27th February Scotland 101mins G
Journey back to the halcyon daze of the UK’s 90s rave scene with this nostalgic coming-of-age tale, executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and set to the most electrifying sounds of the Trainspotting era.
It’s the summer of 1994, and the free rave scene has exploded across the UK. In small-town Scotland, two childhood best friends about to go their separate ways decide to escape for one last memorable adventure: a night at an illegal rave, and a journey deep into an underworld of anarchy and freedom they’ll never forget. Scottish filmmaker (and Black Mirror director) Brian Welsh brings both a sense of specific nostalgia and universal celebration to this tale of youthful rebellion, capturing the exuberant spirit of Cool Britannia’s techno-wired hedonism while crafting an affecting elegy for a distant, pre-Brexit dream.
IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS
5th March Australia 84mins PG
Four years after GAYBY BABY, Maya Newell crafts another powerful, essential portrait of Australian youth, putting the plight of the Northern Territory’s Indigenous children in the spotlight.
“I was born a little Aboriginal kid,” explains Dujuan. “That means I had a memory – a memory about being Aboriginal.” Never more excited than when he’s talking about his heritage and homeland, the precocious 10-year-old has a strong connection to his culture, speaks three languages and works as a healer. But he also struggles with school, acts out in class, and attracts attention from the police and the welfare system. Intimate and impassioned, In My Blood It Runs follows Dujuan’s attempts to reconcile the traditions he holds dear with the colonised world he’s forced to inhabit. A personal documentary told with a perceptive eye, poetic imagery and made in collaboration with Dujuan and his family, it’s also an account of the NT’s harsh treatment of Indigenous youths, a situation that’s never far from the boy’s mind.
5th March Australia 96mins MA
Miranda Nation makes her feature directorial debut with this Geelong-shot psychological thriller about grief and obsession set against the backdrop of local footy culture.
Struggling to cope after losing her unborn child, photo-journalist Claire (Laura Gordon, Joe Cinque’s Consolation) becomes increasingly obsessed with Angie (Olivia DeJonge), a pregnant young woman Claire suspects of having an affair with her husband, AFL player and mentor Dan (Rob Collins). It’s an obsession that could put both women in danger, but the deeper Claire digs, the more unsettling her discoveries become. Undertow is a bold and exciting leap into feature-length filmmaking for Nation, whose award-winning shorts Eli the Invincible and Perception have previously screened at MIFF. With evocative Surf Coast cinematography by Bonnie Elliot (These Final Hours) and a starkly topical underbelly, it’s bound to have audiences talking long after the final credits roll.
12th March Australia 119mins PG
This new film adaption of the classic Austen novel has been lauded by critics and fans alike.
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of Emma. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.
19th March Australia 119mins G
A multiple award winner at Sundance, Honeyland is a visually sumptuous look at the endangered tradition of Macedonian wild beekeeping, the tenacious woman keeping it alive and the powerful environmental message her efforts have for us all.
Deep in the mountainous heart of the Balkans, far from civilisation, Hatidze Muratova tends to her elderly, frail mother, and to her wild bees. The women are the last remaining hold-outs of a crumbling village, and of a dying way of life: farming honey sustainably. But when a new family settles in the area, bringing modernity and a capitalist mentality with them, they threaten everything Hatidze has spent her life protecting. Debut documentarians Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska spent more than three years with Hatidze, who provided the filmmakers remarkable access to her life, resulting in a film that feels intimate, collaborative and unguarded. Gently funny but full of dramatic moments, it’s a poignant snapshot of a fragile balancing act – between humankind and the natural world, past and present, sustainability and exploitation.