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Category Archives: FESTIVAL


Whoever said inflatable harem pants are the look for the season? Buy one-off deigns at The Finders Keepers Markets and look like you. This will be an indoor market with stalls by over 60 local designers and artists, plus live music, food and drinks. The perfect weekend cave. Don’t forget to bring lots of cold hard cash as there are no ATMs at CarriageWorks. Click here to check out artist profiles.

Fri May 20, 6-10pm, Sat May 21, 10am-5pm. CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh, thefinderskeepers.com

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Imagine the madness of a live fashion photoshoot, backstage hair and make-up shenanigans and model casting happening amongst an exhibition of art and photography. Think Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model minus the hours of editing. Chic Petite Events, known for putting together quarterly event Launch My Label to introduce up and coming fashion designers is now going big with a four day fashion and art festival. If you are a fashion designer who has a collection waiting to grace the runway, a make-up artist, hairstylist, model or photographer hoping for your big break, email Chic Petite to be featured at their mega art exhibition slash live fashion event at Queen Street Studios this winter (July 26 – 29). Let the hair pulling begin!

Email chicpetiteevents@hotmail.com, chicpetiteevents.com.au

What is it about blood, guts and gore that keep audiences coming back for more? Festival Director Dean Betram shines the light on this dark genre.

A little birdie told us that The Tunnel is the opening night film. Could you tell us a little about it and why it was chosen to open the festival? Not only is The Tunnel a terrifying and fantastically realised independent horror flick, but it is a testament to the incredible audacity of the indie filmmaking spirit,  in so far as the filmmakers developed an internet savvy fund-raising and promotional campaign to make the film a reality. Come to opening night and hear them tell their incredible story at the Q&A to follow the screening!

What films are you excited for the audience to see? Obviously the entire program excites me, but to list just a few: Dead Hooker in a Trunk is a heck of a lot of subversive fun, directed by and starring two of the genre’s hottest up and coming directors: twin sisters Jen and Sylvia Soska (pictured). The festival’s audience is also going to love Absentia, one of the most original and effective monster movies that I’ve seen in the last decade. The horror comedy The Last Lovecraft, already an international festival hit, delivers an hilarious take on the writings of cult horror author H. P. Lovecraft (Reanimator, Dagon, Call of Cthulhu) and is going to be a massive fan favourite. The highly anticipated Chilean feature Descendents will tick all the right boxes for zombie aficionados. And finally, genre legend Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Millennium) stars in his best role in years in Wilderness, an edge of your seat creature feature cum psychological mind trip that is going to blow the audience away!

What is about horror films that people just can’t get enough of? I think it is part of human nature to want to sit in the dark and be scared by a horrific story. Once we gathered around campfires to experience scary storytelling, now we huddle in cinemas for the same chills.

What’s the difference between horror and thriller? As the names of the two different genres suggest, a horror film should evoke a sense of horror in the audience, while a thriller should thrill. Also, if a film deals with overtly supernatural themes, or contains a decent helping of blood and guts, it definitely moves from the realm of thriller to horror. Obviously there is some crossover between the two.

What are your top five horror films of all time? Tough call, but John Carpenter’s Halloween, George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and Ruggero Deoadato’s Cannibal Holocaust.


Mar 31 – Apr 8, Dendy Cinema, Newtown. 261-263 King St, Newtown, 8594 9000, dendy.com.au

To the naysayers who call Sydney an ageist society, take note. The young at heart will be out to play at the annual film festival especially for those who are 60 years old and over. Not only will there be screenings of classics that have stood the test of time (Maltese Falcon, The Graduate, The Pink Panther, The African Queen) Aussie charmers (Breaker Morant, Lou, Red Dog, The Fringe Dwellers) and sparkling premieres (Brighton Rock, Get Low, Trophy Wife pictured), audiences will be treated to homemade, top notch short films starring spunky seniors. There will be discussions, Q&As, awards and drinks. It doesn’t matter what age you are, don’t miss this party. And feel free to leave the ID at home.

Mar 24 – 27, Dendy Opera Quays, Shop 9, 2 East Circular Quay, Sydney, 9247 3800, dendy.com.au, youngatheart.net.au

The National Aboriginal Writers’ Festival is still a toddler at three years old but the history of Aboriginal stories and its oral tradition goes back a long time. Amidst a whole day of celebrating the best of Aboriginal literature, join Jim Everett, Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Lionel Fogarty (pictured top) and MC Cathy Craigie as they entertain you with eloquent spoken word performances. Other program highlights include A History of Aboriginal Writing, Doing It Our Way (writers who use multiple genres to tell their stories) and Poetic Justice (poets speaking revolutionary words). This is a rare opportunity to hear Aboriginal poetry in the park so grab a picnic or buy yourself lunch at the catering cart provided by the NSW Writers’ Centre to see pure poetry in motion.

Mar 19, 1-2pm, NSW Writers’ Centre, Callan Park, Balmain Rd, Rozelle, 9555 9757, nswwriterscentre.org.au


Back in the day, a newly crowned Miss India (1984) went on to become the most popular Bollywood actress playing the lead role in films about love – a major source of entertainment and escapism amongst the Indian population. Today, Juhi Chawla is involved in a film (I AM) about child abuse, homosexuality and a woman who wants to use a sperm donor to become a mother. Here’s our exclusive interview Ms Chawla.

You were an extremely popular Bollywood actress, why did you decide to do more Parallel Cinema (alternative)? There is a lot of magic and fantasy in Bollywood and of course it’s a lot of fun to do. Who doesn’t like dancing around trees?  But I as an individual am very moved by the stories that so called parallel cinema directors have the courage to make. It lets me express myself and my soul the way I want to.

You are a film actress, producer and presenter. Which of these jobs do enjoy the most? Why? I love being a producer and a presenter, but I will always be an actress first. Acting has been my first love. It allows be to explore characters, and hence the world, one role at a time. In a strange way, this has helped me discover myself.

I AM is a film that transpired due to funding from social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. How has social networking changed Indian cinema? While changing the way the world communicates, social networking sites are slowly changing the way Indian cinema works too. I AM is one of the biggest examples of this. Never before has such a large, ambitious project been able to materialise via social networks. About 400 people from over 45 cities were able to come together to pool their finances, talents and other resources and create this fantastic film. This is just the beginning.

I am now on twitter, slowly learning the ropes and enjoying every moment of it. I hope to be able to reach out to my fans through this medium as well as have them talk to me about the things they really want to say.

Have you been to Australia before? What are looking forward to doing/seeing here? I have been to Australia before. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The beaches in Australia are really something else. They have the clearest, bluest waters and the most fantastic surfers. The people are really nice too.

What did you believe in when you were 18 you wish you still believed in today? This may sound idealistic but I have been blessed to find that some of the things I held most true in my childhood are still true now. You can trust people. The world is not necessarily a bad place and good deeds do take you far. The one thing which has changed though is that every small problem does not seem as a big a crisis as it used to when I was younger.

Festival Director: Mitu Bhowmick

People still equate Indian cinema with Bollywood. Is this accurate? It’s not accurate but we have all made our peace with it. India has many states and most of them have a vibrant regional film industry of their own and they tell their own unique stories in their own styles and languages. Our festival is a true representation of the same and we have the traditional mainstream Hindi ” Bollywood ” films along with some of the best of regional Indian films.

How has social networking changed Indian cinema? Like everything else social networking has bridged many gaps – everyone and everything is very immediate – film verdicts, film promotions and also connecting with film makers and stars.

What are your top five Indian films of all time? Lagaan , 3 Idiots , Pather Pachali , Sholay and Chak De India.


Mar 9 – 19, Hoyts Cinema Paris, The Entertainment Quarter, Bent Street, Moore Park. indianfilmfestival.com.au


If Shakespeare was hired to write a hip hop sonnet, what would he have said? We speak to Festival Organiser Nick Power as he reveals the mysteries of hip hop in Sydney.

This is a four-week festival packed full of activities. How did you ever put it all together? Well, firstly, I’m part of a great team. CarriageWorks does an amazing job producing the festival. I had to dig deep into my little black book and called up some old friends. I keep an eye out as to who’s making noise on the local street scene.  I also connect with the community leaders who are making it happen in all elements of hip hop culture. A puzzle that’s slowly but surely come together.

Which events are you excited for the audience to see, hear, experience or take part in? Flexing Skills is always a favorite because you don’t know what’s going to happen – it’s totally freestyle. Plus, you have some of the dopest B-Boys, MCs and DJs mixed up into teams and given three topics and five minutes to rock a live set.  We’ve got the crew from Sketch the Rhyme coming onboard this year as well as funk heavyweights, The Resin Dogs.  It’s gonna be a great night!

Why the venue CarriageWorks? When I first walked into CarriageWorks, I was completely amazed and immediately thought you could put on a dope hip hop jam in here.  The crew at CarriageWorks thought the same thing and away we went.  I feel like we’re fully utilising the venue this year.

We hear Shakespeare is making a hip hop appearance. Please explain. Yea, I’m really looking forward to Funk It Up About Nothing. It’s a hip hop adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic Much Ado About nothing.  Chicago Shakespeare produced it and the show features the Q Brothers.  It’s got great reviews from all over the world.

In previous Platform Hip Hop Festivals, which were the most popular events? Freak the Technique is always super popular.  It’s the day where all elements of hip hop are represented and come together as one.  We’ve got a Graffiti comp, beatbox battles and Sydney’s best MCs rocking the mic. On the dance stage, we’ve got popping, locking and breaking battles.  In the evening, we go into the theatre for the finals of the breaking comp with Australia’s best B-Boys and B-Girls battling it out alongside killer DJs and live hip hop acts.  Plus, it’s all totally free!

Who are your top five hip hop local/international acts of all time? I’m going to represent the 5 elements in my answer: Beatboxing – Rahzel, Graffiti – Mistery, MC – KRS ONE, DJ – Grandmaster Flash and B-BOY – Storm.

Mar 12 – Apr 2. CarriageWorks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, Free-$35, 8571 9099, platformhiphop.com.au, carriageworks.com.au

An international food spread, music, celebrity spotting, short films, and an after-party at the ritzy Randwick cinema – is there a better way to spend a Sunday? Closing the Australian Film Festival, the streets surrounding the Ritz Cinema aka The Spot will be closed off for a film themed food festival. You don’t need to get up at the break of dawn to get to The Spot. Stroll in leisurely at 1pm as the multicultural cuisine of Randwick tempts you to eat more than you usually would and at 6pm, armed with dessert and coffee, witness Aussie celebrities Gary Sweet, Sigrid Thornton and Jack Thompson as they are presented with the Australian Walk of Fame award. Although, we hear Thornton maybe a no-show due to prior commitments. When the food’s been had and the celebrities spotted, walk up to the intimate yet glamourous Ritz Cinema Bar for a sparkling finish to a dazzling food and film festival.

Mar 13, The Spot, St Paul’s St and Perouse Rd, Randwick, Free, australianfilmfestival.com.au

This year’s World of Women: WOW Film Festival is packed full of celebrities, parties and of course an array of contemporary short films. Amidst the madness, a little film about typography where Helvetica yearns for equality and Wendy is a freedom fighter stood out like an Algerian in an Arial world. We talk font to filmmakers Brooke Trezise and Nils Crompton.

This is a pretty cool idea for a film. When did inspiration hit? We originally made this film for the Stereotyped exhibition at Object Gallery, so font and sound design were always destined to be a dominant theme. However, the film as a whole really developed one piece, almost one segment, at a time. We certainly didn’t set out to make a film noir with characters based on fonts.

How did you cast Wendy and Helvetica? Did you always know Helvetica would be a guy? We actually developed a character with Helvetica-type (pun!) traits and motives who happened to be male, which is why we ended up naming him accordingly.

What is your favourtite font? Phenix American & Avant Guarde.

If fonts can be humanised, do you reckon humans have font characteristics? Definitely. Both people and fonts voice their “character” through cultural references. The way you stand or hold yourself, the width of your serifs, the extra curl in the tail or your ampersand, the pressed pleats in your skirt…

What fonts could these guys play: George Clooney, Robin Williams, Amy Winehouse and Renée Zellwegar? Clooney could be Arial. Clean, straight cut and perfectly commercial. Williams is definitely Comic Sans, rubbery and always playing roles he shouldn’t. Here’s a bit of an abstract one for Winehouse: Dirty and Classic by Billy Argel. Pretty self explanatory.  Zellwegar is Catholic School Girls Intl BB Regular.

How does it feel to be a part of the WOW Film Festival? Fantastic! Given the experimental nature of our film, we thought it would be tough finding a festival willing to give it a go, so we’re over the moon to have it included in such a highly regarded association. We haven’t really screened to a cinema audience before, so we’re really looking forward to seeing how it’s received.

What attracted you to filmmaking? Brooke: I’ve got a fairly extensive background in sound and sound design, but I chose film as my medium of specialisation because I find it gives the greatest scope for creative designing in a controlled environment. I also love how film is a collaborative process, with each creative person bringing their own style and ideas to the table resulting in an entity that no one person could create on their own.

Nils: Film offers the opportunity to speak gently without being interrupted or cut off or talked over.

What can we expect next from you? We’re working on developing another short. Think Black Comedy meets Cabin Horror meets Emotional Drama meets Experimental Design meets Action… Ahh, we’ll get back to you on that one.

Your top five women in film? Tilda Swinton, Catherine Breillat, Astra Taylor, Amy Heckerling and Australia’s own Jane Campion.

Mar 8 – 10, Dendy Opera Quays, 9/2 Circular Quay Way, Sydney, $6-30, 9247 3800, wift.org/wow

We speak to festival director Barry Watterson about a local film fiesta that’s about to take over the eastern suburbs.

How is the Australian Film Festival different from other film festivals in Sydney? Australian film is defined by where the investment funds came from (usually Screen Australia). Often though, a lot of our best work is done in overseas productions (e.g. The King’s Speech). The AFF is committed to recognising great Australian film and filmmakers, wherever they are working in the world. Instead of where the money came from to make the film, we focus on whether the major creative talent involved in the production is Australian. Australian films have almost no marketing budget and can’t compete against big American releases, so we will screen a mixture of upcoming first releases and great independent films.

What can festival goers expect at AFF 2011? Films will be a great mix of soon to be released features, fabulous independents and a fringe category, as well as the best of Australian short films. But there’s more – we will be presenting an outdoor beach screening, the Spot Food & Film Festival and The Australian Film Walk of Fame. We will also present the Next Wave Film Centre providing workshops and seminars for filmmakers and the FutureFilm Scriptwriting Competition where the finalists will have their scripts moved on stage for a first prize of $1,000.00.

Can you give The Bondi View / City News readers a sneak peak into the feature films category? Festival Highlights this year include opening night film The Wedding Party starring Isabel Lucas, Josh Lawson, Steve Bisley, Rhonda Burchmore and Adam Zwar, highly anticipated Australian release, Griff, the Invisible with True Blood star Ryan Kwanten and a shark thriller The Reef starring Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor and Gyton Grantley amongst many others.

What are your top 5 Australian films of all time? Only 5? Here’s a selection from across the decades. Wake In Fright, Jeddah, The Castle, The Sum of Us and Romper Stomper.

Mar 2-13, Randwick Ritz Cinema, 45 St. Pauls St, Randwick, Clovelly Beach, Coogee Legion Club & Fox Studios, $8-13, 9399 5722, australianfilmfestival.com