It’s Well Worth Showing Up for Perth Festival 2024’s Lotterywest Films Under the Pines


One of the world’s best outdoor cinemas – UWA Somerville right here in Perth – is the place to be for another dazzling international summer feast of Lotterywest Films at Perth Festival 2024.

Wander through Somerville’s famous pines, nestled by the Swan River, and re-discover this glorious setting for a sunset date night, picnic with friends or family get-together. It’s no surprise this beautiful venue was ranked among the world’s top 20 outdoor cinemas by Time Out, who noted Somerville’s founder’s ‘genius-level foresight’ to be ‘matched by an expertly curated festival program’.

Screening from 20 November to the end of March, this season’s carefully selected line-up of 18 films is better than ever. It’s packed with big names, intriguing off-piste picks and stunning films selected to delight regular and first-time Somerville patrons. These include Justine Triet’s thriller Anatomy of a Fall, the profound and unnerving The Zone of Interest from Jonathan Glazer, Oscar-winning director Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s gorgeous eco-fable Evil Does Not Exist and Wim Wenders’ outstanding return to feature filmmaking with Perfect Days.

Catch familiar faces – Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Isabelle Huppert, Michelle Williams, Juliette Binoche and Mads Mikkelsen – starring in films by masterly directors such as Jerzy Skolimowski, Todd Haynes, Aki Kaurismäki, Kore-eda Hirokazu and Alice Rohrwacher.

We’re also bringing special Encore Screenings of some of the favourite films you might have missed throughout the season, alongside rare gems that can only be see during the Festival. It’s set to be a summer feast for all movie lovers.

Perth Festival Film Programmer Tom Vincent says: ‘It’s been a delight to see Somerville’s audience grow and change over the years. I love to respond to Perth, to the wider Festival, to audiences and to each year’s slate of new films from across the world.

‘With this program I’ve aimed to find a ‘sweet spot” that charts a course between the known and the unknown, the future and the past, the calm and the crazed. And my survey of this year’s new films has found international filmmaking to be in dynamic and engaging shape.’

The season opens with the Australian premiere of the untold story of the first women’s World Cup in Copa 71. As we bask in the recent success of the Matildas, be prepared for another emotional ride through the world of soccer. This is the incredible story of the 1971 Women’s Soccer World Cup, a tournament witnessed by record crowds in Mexico City that has been written out of sporting history — until now. Filmmakers Rachel Ramsay and James Erskine use archival footage and new interviews to bring this crowd-pleasing investigative documentary to life with a narrative flair that matches the dazzling action on the field.

As has come to be expected at UWA Somerville, audiences can discover the most highly anticipated films of the season. Hollywood heavyweights Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman team up in May December – an exquisite psychodrama about a notorious tabloid sex scandal. Todd Haynes’ unnerving yet playful character study was hailed by Variety as ‘endlessly fascinating’. Later in the season, fans of Mads Mikkelsen will be thrilled to see his return, as conflicted and charismatic as ever, in the epic 18th-century Nordic Western, The Promised Land. This rich historical drama will give audiences a savage showdown of good vs. evil, with Mikkelsen once again deploying one of cinema’s greatest faces.

Japanese cinema takes centre stage this year with four entries, including three fictions films and an intimate ‘one-night-only’ concert documentary. Oscar-winning Japanese director Hamaguchi Ryusuke weaves a captivating cautionary tale in his ecopolitical thriller Evil Does Not Exist, while Perfect Days from Wim Wenders is a deeply moving and poetic reflection on the beauty to be found in the everyday.

Winner of Best Screenplay at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival – Monster – sees a mother confront a teacher after noticing disturbing changes in her son’s behaviour. Legendary director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s tenderly answers the question ‘Who is the monster?’. Rounding out a lineup of beautiful clear-sighted Japanese films is the moving concert documentary screening exclusively for one night only on Monday 19 February, celebrating the final performance of Ryuichi Sakamoto: OPUS. The film (directed by his son Neo Sora) is an emotional swan song of the beloved maestro who passed away earlier this year.

This year’s Palme d’Or from Cannes is the highly anticipated thriller Anatomy of a Fall – a sharply delivered Hitchcockian showstopper that follows a wife on trial for the death of her husband. Director Justine Triet is quickly cementing herself as one of the great filmmakers of our time, complimented by an electrifying lead performance from the mesmerising Sandra Hüller (also in The Zone of Interest). This film is not to be missed.

Other festival award winners include the aesthetically nostalgic and romantic Fallen Leaves from Finland’s Aki Kaurismäki (Jury Prize Cannes 2023), Jonathan Glazer’s chilling Martin Amis adaptation The Zone of Interest (Grand Prix Cannes 2023), and Trân Anh Hùng’s sensual drama The Taste of Things (Best Director Cannes 2023). In this French feast for the senses, stars Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel find their common pleasure in cooking alongside their restrained passion for one another.

Lovers of French cinema can also spot Magimel in the period romance Rosalie, starring Nadia Tereszkiewicz as the titular feminist heroine. Fans of last season’s film Corsage will enjoy this melodrama exploring a delicate yet rebellious spirit who redefines what is ‘normal’ in society.

The romance continues with young lovers Banel & Adama in this richly colourful and evocative debut film from Senegalese writer-director Ramata-Toulaye Sy, the winner of Melbourne International Film Festival’s inaugural Bright Horizons award. Defying traditions and yearning for independence, the two title characters are blissfully in love. But when their all-consuming passion creates conflict in the village, they are confronted with the consequences of folklore, fate and obsession.

Audiences will be captivated by films of self-discovery this season, with several stories following characters who find themselves in new places and on unexpected paths. The enchanting La Chimera stars Josh O’Connor as a lovelorn Englishman who teams with an eccentric gang of tomb robbers to plunder ancient artefacts. Radical is the feel-good true story of an inspiring teacher in Mexico who tries new methods to unlock the potential in his students. Whilst EO is the wildly inventive story of a circus donkey who is liberated by activists and sets off to encounter humanity at its best and worst – one of the most acclaimed films from the past year, from legendary Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski.

Celebrated filmmaker Kelly Reichardt continues to collaborate with actress Michelle Williams in the wry and deadpan comedy Showing Up – an ode to the freelance and creative grind that so many in the arts can relate to. Whilst the wonderfully adapted animation Robot Dreams will steal the hearts of audiences. Delightfully light, joyous and dialogue-free, this beautifully bittersweet jewel of a film reminds us of the good fortune of having a caring pal, even if it’s only for a brief time.

Lotterywest and Healthway Acting CEO Jeremy Hubble says: ‘Thanks to our players and retailers across the State, the WA community has the opportunity to enjoy excellent local and international films as part of Lotterywest Films for Perth Festival.

“We are proud to support what truly is a cornerstone of the festival calendar and to share diverse stories from across the world in a picturesque outdoor setting.’

Lotterywest Films runs from Monday 20 November 2023 – Sunday 31 March 2024 as part of Perth Festival 2023. Tickets available online now.

Perth Festival runs Friday 9 February – Sunday 3 March 2024. Full program available at

Press Release

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