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The first Australian film festival with a competitive section was officially launched in Sydney tonight (29/7/99) – even though the festival will take place in Noosa, with one major objective - having fun and hanging loose while seeing films, festival founder and director, Luke Davis told a gathering of filmbiz luminaries gathered at the Sheraton on the Park – the hotel chain which is one of several sponsors that have coughed up enough support to create the event.

Guests – many of whom are involved with the festival - ranged from Jack Thompson and Gillian Armstrong (right) to Bryan Brown and John Polson, Jackie Weaver and Rachel Ward, and director Gregor Jordan (pic - whose Two Hands opened the same night across Australia). Also showing support for the festival were many producers and other industry executives.

$50,000 first prize

The 12 (see below) that will compete for the $50,000 first prize are proudly independent and come from a wide range of cultures; Norway, Korea, Bhutan and Germany are all represented – as are Australia and New Zealand – in this inuagural Noosa Film Festival Competition (September 2 – 8, 1999), which will be judged by a panel under jury president Jack Thompson (pic). Other jury members include writer David Williamson, actress/writer Rachel Ward, Jack’s brother, filmmaker and critic Peter Thompson, and Mark Fishkin of the Mill Valley Festival in California. Davis implied that two more international jury members would be announced when they confirmed their availability, but he did confirm that John Sayles (whose film, Limbo, opened the Sydney Film Festival) would be a special guest.

In addition to the competition, the festival will present a program of over 50 features, some world premieres and many Australian premieres, a National Short Film Competition, a retrospective program of Norwegian short films and Australian Comedy Classic shorts, an International Documentary Competition - and filmmaking symposiums.

Gala Premiere series

The nightly Gala Premiere series is a highlight of the festival and will feature the world premiere screening of the new Australian feature film, MUGGERS, directed by Dean Murphy and starring Matt Day, and a special screening of SIAM SUNSET, directed by John Polson (pic) and starring Linus Roache. THE HI-LINE, the directorial debut for Rod Judkins, will also screen as a Gala Premiere.

The official President’s Dinner, hosted by Jack Thompson, will raise funds for the Noosa Film Festival beneficiary, the Hope for the Children Foundation.

Separately, the Showtime Community Outdoor Cinema in Lions Park will screen classic films under the umbrella title of A Little Night Music, with a program that includes, Everyone Says I Love You, Jailhouse Rock, Dirty Dancing, High Society, The Great Waltz, Cabaret and Meet Me in St Louis.

Associated events include a celebrity golf tournament, Noosa businesses window display competitions and community street party.

The core program for the Noosa Film Festival will screen at the AMC Noosa 5 Cinemas; Cato’s Brasserie Festival Club will host the short film retrospectives; and the Noosa Woods Symposium Centre, housing a 730-seat cinema purpose-built for the festival, is the venue for the symposiums, the National Short Film Competition screenings and the International Documentary Competition screenings.


AIMEE AND JAGUAR (Germany) – Directed by Max Farberbock. Cast: Maria Schrader, Juliane Kohler, Johanna Wokalek, Heike Makatsch, Elisabeth Degen, Detlev Buck.

THE BIRDCAGE INN (Korea) – Directed by Kim Ki-Duk. Cast: Lee Jee-Eun, Lee Hye-Eun.

CHANNELLING BABY (NZ) – Directed by Christine Parker. Starring Danielle Cormack, Kevin Smith, Amber Sainsbury, Joel Tobeck.

DREAMING OF JOSEPH LEES (UK) - Directed by Eric Styles. Cast: Rupert Graves, Samantha Morton, Lee Ross, Lauren Richardson.

ERSKINEVILLE KINGS (Australia) – Directed by Alan White. Cast: Marty Denniss, Hugh Jackman, Andrew Wholley, Aaron Blabey, Joel Edgerton, Leah Vanderberg, Marin Mimica.

JUDY BERLIN (USA) – Directed by Eric Mendelsohn. Cast: Barbara Barrie, Bob Dishy, Edie Falco, Madeline Kahn, Julie Kavner, Anne Meara.

LOVERS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE (Spain) – Directed by Julio Medem. Cast: Najwa Nimri, Fele Martinex, Nancho Novo, Maru Valdivielso.

OCTOBER SKY (USA) – Directed by Joe Johnston. Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Natalie Canerday, Chris Owen, William Lee Scott, Chad Lindberg.

ONLY CLOUDS MOVE THE STARS (Norway) – Directed by Torun Lian. Cast: Thea Sofie Rusten, Jan Tore Kristofferson, Anneke Von Der Lippe.

SIMON MAGUS (UK) – Directed by Ben Hopkins. Cast: Noah Taylor, Embeth Davidtz, Stuart Townsend, Ian Holm, Rutger Hauer, Sean Mginley.

THIS IS MY FATHER (Canada/Ireland) – Directed by Paul Quinn. Cast: Aidan Quinn, James Caan, Stephen Rea, John Cusack, Colm Meaney, Moya Farrelly.

THE CUP (Bhutan) – Directed by Khysentse Norbu. Cast: Jamyang Lodro, Neten Chokling, Orgyen Tobgyal.

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For Noosa Film Festival general enquiries and box office:
61 (7) 54472410
or email: noosafilmfest@ozemail.com.au
or access the website: www.noosafilmfestival.com


Dreaming Joseph Lees

October Sky

Erskineville Kings

Siam Sunset

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