WA Made Film Festival Kicks Off with a Stellar Homegrown Lineup

We’re all big fans of Australian cinema here at The Curb, and given I’m based in WA, I’m particularly fond of West Aussie made films. Which is part of the reason why I’m so excited about the line-up and announcement of the new WA Made Film Festival (doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?).

Created by Cinema Australia’s Matthew Eeles and local producer Jasmine Leivers, WA Made will highlight some of the most exciting new West Australian made films. Everything from the world premiere of the comedy Punchin’ Darts, to short films Residue and Judas Collar, and exciting free events for families, there’s a bunch of great film viewing to be done from March 13th to 15th.

The fest kicks off with the Perth debut of Maziar Lahooti’s Below, a film which Travis Johnson had this to say about in his review:

I genuinely and unreservedly love Below. We’re pretty lucky when it comes to filmmaking talent in this country, and we get two or three feature debuts a year that startle with their sheer technical acumen and brio. Having said that, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a filmmaker come along with such a clear and well-defined voice: angry, political, bleakly funny, unabashedly humanistic, and bold.

Elsewhere, the documentary Hunter: For the Record will show audiences how great WA doco’s can be, with the life of Perth muso Robert Hunter being explored.

On the Saturday and the Sunday, there will be two short film event screenings, full of a huge variety of short films, including Judas Collar and Residue. Short films are where the future voices of Australian cinema show their talents, so make sure to head along and see the Zak Hilditch’s and Ben Young’s of tomorrow share their stories with these short film events.

Seriously, WA Made is going to be one heck of an event. I cannot wait for this festival to kick off, and the celebration of WA films to start. It means a lot to see people like Matthew and Jasmine support the Australian film industry and remind people why it’s important to celebrate homegrown art.

Get behind this brilliant new festival by securing your tickets early (the Below screening will definitely sell out) and supporting West Aussie cinema. Check out the website here for tickets and more details: www.wamadefilmfestival.com.au

Check out the rest of the press release below:

WA’s most anticipated new film event, WA Made Film Festival, has revealed its inaugural program
which features an exciting lineup of groundbreaking feature films, stunning shorts and thought-provoking documentaries.

This massive program will be screened over three days from March 13-15 2020 across Palace Cinemas Raine Square and Palace Cinema Paradiso. A free, family-friendly screening will also be held at Northbridge Piazza.

This important new festival will kick off on Friday, 13 March with the Perth premiere of Maziar Lahooti’s highly-anticipated feature film debut, Below

This dark comedy is set in the near-future and follows darknet grifter Dougie (Ryan Corr) who is recruited to work security at a refugee detention centre. There, he is drawn into an underground operation, blackmailing detainees to fight for profit. When tragedy strikes, Dougie locates his hitherto dormant conscience and takes a stand. Below boasts an impressive cast including Corr, Anthony LaPaglia and the hilarious, Morgana O’Reilly.

To celebrate this impressive piece of WA filmmaking, this premiere event will include a before and after party with Atomic Beer Project brews, Abbey Vale Wines, Perth Gourmet Trader Deli cheese platters, a filmmaker Q&A and some incredible door prizes.

Other feature films screening at the festival include:

Punchin’ Darts (World Premiere): An original, clever, very funny and often very inappropriate indie arthouse, oddball comedy from 23-year-old Perth filmmaker, Arnold Carter. Punchin’ Darts follows struggling movie character, Cherry (Indiana Powell), who makes a bet with the filmmaker to see how many people she can offend in the time of a car drive with Alex (Grady Swithenbank) who thinks their partners are having an affair with each other. What does a movie character do when they are not in the movie?  

Burning Kiss: A hallucinogenic summer noir cocktail spiked with suspense is concocted as the unexpected arrival of a stranger ignites an inferno of secrets and guilt, complicating the relationship between a father and his daughter.

Hunter: For the Record: A documentary about one of Australia’s hip-hop pioneers, Robert Hunter. This retrospective screening will celebrate a WA icon.

The Light: A small-town story of teenage friendship, evil and fighting for what you love. Set in Kalgoorlie, teenagers defend themselves against a violent and mysterious masked cult.

WA’s vibrant and impressive filmmaking talent will be on display during the WA Made Film Festival Saturday Night Shorts and Sunday Night Shorts Event Screenings.

Both Short Event Screenings will feature a range of high quality and immensely entertaining short films produced by some of the state’s best up-and-coming filmmakers and includes unseen gems like the heartbreaking Little Man, the Jim Jarmusch-inspired Hound Dog and the deviously dark Killer Experience

These two Event Screenings will also include a before and after party with Atomic Beer Project brews, Abbey Vale Wines, Perth Gourmet Trader Deli cheese platters, filmmaker Q&A’s and more door prizes.

To top off the program, a free, family-friendly screening of WA short documentaries will screen at Northbridge Piazza on Saturday, 14 March. People are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy five documentaries including Kia Kaha – in which a proud Maori father living in Perth, draws upon his personal struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts to encourage other men to choose life –and 9 in 10: Loss and Suicide in Aboriginal Australia in which people who may not otherwise be heard are given a platform to share their stories.

Run by Cinema AustraliaMatthew Eeles and local producer Jasmine Leivers, WA Made Film Festival is the first event of its kind that solely celebrates WA films and the talented cast and crew behind them.

You can read more and view the inaugural WA Made Film Festival program at www.wamadefilmfestival.com.au

Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian film and culture. He is the co-chair of the Australian Film Critics Association, a Golden Globes voter, and the author of two books on Australian film, The Australian Film Yearbook - 2021 Edition, and Lonely Spirits and the King. You can find him online trying to enlist people into the cult of Mac and Me.

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