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Twelve new feature films are screening at Cannes this year, two of them in the Festival programme, and all of them on the market for international sales. On this page, we present a snapshot of each film.

Rachel Griffiths, Ben Mendelsohn and young Alana de Roma star in Nadia Tass (director) and David Parker’s (screenplay) touching but surprisingly entertaining story of an 8 year old girl struck deaf and dumb on her father’s tragic death. International sales: Beyond Films.

David Wenham, Toni Collette, Lynette Curran, John Polson, Jeanette Cronin, Anthony Hayes star in a powerful, disturbing film about three brothers on the verge of a crime, exploring their psychological environment within a ruptured suburban family. Directed by Rowan Woods, the film was in Competition at the Berlin Film Festival. International sales: Axiom Films (UK).

A merry Christmas – NOT! – for a family in seaside Australia, starring Warren Mitchell, Peter Rowsthorn, Susan Lyons, Daniel Kellie, Terry Gill, Maggie King, Valerie Bader, written and directed by comedian David Swann. Black as the charred meat on the barbecue they endure. International sales: Beyond Films

Murray Fahey’s low budget mockumentary style film is a tongue in cheek look at the Australian species of dag, with an ensemble cast of Tanya Bulmer, Penny Cooper, Sheena Crouch, Rebecca De Unamuno, Paula Arundell, Peter Callan, Daniel Cordeaux, David Callan, Sam Makhoul, Murray Fahey, Angus Sampson, Brian Roberts, Lyn Pierse, Frank Garfield. International sales: Beyond Films.

(In Competition)
Rolf de Heer’s extraordinary film co-written by Heather Rose, who suffers from extreme cerebral palsy, stars Rose herself in the leading role, with Joey Kennedy, John Brumpton, Rena Owen. Unforgettable film with moments of great pain as well as humour and warmth. International sales: Intra Films (Italy)

Miranda Otto and George del Hoyo star in this romantic drama about a young woman who tries to find letters from her estranged father, and discovers the world of the dead letter office. Written by Deb Cox, directed by John Ruane. International sales: Southern Star.

(In Directors Fortnight)
Ana Kokkinos’ debut feature based on the novel, Loaded, starring Alex Dimitriades as Ari, a young Greek in Melbourne, confused, angry, trying to locate himself in relation to his traditions, his family, his sexuality. International sales: Southern Star.

Hugo Weaving and Tony Martin star in one of the most intriguing of recent Australian films, edgy and riveting; two cops take a man to the station to interview him about a crime. He seems to know nothing of it; but his innocent rebuttals turn into potentially menacing implications. Written and directed by Craig Monahan, making his feature debut. International sales: Southern Star.

Bobby Lewis (Marcus Graham - pic) is an alcoholic who is framed for the murder of Internal Affairs Officer Alison Warner (Rosemarie Lanzo); he has to fight his own demons before he can challenge the legal system and bring the guilty to justice. Written and produced by West Australian, Robert Roget, it is directed by Ron Elliott and co-stars Kerry Armstrong, Simon Westaway and George Shevtsov. International sales: August Entertainment

Brad Hayward’s ultra low budget contempo-urban comedy has a fresh cast (totally unknown and recruited by newspaper ads) and a fresh feel. International sales: Village Roadshow International.

Three sisters (all with different fathers) reunite after some years apart, for their mother’s funeral (which nobody else attends), and radically change their relationships. Rachael Maza, Deborah Mailman, Trisha Morton-Thomas star in the Louis Nowra scripted feature debut for director Rachel Perkins; more entertaining than it may seem. International sales: Beyond Films.

THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING A melancholy story set in a remote Tasmanian construction camp worked by European immigrants in the 1950s, about a father and daughter relationship that comes unstuck in the wake of the wife/mother’s abrupt suicide. Nearly 20 years later, the daughter returns, pregnant, looking to glue together this broken relationship. Richard Flanagan’s debut feature, it was in Competition in Berlin this year. International sales: Southern Star.

May, 1998

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May 13 – 24, 1998


Rachel Griffiths & Alana de Roma - Amy


John Polson, David Wenham, Anthony Hayes - The Boys


Daniel Kelly & Warren Mitchell - Crackers


John Brumpton & Heather Rose - Dance Me To My Song


Miranda Otto - Dead Letter Office


Alex Dimitriades - Head On


Hugo Weaving - The Interview


Brad Hayward - Occasional Coarse Language


Deborah Mailman - Radiance


Kerry Fox - Sound of One Hand Clapping


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