The Antenna Documentary Film Festival today unveiled 12 diverse titles, showcasing a fascinating mix ahead of the program’s full release on Tuesday 8 September 2015.
“We are gearing up for an amazing fifth Antenna Documentary Film Festival,” said Festival Director David Rokach. “We have watched the festival grow in audience, films and support since we began in 2011, and we are excited to launch our 2015 program and bring incredible documentaries to the people of Sydney.
“We are also thrilled to announce that one of the most respected documentary filmmakers of our time, Alan Berliner, will attend as a special guest this year, and equally delighted that we will be holding a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art,” he said.
Opening night kicks off with Venice Film Festival Fedic Award-winner On The Bride’s Side about several Italian journalists who disguised their Syrian refugee friends as a wedding party to spirit them across Europe’s borders to asylum. The result is a portrait of the harsh system refugees face juxtaposed against the bravery and compassion of the journalists, who risked prison sentences in their attempts to get everyone to safety.
In Oriented, the personal has never been more political: three gay Palestinian friends living in Israel struggle to find meaning and certainty in their lives, as questions of national and sexual identity constantly hover over their actions and decisions.
Antenna’s inaugural winner, Danish director Michael Madsen, returns with his trademark speculative and mesmerising style in The Visit. Aliens have not yet visited Earth, at least not officially. Nonetheless, scientists, diplomats and military experts are readying themselves to deal with such an event, should it ever occur. Recognising that an alien visit would have profound consequences for everyone on the planet, these people, who (mostly) aren’t crazy, argue that having a plan is better than no plan at all.
We visit the contradictions of the US justice system in Pervert Park, the nickname for a trailer park serving as home for a number of convicted sex offenders. Braving the taboo subject, this unflinching account does not aim to judge or forgive, it simply highlights the difficulties faced when attempting to reintegrate society’s outcasts.
A school with no rules sounds like every kid’s dream. Populated with children who don’t fit into traditional establishments, the Teddy McArdle Free School in New Jersey is testing this out. Approaching the Elephant explores their implementation of new educational ideologies. It’s an engrossing film that asks: what should education look like in the 21st Century.
In Approaching the Elephant, the Teddy McArdle Free School in New Jersey is testing this out, populated with children who don’t fit into more traditional establishments. In exploring new educational ideologies, this engrossing film asks: what should education look like in the 21st Century?
Add to the mix the tempestuous Spartacus & Cassandra, heartfelt Leaving Africa, and the incredible closing night film Finders Keepers, and Antenna’s 2015 program will captivate and transform audiences with eclectic tales of adventure, compassion, curiosity and the human spirit.
Please join Antenna in celebrating five wonderful years, and make sure to mark your calendars for Australia’s biggest documentary film event of 2015.
When: Tuesday 13 to Sunday 18 October 2015
Where: Chauvel Cinema, 249 Oxford St, Paddington (Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd); Palace Verona, 17 Oxford St, Paddington; Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks.
General Admission: Adult $19, Concession $16
Multi-Passes: 5 films: $85, 10 films: $150