18 years already! Who would have thought we’d come this far when we first started out in 1999? To celebrate the festival’s coming of age, St-Tropez now has the privilege of having its film festival, the Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes, placed under the High Patronage of Mr François HOLLANDE President of the French Republic. You don’t get a much higher honour than that!
This year’s festival offers audiences a week of Australian and New Zealand films, with an added excursion to their South Pacific neighbours of New Caledonia and Vanuatu. As diverse as ever, the selection takes us on a road trip in Looking For Grace and Last Cab to Darwin, and into Aboriginal land in Ivan Sen’s latest thriller, Goldstone. Cities also have a strong presence, in the New Zealand film The Great Maiden’s Blush and the Australian Pawno, which leads us into an unconventional district of Melbourne, as well as the exuberant Ruben Guthrie, where Sydney is the backdrop for an advertising executive’s search for redemption. And in the Cleverman series, we’ll even be transported to Sydney of the future.
All film genres will cross paths. The Dressmaker embraces comedy, western and drama, with its flamboyant style, eccentric frocks and roaring laughter that earned it huge success with Australian audiences. We’ll encounter strange, even unsettling, experiences in Target Fascination, as well as the war film and animated genres in the docudrama 25 April. A comedy that is almost a musical, UnIndian shows us Sydney during the Festival of Colours, while Alex and Eve invites us into the Greek and Lebanese communities. We’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the Australian classic Shine, with a preview screening held prior to its re-release in December. Other previews are also programmed, such as Tanna (to be released in France on 16 November 2016) and the documentary That Sugar Film, one of the surprise hits of the Australian box office this year (to be released in the first half of 2017).
Among other documentaries presented, Putuparri and the Rainmakers and The Redfern Story take us into the heart of Aboriginal culture, while Embrace and its upbeat director will tell us how to love our bodies just as they are, and not as they’re represented in fashion magazines. A different world altogether confronts us in Frackman, that of Dayne Pratzky, a mild-mannered man who becomes an activist fighting multinational gas companies. A screening of Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh from 1987 will give us an opportunity to pay tribute to director Paul Cox.
The Antipodes Juniors selection is back in force this year, with an Antipodean Short Film Competition, whose jury is made up of around 150 high school students who will vote for the film that will be awarded the 15th Nicolas Baudin Prize. School audiences can also take advantage of our traditional exhibition in the Salle Despas. This year’s exhibition shines the spotlight on New Zealand fauna and flora with superb photographs by Sabine Bernert, who has already honoured our animal friends in numerous exhibitions and books, including the magnificent "Géniale Nature: Biomimétisme, les astuces de la Nature qui nous inspirent!"
So, come along on Monday 10 October to the opening of our 2016 festival, during which we’ll visit India via the Indian community of Sydney with Anupam Sharma’s outstanding comedy UnIndian, the tale of an unlikely encounter between a tall, blond Aussie man and an Indian single mother. Colourful and entertaining, this film is an ode to love, tolerance and the richness of cultural diversity.
Bernard Bories President Cinéma des Antipodes
NICOLAS BAUDIN AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM All God’s Creatures by Brendon McDonall
AUDIENCE AWARD Paper Planesby Robert Connolly
BEST FEMALE TALENT Whirimako Black in White Lies
BEST MALE TALENT Ed Oxenbould in Paper Planes
GRAND JURY PRIZE The Dark Horse by James Napier Robertson