London Australian Film Festival: 27-30 June

London Australian Film Festival: 27-30 June

The London Australian Film Festival (rebranded from the Oz Film Festival) returns to the Regent Street Cinema from 27 to 30 June.

The Opening Night Gala is Reaching Distance, the feature debut of writer/director David Fairhurst. Groundhog Day and Momento have nothing on this taut, whip-smart, mind-bending thriller, which pitches the unstable Logan (Wade Briggs) against his own faulty memory and a graffiti-strewn bus full of (not quite) strangers. The showing is followed by a drinks reception.

Ghosthunter, shot over seven years, begins as a light-hearted portrait of a small-time ghostbuster but soon unravels into a real-life horror story, as one man is forced to confront his dark past.

Documentarian Ben Lawrence has produced something special for his feature debut, crafting a haunting and heart-breaking film with more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster, and proving yet again that truth really is stranger than fiction.

Please note this documentary contains material that some viewers may find distressing.

For its fortieth anniversary is a screening of Gillian Armstrong’s masterful feature debut My Brilliant Career, which has been stunningly restored by Australia's National Film and Sound Archive.

Based on Miles Franklin's classic semi-autobiographical novel, and starring Judy Davis and Sam Neill in breakthrough roles, this landmark of Australian cinema traces the burgeoning career of a feminist writer who bucked all the conventions to become one of Australia’s most respected authors.

Having swapped the "top end" quiet life of Darwin for a busy law career in Adelaide, Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) and her new fiancé Ned (Gwilym Lee) head north for their wedding of a lifetime. But when family gets in the way, Lauren must drop everything to reunite with her mother, and reconnect with her heritage.

The natural beauty of the Northern Territory shines through in Top End Wedding, as the team behind The Sapphires deliver a knockout wedding comedy like no other, currently taking the Australian box office by storm.

The familiar tale of a small-town homecoming is turned on its head in Locusts, a taut outback thriller, when a gang of violent local thugs target two estranged brothers.

Shot on location around Broken Hill, the film hits the screen running with sweeping vistas and a cracking Australian soundtrack, in a crime thriller that will has you on the edge of your seat from the very start. This showing will be its European premiere.

A beloved classic of Australian film and literature, Colin Thiele’s coming-of-age tale Storm Boy (European premiere) is given a wonderful contemporary spin as Geoffrey Rush plays a man whose politically engaged granddaughter sparks memories of his own youth, his powerful connection to country, and growing up with a very special friend, a pelican called Mr Percival.

Driven by a strong environmental message, undercut by a pitch-perfect hit of 1950s nostalgia, this is a film to charm the whole family.

A rule-breaking jackaroo uses dogs to help troubled teens in the inspiring and life-affirming documentary Backtrack Boys. Following three boys at different stages of the programme, director Catherine Scott weaves a sensitive narrative about connection, rehabilitation, and hope.

Long before Wolverine and The Greatest Showman, a charismatic young actor named Hugh Jackman burst onto Australian screens in Erskineville Kings, a low-budget ensemble drama set in Sydney’s rough 'inner-west' suburb. Sparks fly when Barky (Marty Denniss) returns to Sydney for his father’s funeral, and a reunion with his estranged brother Wace (Jackman).

Don’t miss this extremely rare chance to catch the film on the big screen, as it celebrates its twentieth anniversary.

Four friends must navigate new beginnings and impending adulthood in Suburban Wildlife, a bold and imaginative coming-of-age drama, for the Festival's Closing Gala. Produced for a minuscule $5000, but definitely not scrimping on quality, the film is packed with raw honesty, dreamy flights of fancy, and outstanding performances from a young cast.

This ambitious indie is the debut feature of writer-director Imogen McCluskey, and she will attend for a Q & A. The Closing Gala will begin with a drinks reception.

A short film will accompany each feature.

Tickets can be booked from the Regent Street Cinema here.

Look out for further coverage of the festival from The Digital Fix.

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