Four Australian Screen Projects Heading To South by Southwest

By February 16, 2015 Industry News
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Four Australian screen projects will be showcased at the 22nd South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, next month. Feature film The Little Death, two short films, Happy with Bear and Followers, plus the Cronulla Riots: The Day That Shocked The Nation will feature at the festival.

Screen Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Fiona Cameron said: “It is a great coup for these projects to be heading to the vibrant and mammoth SXSW, which is considered to be one of the most influential and selective festivals in the world celebrating all things hip and cool. Every year millions of people wait to hear about the next big thing to lift-off from the festival. It is known to push the envelope with edgy content making it the perfect fit for projects like The Little Death. SXSW recognises original and ground breaking content like the Cronulla Riots online project, which delivers important content through innovative form.”

Edgy comedy The Little Death thrilled audiences with its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and will be sure to amuse audiences with its Narrative Spotlight screening at SXSW. Writer/director Josh Lawson’s sizzling and sometimes shocking screenplay weaves together a story that explores a range of sexual fetishes and the repercussions that come with sharing them. A warm-hearted depiction of the secret lives of five suburban couples living in Sydney, the film stars Josh Lawson alongside Bojana Novakovic, Damon Herriman and Kate Mulvany. It will have a mid-2015 US release through Magnolia Pictures.

Short film Happy With Bear, from writer/director Yianni Warnock and producer Charles Williams, will have its world premiere at the festival screening in the Narrative Shorts section. The film is about a Singaporean exchange student who deals with her inner turmoil by vicariously living through her online persona.

Direct from its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, short film Followers will screen at SXSW in the Narrative Shorts section. The Australian/UK dark-comedy drama is about an elderly woman who sees a vision of Jesus by way of a young African man at her swimming class. She befriends him, believing God has sent him to free her from the loneliness. The short film was written and directed by Tim Marshall and produced by Christina Radburn and Grant Vidgen. Marshall partly funded the film with the money he received as the Iris Prize-winner for his short, Gorilla.

Winner of three Australian Interactive Media Industry Association awards and a Walkley Award, Cronulla Riots: The Day That Shocked The Nation is a finalist in the running for the SXSW Interactive Innovation Award for Visual Media Experience. The interactive experience was created by Northern Pictures and SBS Online to offer audiences access to first-hand stories through the perspective of those who were there and serves as a springboard to explore the themes that fuelled the infamous Cronulla Riots. The Visual Media Experience award is presented for content creation and delivery that moves beyond passive viewership by providing a more immersive and engaging entertainment experience. This is the third SXSW nomination for SBS Online in the last four years.

Over 550 Australian delegates have registered to attend SXSW 2015 to date.

SXSW will run 13–22 March 2015 in Austin, Texas.

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