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Historic Australian contingent at Sundance 2019

29/11/2018

29 11 2018 - Media release Historic Australian contingent at Sundance 2019

Miranda Tapsell in Top End Wedding

Six Australian feature films will screen at the Sundance Film Festival, surpassing the record set in 1997 of five features. Animals, I Am Mother, Judy and Punch, Little Monsters and Top End Wedding will all make their World Premieres at the Utah-based festival. The Nightingale will make its North American Premiere, after taking home the Special Jury Prize at this year's Venice Film Festival.

Sundance has a history of launching Australian works that go on to be hits including Animal Kingdom in 2010 (World Cinema Jury Prize), Wolf Creek in 2005, Shine in 1996 and more recently documentary Casting JonBenet (2017) and FX television series Mr Inbetween (2018). The festival is particularly important for introducing Australian creatives to the US market.

The six films selected by Sundance display the array of stories Australians now tell, and the demand for our screen content internationally, said Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason. From quintessentially Australian tales Top End Wedding and The Nightingale, to Australian takes on sci-fi and dark comedy I Am Mother and Little Monsters, to international stories Animals and Judy and Punch - this is an incredible slate of premieres.

The fact that all the films revolve around central female characters, and half of the films are directed by women, is a milestone for the Australian industry. Change is coming slowly, but surely.

Starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman, Judy and Punch will compete in World Cinema Dramatic. Director Mirrah Foulkes said of the selection, I am so happy that Judy and Punch will have its world premiere at Sundance in 2019. I owe a huge thank you to my enormously hard working cast and crew and everyone who invested in the film. Sundance holds some pretty special memories for me, many of Blue-Tongue Films work has screened at the festival over the years and the festival has been formative to the careers of many of my peers. It s an absolute privilege to be premiering my first feature there.

Top End Wedding's Miranda Tapsell noted, Hearing the news that Top End Wedding has been accepted to the Sundance Film Festival is absolutely a dream come true. As a co-writer, producer and actor in this film, it s been a labour of love for me and having the opportunity to showcase the Northern Territory to an international audience, through a different lens, at such a prestigious festival, makes this such a rewarding experience. I'm so proud of this film and the people that were part of it.

Sophie Hyde took home the Sundance Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic for her film 52 Tuesdays in 2014, and returns with Official Australian/Irish Co-production Animals. Making this film has been such a pleasure - from the development, helping Emma [Jane Unsworth] adapt her own novel, through the shoot in Dublin with our glorious cast and international team, and right through our Australian post. I loved immersing myself in the world of Animals and I can t wait to have audiences immersing themselves too. We couldn t think of a better launchpad for this film than Sundance, so I am delighted to be returning with this fierce and beautiful story of friendship and competing desires.

Little Monsters features an international cast, including Lupita Nyong'o (Black Panther), Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast) and Australia's Alexander England (Alien: Covenant). Writer/Director Abe Forsythe said of the feel-good dark comedy, A lot of people worked very hard bringing this logistically punishing story to life. I'm so happy that everyone's work will be premiered at a festival I've always dreamed of attending.

The Sundance Film Festival runs 24 January to 3 February 2019.

High resolution images of the selected films here

View festival showcase here

ABOUT FESTIVAL SELECTIONS Festival selections are influenced by multiple factors, including when a project is completed, how it is perceived by the selection panel and the overall themes of the program, the volume of other titles vying for selection, competition between festivals for the premiere and when the producers want the title in market.

The 2019 contingent is a record for Australian feature films at Sundance. Only the 1985 and 1986 Sundance festivals included more Australian features, due to them having dedicated Australian showcases. A history of Australian titles at Sundance is available here

AUSTRALIAN FILMS AT SUNDANCE 2019 Animals

Closer Productions Pty Ltd

Director Sophie Hyde

Writer Emma Jane Unsworth

Producers Sarah Brocklehurst, Rebecca Summerton, Cormac Fox, Sophie Hyde

Australian Distributor Bonsai Films

International Sales Cornerstone Films

Synopsis After a decade of partying, Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler s (Alia Shawkat) friendship is strained by Laura's new love and her focus on her novel. A snapshot of a modern woman with competing desires, at once a celebration of female friendship and an examination of the choices we make when facing a crossroads

Production credit: Animals is an Official Australian/Irish Co-production by Closer Productions. Principal production investment from Screen Australia and the Irish Film Board. Financed with support from Adelaide Film Festival and South Australian Film Corporation.

Sundance Film Festival World Premiere

Australian Media Rebecca Summerton [email protected]

International Media Anna Bohlin [email protected]

International Sales Alison Thompson [email protected]

I Am Mother

Mother Film Holdings Pty Ltd

Director Grant Sputore

Writer Michael Lloyd Green

Producers Timothy White, Kelvin Munro

Co-Producers Anna Vincent, Michael Lloyd Green

Executive Producers Terry Dougas, Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis, Jean-Luc Di Fanti, Grant Sputore, Philip Wade, Bryce Menzies and J
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2018/11-29-his...
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