obsessions, which ultimately stand only to distract them from their alienation from each other. But it is though this very encounter, that the characters are forced to come face to face with these obsessions, and make life-altering decisions for better, or worse.

Securing the likes of leading man David Roberts (The Square; Getting' Square) and behind-the-scenes contributors such as production designer Chris Cox (Acolytes; At World's End) and composer Guy Gross must have been significant moments. How did the pre-production progress?

We were so fortunate to work with an army of incredibly talented and creative artists. We were faced with the challenge of trying to make an Australian short film masquerade as a Hollywood feature in terms of aesthetic. Setting the film in rural America in the early 60’s was something concrete and necessary on a story level, so it was about relying on our dedicated team to figure out how we’d do that. The thing that crystallised everything was the discovery of 'the Barn' location (pictured, right), which is actually an abandoned set, originally built in Tamworth for Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns. This kind of Midwest American architecture does not exist in this country, so it became a real inspiration to our team to strive to make everything as authentic to the period and geography of the story as that barn was.

With all those elements in place, how did the shoot itself come together?

The shoot was a Frankenstein process, building sets, travelling out to barren farmland, and wheat fields and stitching it all together with the help of an expert team of visual effects artists. (They) deserve a great deal of recognition because while the films production design, cinematography (Tanner with DOP Jason Hargreaves, on set; pictured, left), score and sound design are all obvious in their merits, the visual effects are those of an almost thankless kind. Meaning they’re effects that you’re not supposed to believe are effects. The greatest lesson I learned as a director has been to remain faithful to the scale of your vision, and stick to your guns without being unreasonable. There were many times when funding bodies, or industry associates recommended that we change the films setting to Australia. Despite feeling the odds were heavily stacked against us, we were always resilient enough to look at the script and remind ourselves that it was worth the struggle to forge ahead in the way we believed was right for the story. 

And now The Landing is securing festival slots and winning awards around the world. How are you responding to the acclaim and the film's momentum?

The success of The Landing on the festival circuit has opened some fantastic career doorways for Jade and I. We are currently developing the longform expansion of the short film and a supernatural-thriller feature. But while we have definitely enjoyed this exposure to industry avenues, it is finding a receptive audience to enjoy your work that is the real prize of filmmaking. We honesty will never get bored of experiencing the audiences reactions to the twists and turns of the story. When you write something with the hope that an audience will feel a certain emotion, to see it happen on the other end is what it’s all about for us - that sharing of ideas and emotion.

THE LANDING screens at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival as part of the Slipstream Quartet sidebar. Further information and tickets can be found here.

Monday
Jun092014

REVELATION 2014 PERTH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL PREVIEW

Bold new ventures from the likes of Robin Wright, Nicholas Cage and Tom Hardy mingle seamlessly with the latest in socio-political commentary and underground edginess at Revelation 2014, as the west coast film festival kicks off its 17th year with a staggering 116 film screening schedule.

Scattered throughout the 10-day event are works that suggest cinema’s A-list stars are growing increasingly frustrated with Hollywood’s reliance upon comic properties and effects-heavy tentpoles. Several works featured at Revelations indicate a return to the indie film heyday, when a wave of offbeat works emerged in the wake of Tarantino’s game-changer, Pulp Fiction, many bankrolled by name players.

Launching the event on July 3 at Perth’s arthouse cinema mecca, the Luna, will be Jonathon Glazer’s hypnotic earth-bound sci-fi drama, Under the Skin. Starring Scarlett Johansson (pictured, right) in a mesmerising turn as a predatory alien scouring the Scottish countryside for men to consume, the film is a challenging sensory and intellectual vision from the director many are positioning as the rightful heir to Kubrick’s legacy.

Other marquee names that are sure to pique interest include Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, featuring Emma Roberts, Val Kilmer and James Franco (upon whose 2010 short stories the coming-of-age drama is based); David Gordon Green’s Joe, with Nicholas Cage garnering serious awards buzz in the title role; Cold in July, which saw director Jim Mickle honoured with a Cannes Director’s Fortnight slot and stars Sam Shephard, Don Johnson and ‘Dexter’ star Michael C Hall; Steven Knight’s psycho-drama Locke, starring Tom Hardy; and, Ari Folman’s follow-up to Waltz with Bashir, the trippy meta-heavy The Congress (pictured, top), starring Robin Wright.

Perhaps no bigger personality will grace Revelation screens than the original Mr Sulu himself, George Takei, the subject of Jennifer M Kroot’s endearing and incisive bio, To Be Takei. Though certainly the highest-profile factual film in the 2014 schedule, the 19 other docos slated will just assuredly engage and, occasionally, enrage audiences, amongst them John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier; Hilla Medalia and Shosh Shlam’s study into internet addiction, Web Junkie; Toby Amies intimate character study, The Man Whose Mind Exploded; Pan Nalin’s religious epic, Faith Connections; and, Daniel T Skaggs’ tag-along railroad expose, Freeload.

The very best in international cinema is represented by David Wnendt’s body-image German blockbuster Wetlands, based upon Charlotte Roche’s corporeal-obsessed coming-of-age tale. The film’s graphic, often humourous depiction of a young woman (the adorable and fearless Carla Juri) and how she embraces the sights, smells and tastes of her blossoming womanhood guarantees to both shock and entertain the festival crowd. Other countries earning a prized Revelation showing include Canada (Matthew Kowalchuk’s pitch-black ‘anti-buddy’ comedy, Lawrence and Holloman; pictured, right), New Zealand (Anthony Powell’s breathtaking documentary, Antarctica: A Year on Ice), Finland (the bleak naturalism of Prijo Honcasalo’s Concrete Night), Kosovo (Lendita Zeqiraj’s short Ballkoni) and Iraq (Nesma’s Birds, a fascinating glimpse of the country from the female perspective from directors Najwan Ali and Medoo Ali). The haunting, sparse uneasiness of Lucia Puenzo’s Wakaldo (The German Doctor) highlights the benefits of the co-production, bringing together creative elements from the industries of Argentina, France, Norway and Spain.

Returning after a hugely successful run at the 2013 festival is a sidebar dedicated to the cinema of Iran, one of the global community’s most impassioned filmmaking territories. Six features will screen, including Rouholla Hejazi’s The Wedlock, Payman Maadi’s Snow on Pines and Bahman Ghobadi’s APSA winning Rhino Season. A retrospective special event will be a rare screening of Bahram Beyza’s iconic 1972 work Downpour, having been digitally restored with the support of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation.

Revelation's reputation as a supporter of home-grown film culture continues in 2014 with the program strand Get Your Shorts On! (showcasing Western Australia’s finest short film productions), three of the four films in the genre showcase Slipstream Quartet (including Joshua Tanner’s The Landing, direct from the Fantaspoa Film Festival where it scored the Best International Live Action Short award; pictured, right) and two features - the world premiere of Samantha Rebillet’s The Last Goodbye and Jason Sweeney’s bracing arthouse odyssey, The Dead Speak Back.

In addition to the screenings, academic and film culture conferences will allow guest speakers and industry professionals to both network and share their experiences with the savvy Perth film buff. Primary amongst these events is RevCon, a screen sector conference that fosters passionate creative exchange on all matters of the film production cycle and that has grown into a series of must-attend sessions over the course of the festival.

Revelation Perth International Film Festival runs from July 3 to 13 at venues in and around Perth. For full details, include the complete program and ticket sales, visit the official website.