Canberra International Film Festival

A celebration of handpicked films at the National Film and Sound Archive. Plus events, Q+As + discussions with filmmakers

Canberra (October 2019)

Visit the link above for more Festival news and check back later for more Festevents

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The Ghost of Peter Sellers

The Ghost of Peter Sellers

Imitated, parodied, celebrated, overrated… there’s a lot of views on the man immortalised as Inspector ...


Film about Aussie ska legends STRANGE TENANTS premieres in Melbourne ...


Let’s get this out of the way first; Booksmart is a good film ...
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

One rarely expects a film as good as ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ to ...
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CIFF OPENING NIGHT!!  Friday 26 October at 7.30 on the BIG screen at the Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive!  Dazzling 4k restoration of one of the great British films of all time, THE THIRD MAN (1949) with Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard.  WINNER of the Oscar for Best Cinematography by our unacknowledged Australian, Robert Krasker, who brilliantly captures the dark, brooding atmosphere and damaged grandeur of war-torn Vienna. With an original screenplay by Graham Greene, electrifying music on the zither by Anton Karas, the whole film is “a tender/tough classic” (Time Out), which can be re-visited endlessly.  BE THERE!BOOK NOW on
MESSAGE FROM MARGARETHE VON TROTTA:On the surface, my new film, SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN (screening at CIFF, Saturday 27 October,at 4.30 at the NFSA's Arc Cinema), is a documentary that tries to understand Ingmar Bergman’s genius, but it is also partly autobiographical and explores aspects of my own creative life as a director.  It was Bergman who inspired me to become a director and who guided my hand on many occasions throughout my career, as you will see in the film.I really admire and respect your Canberra festival for modelling itself as a retrospective film event.  As I have attempted in my film, there is so much to be gained by investigating our cinema heritage, experiencing it with new eyes, asking questions of it, re-interpreting it, and through this process gaining a new understanding of our history, our past values, our past ideas and experiences.To me, there is no separation between our film history and our present-day culture.  Commercial forces like to focus on the “New” and may sometimes make it hard to find ways of accessing our past, but festivals like yours in Canberra are really important in bringing our heritage to life again.BOOK NOW FOR CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (including for Von Trotta's new film, SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN) AT
CIFF HIGHLIGHT!!  What happens when a passionate film historian takes on the Kremlin!  The riveting story is told in CINEMA:  A PUBLIC AFFAIR, a feature documentary by Russian-German filmmaker, Tatania Brandrup, having its Australian premiere at CIFF on Saturday 27 October at 11am, at the Arc Cinema of our National Film and Sound Archive.  BOOK NOW: succession of Russian bureaucracies saw the world-renowned Moscow Film Museum as a breeding ground for radical ideas and attempted to dismantle it.  The extraordinary fight-back by the Museum’s Director, Naum Kleiman�, together with his staff and supporters, makes for a thoroughly gripping real-life drama.The Pordenone Silent Film Festival program called it “A contemporary horror story – how a flourishing, idealistic, socially essential entity can be crushed by invisible official forces. ... as the story goes on, we have a sense of celebration and the indispensible role of cinema in civilized society. If this is tragedy, the catharsis is supreme. Venceremos!!”
CIFF HIGHLIGHT!!  A superb 4K restoration of Jean Renoir’s 1935 masterpiece, LE CRIME DE M. LANGE.  For Francois Truffaut, this was a film “touched by divine grace."Screening on Sunday 28 October at 1.30 in the NFSA’s Arc Cinema. BOOK NOW:’s the tale of a small publishing firm being run into the ground by an amoral owner who swindles and cheats, and preys on women.  After he flees to escape creditors, the workers set up a co-operative and take over the firm, turning it into a huge success, until one day, the former owner returns …  The screenplay co-written with the poet, Jacques Prevert, had political intent in the heady days of the Popular Front in France, but what Renoir delivers is a joyous and infectious sense of exhilaration that is timeless.
CIFF HIGHLIGHT!  Martin Scorcese calls it "one of the greatest epic films ever made" - EL CID (1963) - on the wide screen at the Arc Cinema, NFSA, on Sunday 28 October at 4pm.   BOOK NOW at Anthony Mann, best known for his tough gutsy Westerns, is in top form, as is Miklos Rozsa with a full-blooded music score.  Of all the epics that Samuel Bronston produced in the 1960s, this one, according to Geoff Andrew in Time Out, was “one of the very finest … genuinely stirring … and equally impressive in terms of script and spectacle.”  And of course it’s graced by our very own expat Australian, Robert Krasker, whose cinematography for this film won him the year’s top award from the British Society of Cinematographers.  Don’t miss it!  Starring Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Genevieve Page and Australia’s arch cinema villain, Frank Thring.
CIFF HIGHLIGHT!  New restored version of SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY (1975).  This story of a shearers’ strike in the 1950s was a game-changer, especially for Jack Thompson, and it quickly became a landmark in the re-emergence of Australian cinema in the 70s. SCREENING SATURDAY 27 OCTOBER at 7.30, at the Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra.Don’t miss out!  BOOK NOW! will have very special guests in attendance:  co-producer Matt Carroll; cinematographer extraordinare, Geoff Burton (now winemaker at Gundaroo’s Gundog Estate); and actor Max Cullen, now of the wonderful Picture House Gallery & Bookshop in Gunning!A presentation of the NFSA Restores program.
CIFF HIGHLIGHT:  SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER, 11am at NFSA’s Arc Cinema, Canberra.  Lee Whitmore, one of Australia’s leading animators, will be in conversation on stage with Glenys Rowe, talking about her work and presenting selections from her short personal films depicting intimate moments of family life and memories of childhood.  The films are united by Lee’s free-flowing, loosely drawn style of animation and her whimsical humour.  At this session, she will introduce a preview of recent work as well as THE SAFE HOUSE (2006, 26 mins) in which she depicts her innocent childhood brush with the notorious 1954 Petrov spy drama.  BOOK NOW:
Now this is a class act!  Australian premiere at CIFF of Margarethe von Trotta’s elegant, poignant documentary about Bergman, the troubled man, and Bergman the genius who inspired generations of filmmakers, including von Trotta herself.  A memorable highlight coming soon in CIFF 2018, screening on Saturday 27 October at 4.30, in the NFSA’s Arc Cinema.  BOOK NOW:
CIFF 2018 IS NOW LIVE!See the full program on the CIFF website Bookings are now open!It’s an exciting mix of restored masterworks and new films that engage with our cinema heritage.  We look forward to seeing you there!
CIFF RETURNS WITH A SPECIAL 3 DAY EVENT, 26-28 OCTOBER, at the Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra. Program details to be announced in early September. Watch for details of our exciting line-up, with newly restored films, celebrated classics, neglected masterworks, special guests and panel discussions.
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