The London Australian Film festival (formerly Oz Film Festival) is returning to Regent Street Cinema for its third successive year with an exciting and eclectic selection of new and cult Australian films, including two European premieres, one UK premiere, four London debuts, and two rarely-screened classics celebrating anniversaries.
So grab your Tim Tams, whack on ya thongs and practice your best “g’day mate” as the Aussie film festival is back – and it’s a little ripper!
The OPENING GALA (27 June) will be the London premiere of REACHING DISTANCE (7:30pm), a whip-smart, mind-bending indie thriller. Fans of GROUNDHOG DAY and MEMENTO will love this compelling feature debut of Australian writer-director David Fairhurst, plus a free drinks reception.
Our first late-night screening on FRIDAY (28 June) is another London premiere, GHOSTHUNTER (9:00pm), Ben Lawrence's astounding feature documentary, in which one man must face demons of past and present. Absolute proof that truth is far stranger than fiction, this one has more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster!
Our SATURDAY FILMS (29 June) begin with a special 40th anniversary screening of a landmark of Australian cinema, MY BRILLIANT CAREER (2:00pm). This masterful film by Gillian Armstrong and stars a very young Judy Davis and Sam Neill.
At 5:00pm on Saturday (29 June), coming direct from Edinburgh IFF for its London premiere, TOP END WEDDING is the indigenous rom-com currently lighting up the Australian box office. Shot on location across Australia’s stunning Northern Territory, the film reunites SAPPHIRES director Wayne Blair with co-writer and co-producer Miranda Tapsell, who also stars opposite the versatile Gwilym Lee, fresh from playing Brian May in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY.
Our Saturday night late session (8:00pm, 29 June) is the European premiere of taut outback thriller, LOCUSTS. This one promises an intoxicating mix of fast cars, sweeping vistas, and a cracking soundtrack, and was shot on locations in western New South Wales that eagle-eyed fans of Australian cinema will recognise from the original MAD MAX films.
Our SUNDAY FILMS (June 30) kick off with the UK premiere of STORM BOY (11:00am), a wonderful update of a true-blue family favourite. Adapted from Colin Thiele’s much-loved story, it stars Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush as a disaffected man whose politically engaged granddaughter sparks memories of his own youth, and a close connection with country (and a pelican named Mr Percival). Blending a timely environmental message with a pitch-perfect hit of 1950s nostalgia, this is one to please the whole family!
At 2:00pm (30 June) is the London premiere of our second documentary, BACKTRACK BOYS, a genuinely moving portrait of former jackeroo Bernie Shakeshaft, his dog jumping team, and his remarkable determination to turn around the lives of disadvantaged youth in rural Australia.
At 5:00pm (30 June), we are excited to host an extremely rare UK screening of ensemble drama ERSKINEVILLE KINGS, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Long before WOLVERINE and THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, this underappreciated classic offered Hugh Jackman one of his first major roles as one of a pair of brothers struggling to come to terms with the legacy of their dead father.
CLOSING GALA (8:00pm, 30 June): Hot on the heels of its sellout screenings at Sydney Film Festival, we are proud to continue our tradition of closing the festival with an Australian directorial debut, flying Imogen McCluskey over for a live Q&A after the European premiere of her brilliant coming-of-age indie, SUBURBAN WILDLIFE. There will be a free drinks reception before the feature.
The London Australian Film Festival is presented by the London Australian Film Society (LAFS), which is proud to offer London film audiences a wonderful selection of the most exciting Australian feature films for their enjoyment throughout the year.
Speaking about this year’s festival, LAFS Director Laila Dickson says “We are so thrilled with the selection this year – it’s our strongest yet. It was a very tough selection process, with over 100 films on offer this bumper Australian film year & we passed over some major releases as the indies were too good to ignore. Lots of exciting new talent & fantastic stories to immerse yourselves into. We know you’re going to love them too.”.
Each feature on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be preceded by a student short film from four of the most respected film schools in Australia – Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Swinburne University, Sydney Film School, and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA).
Assistant Programmer, Stephen Morgan, added: "We are glad we are able to maintain the long tradition of festivals bringing the latest and greatest Australian films to London audiences. As this year’s line-up demonstrates, contemporary Australian cinema hosts a breadth and depth of fantastic talent, of which this wonderful selection only barely scratches the surface."
The London Australian Film Society is run by a passionate group of volunteers (both ex-pat and Brits) whose love of Australian film, extraordinary talents and expertise make this one of Regent Street Cinema’s most relaxed and enjoyable festival experiences.
A delicious selection of classic Australian snacks and lollies (sweets) will be on sale at each screening to help create an Australian city break in the heart of London.