CANNES 2012 – THE AUSTRALIAN DOSSIER
It’s a historically blessed slot for Australia, the midnight
Gala screening Out of
Competition on the first Saturday of the Festival de Cannes,
Sapphires has its World Premiere this year; the last two
Australian films screened
in that special slot were Strictly Ballroom exactly two decades
ago and The
Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert in 1994. Andrew L.
Urban builds an
Australian dossier for Cannes 2012.
“It’s a reminder to the world’s film industry,” says Screen
Australia’s Head of
Marketing Kathleen Drumm, “that we do make films with broad
appeal, as well as
smaller, niche films.”
The fact The Sapphires has already been snapped up for princely
the world - not least by Harvey Weinstein’s company for the
crucial US market -
underlines the promise. (The Weinstein Company has gorged itself
films, buying rights to both Lawless and Killing Them Softly by
Aussie directors - both selected for Competition;
see below and adjacent.)
"a whole new world of sex, war,
politics - and soul
The film is set in the heady days of 1968 when four talented
Mauboy and Deborah Mailman with newcomers Shari Sebbens and
Tapsell), from a remote Aboriginal mission, are discovered by an
scout (Chris O’Dowd). Plucked from obscurity and branded as
to The Supremes, The Sapphires grasp the chance of a lifetime
offered their first real gig - entertaining the troops in
Vietnam. For the girls, a
whole new world of sex, war, politics - and soul music - opens
Adapted by Keith Thompson and playwright Tony Briggs, The
directed by actor and theatre director Wayne Blair, produced by
Pictures Australia’s Rosemary Blight and Kylie du Fresne with
associate producer. The story is inspired by the remarkable true
story of Briggs’
mother and her family. Hopscotch Films/eOne will release The
August 2012 around Australia.
Australia is also represented this year in the much sought after
selection, with two Australian directors (a first) invited with
their US made films:
Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly and John Hillcoat’s Lawless.
Festival director Thierry Fremaux even refers to these films as
times, recognising the creative importance of the director;
that’s Cannes, of
"lots of glitz and glamour"
“This sort of presence,” says Drumm, “immediately reminds the
influential industry players that Australia has talent. These
films are the tip of the
iceberg, catching the sun, giving us visibility and credibility.
Cannes appears to be
lots of glitz and glamour but in fact most of the action takes
place behind the
scenes. It’s really all about business.”
KILLING THEM SOFTLY (US), directed by Aussie filmmaker
Dominik; stars Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan, a professional enforcer
investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker
Ben Mendelsohn has a supporting role. The screenplay by Dominik
adaptation of the novel by George V. Higgins. Opens in Australia
on September 20, 2012.
And Screen Australia has lined up a range of events and
activities to maximise on
the visibility offered this year. “It’s the most important film
market in the world,
attended by buyers and sellers and prodcuers, agencies, festival
all with an eye on film projects. Australia is part of that
complex environment with
over 300 Australians attending this year.
“It’s really important for us as we are so geographically
isolated in Australia and
networking – face to face – is such a crucial part of this
business,” Drumm adds.
Screen Australia, based at its long-held Penthouse offices with a
large terrace in
the middle of La Croisette, has planned a series of events that
bring together the
Australian production community with executives from around the
world in all the
different areas of the business.
“Many of the Australian movies we see on our screens here started
with a deal
made at Cannes,” says Drumm.
Key Screen Australia initiatives at Cannes 2012:
# Launch of inaugural ‘induction program’ for first or second
timers at Cannes,
with 12 pre-Cannes podcasts, four 90 minute morning sessions at
Australia's offices in Cannes and four post-Cannes podcasts, for
up to 20
emerging producers – who have been quick to sign up. (It’s
# Launch of Doing Business With Australia app for mobiles
# Michael Hague (Hollywood script consultant) to run two face to
with each of 11 recipients of Screen Australia Travel Grants, to
hone their pitch
for their key projects. Participants include seasoned veterans
Sue Murray, Tony
Ginnane, Liz Watts and Heather Ogilvie
# Launch of interactive website for Australians at Cannes with
information about the entire Australian presence, with
screenings, trailers, clips,
twitter news feeds and links to the dedicated facebook page.
# YouTube – dedicated Screen Australia channel to be used for
Australians at Cannes – in the Festival program:
GALA SCREENING OUT OF COMPETITION
THE SAPPHIRES (Aust), directed by Wayne Balair. Based on the
of four talented singers from a remote Aboriginal mission being
taken on a singing tour of Vietnam in 1968. Stars Chris O’Dowd
(as the talent
scout) and Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, with newcomers Shari
and Miranda Tapsell. Opens in Australia in August 2012.
LAWLESS (US), directed by Aussie filmmaker John Hillcoat;
Hardy, Shia LaBoeuf and Aussie Guy Pearce; set in the Depression-
County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities
who want a cut
of their profits. The screenplay is an adaptation of Matt
Bondurant’s novel by
Aussie muso/writer/actor Nick Cave. Opens in Australia on
September 6, 2012.
NICOLE KIDMAN stars in Competition entry, The Paperboy by
director Lee Daniels, in which a reporter returns to his Florida
investigate a case involving a death row inmate; she also stars
Kaufman's Hemingway and Gellhorn, screening out of
YARDBIRD (Aust), directed by Michael Spiccia, produced by
Mitchell and written by Julius Avery. From Buffalo Films and
Bridle Path Films.
The 13-minute film is about a young girl who takes on the local
torment her father.
In the Marché (for international sales):
Twelve new Australian features are screening in the
Goddess – W&D: Mark Lamprell. Elspeth Dickens (Laura
dreams of finding her "voice" despite being stuck in an isolated
her twin toddlers. A web-cam becomes her pathway to fame and
fortune, but at a
price. Also stars Ronan Keating, Magda Szubanski
Careless Love – W&D John Duigan. A Vitenamese-Australian
(Nammi Le) joins an escort agency to make money she sends to her
the mortgage, but gets found out when she falls for a fellow
Hazzard). Opens in Australia on May 17, 2012.
Not Suitable For Children – W: Michael Lucas. D: Peter
Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) needs a woman to have his baby before his
cancer makes him impotent. Opens in Australia on June 28, 2012.
The King is Dead – W&D: Rolf de Heer. Young professional
(Dan Wylie) and Therese (Bojana Novakovic) move into their new
cottage, only to find unbearably noisy low-life neighbours – who
won’t be told.
Opens in Australia in July 2012.
Crawlspace – W&D: Justin Dix, A team of elite soldiers infiltrate
underground military compound, only to discover that the facility
is a testing
ground for something far more sinister. Stars Ditch Davey, Amber
Sergeant, Nicholas Bell, John Brumpton, Leslie Simpson.
Published May 17, 2012
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Guy Pearce in John Hillcoat's Lawless
CANNES 2012 PREVIEW
By Nick Roddick
Killing them Softly
Hemingway and Gellhorn
Interested to read about previous Cannes Film Festivals?
MISCELLANEOUS CANNES LINKS
Cannes 2011: Australian Cinefiles
Cannes 2010: Wrap (festival, business & glam)
Cannes 2009: Preview
Cannes 2008: Preview
Cannes 2007: Postcards
Cannes 2006: Colour Me Cannes
Cannes 2006: The Willing & Dealing
Cannes 2005: The Glam Bam
Cannes 2005: Rumours & Spies
Cannes 2005: The Insider Guide
Cannes 2004: Preview
Cannes 2003: The Underside
Cannes 2002: Postcard from Cannes
Cannes 2001: Wrap
Cannes 2000: Australian Films
Cannes 1999: Official Selection
Cannes 1998: What's in the Cannes