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With more than 30 programs presented in three venues, the 2009 Dungog Film Festival (May 28 – 31) claims to be the most comprehensive overview of new Australian features, documentaries and short films made in the past year, indeed the biggest showcase of Australian films in the world – centred on The James, Australia’s oldest continuously running cinema.

Opening and closing night films are being kept under wraps for a surprise, but other Gala premières include Richard Frankland’s road comedy Stone Bros., Kriv Stender’s historic drama Lucky Country, starring Aden Young and Helmut Bakaitis; and Joel Anderson’s mystery thriller Lake Mungo, starring Talia Zucker, Rosie Traynor and David Pledger.

Also confirmed is Jon Hewitt’s Darklovestory starring Belinda McClory and Aaron Pedersen, as well as Michael Craft’s thriller, Storage, which stars Robert Mammone and Saskia Burmeister.

The first of the New Zealand films to be programmed at the three year old festival is Paul Murphy’s debut feature, Second Hand Wedding, in which Geraldine Brophy and Holly Shanahan won Best Lead and Best Supporting Awards at the New Zealand Film & TV Awards (2008).

"a selection of classic Australian film"

The feature program will be supported by a selection of over one hundred short films and a selection of classic Australian films in conjunction with the National Film and Sound Archive, including John Duigan’s memorable coming of age film, The Year My Voice Broke, starring Noah Taylor, Ben Mendelsohn and Loene Carmen.

Dr Nikki Williams, Chief Executive Officer of NSW Mining, the principal sponsor of 2009 Dungog Film Festival, praised the festival for its commitment to the Australian film industry: “For myself and the team at NSW Mining, we literally live and breathe the fantastic spirit of the partnership between our respective organisations and our two great industries. We’ve all pitched in to bring Dungog together and we’re delighted to be part of the amazing creativity and momentum that is catapulting this Festival onto the national and international stage.”

Events NSW Chief Executive Officer Geoff Parmenter said “we are proud to have Dungog Film Festival on the NSW Master Events Calendar. Our investment in this event will allow it to prosper and establish a foundation for ongoing growth, driving economic, marketing and community benefits.”

Cinematographer Geoff Burton will conduct a master class at Dungog this year. Burton shot Australian classics including The Year My Voice Broke, Storm Boy and Sunday Too Far Away.

The In The Raw script program, where professional actors perform three yet-to-be produced screenplays live, takes place at the Raw Theatre (Anglican Parish Hall).

Published April 30, 2009

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Stone Bros

Dungog Film Festival 2009 - Practical Guide

Lucky Country

Lake Mungo

Second Hand Wedding

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