After taking a break in 2020, the long-running Travelling Film Festival is back on the road and will be bringing the world’s best cinema to Newcastle this week.
Now in its 47th year, the 2021 iteration will see an eclectic program that will feature eight award-winning feature films, a highly anticipated documentary focussing on one of the finest actors Australia has produced, and a gorgeously crafted First Nations short film.
Since its inception in 1974, the Travelling Film Festival has held staunch in its commitment to provide regional audiences with access to films they might otherwise have the opportunity to see on the big screen. And this year’s lineup certainly lives up to that long-held goal.
Here’s a rundown on the exciting 2021 program. Head here for more information and to book.
My Name is Gulpilil (G)
Friday 18 June 7pm
This documentary, directed by Molly Reynolds, celebrates the personal story and remarkable film career of iconic Australian actor David Gulpilil, beginning with his breakthrough performance in the 1972 film Walkabout to such brilliant Australian films as Storm Boy, The Tracker, Rabbit-Proof Fence, and more.
Only The Animals (M)
Saturday 18 June – 12pm
French director Dominik Moll’s engrossing, nonlinear mystery thriller follows five characters over two continents who seemingly play a role in the disappearance of a sixth.
This cleverly constructed French language thriller won the Audience Award at the 2019 Tokyo Film Festival and gained official selection at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.
First Cow (PG)
Saturday 18 June – 2.30pm
An old West tale of love and money set in 19th century Oregon, First Cow follows two unusual partners, gifted baker Cookie (John Magaro, The Big Short) and business minded King-Lu (Orion Lee, A Brilliant Young Mind), who open a bakery aiming to make their fortune. When the Chief Factor of England (Toby Jones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) announces the purchase of the first cow, signifying wealth and prosperity, the unlikely duo sees the perfect opportunity to further their dreams.
Saturday 18 June – 5.00pm
A tense psychological drama, inspired by real-life events, set in the rich landscape of Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges (ancestral home of the Wurundjeri people) soulmates, Danny (a well-known journalist) and Emily (an award-winning filmmaker) are dealing with their four-year-old daughter’s disclosure of a confronting event involving a young boy, who happens to be the nine-year-old son of their best friends, the Chalmers.
Australian filmmaker Michael Bentham delivers a thrilling and telling story of parents who will try anything to protect their own when pushed to the edge.
Another Round (M)
Saturday 19 June – 7.30pm
Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) and his three friends are disillusioned schoolteachers who are largely unenthusiastic about both their professional and personal lives. When they come across a theory that constant modest inebriation could lead to an open mind, diminished anxiety and increased creativity, they decide to give it a shot.
This boozy dramedy won Best Foreign Film at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (all ages)/ Bama (Short Film)
Sunday 20 June – 11.30am
Beautifully shot in the high-altitude peaks of the Himalayas, this charming film from Bhutan follows a reluctant young teacher who is assigned to work at the world’s most remote school.
In Bama, it’s the first day of private school in the city and a young Aboriginal boy reflects on his fear of losing the magic of family and community after being so far away from them.A
The Perfect Candidate (15+)
Sunday 20 June – 2.30pm
A determined young Saudi doctor’s surprise run for office in the local city elections sweeps up her family and community as they struggle to accept their town’s first woman candidate.
Oscar nominee and Saudi Arabia’s first woman director Haifaa Al-Mansour (Wadjda), brings a revealing look at the changing roles of women in Saudi Arabia.
Martin Eden (M)
Sunday 20 June – 5pm
Bold and dazzling, Pietro Marcello’s multi-award-winning drama set in pre-war Italy follows a sailor who falls in love with a wealthy, young woman and seeks to climb up the societal ladder in the face of hypocrisy, ideology and what it means to be an individual.
Sunday 20 June – 7.30pm
In this thrilling drama, Viggo Mortenson (Green Book, The Lord of The Rings trilogy) directs and co-stars as a weary son who attempts to reconcile with his formidable father (a fiery Lance Henriksen, Aliens).
Beautifully alternating between past and present, this engaging and thought-provoking drama follows John as a boy, forced by his father into regular tests of masculinity, and John as an adult living happily as a married gay man.
The Travelling Film Festival is on at Event Cinemas Kotara from Friday 18 June to Sunday 20 June. Head here for more information and to book.