Canberra International Film Festival

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

Canberra (Oct 25-27, 2019)

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

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Greener Grass

Greener Grass

An appropriately bizarre addition to this year’s Sydney Underground Film Festival, Greener Grass wants you ...
Italian Film Festival Highlights

Italian Film Festival Highlights

Here’s a few picks that might just help you sort out your IFF 2019 schedule! ...
The Art of Self-Defense

The Art of Self-Defense

They’re men! Men in belts, tight belts! They roam around the dojo looking for fights! ...


Defying straightforward explanation, the first of three imminent flicks titled Dreamland will surely be the ...
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BERGMAN-HITCHCOCK – the 3 films made by actress Ingrid Bergman with Alfred Hitchcock as director.  Screening 25-27 October at NFSA’s Arc Cinema.  SEE FULL PROGRAM AND BUY TICKETS at program includes the rarely seen UNDER CAPRICORN (1949, Technicolor), screening Sunday 27 October at 2pm  – an intense psychological drama set in 1830s Sydney, based on a novel by best-selling Australian author, Helen Simpson.  Long over-looked as uncharacteristic Hitchcock, the film is now being re-appraised by critics such as David Thompson who, in his Dictionary of Film, describes it as “a searching study … a Hitchcock masterpiece.” BOOK NOW at
SPELLBOUND at CIFF on Saturday 26 Oct at 7.30 at the Arc Cinema, NFSA.  Book now: Selznick brought the biggest of guns to bear on this 1945 psychological thriller to advocate for wider recognition of psychoanalysis.  Important in the team was Miklós Rózsa whose almost 75 minutes of music stands as one of his greatest scores for the cinema.  The score blends several dramatic themes but dominant are the sumptuous love theme and the innovative use of the theremin (both solo and with orchestra) to denote mental distress and disorientation.  It’s an extraordinary score that deservedly won an Oscar, and adds enormously to Hitchcock’s haunting images and Ingrid Bergman’s intense performance.
Canberra International Film Festival presents a special event from 25-27 October at the Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive, as a prelude to a major retrospective film festival next year.  BOOKINGS NOW OPEN at celebrates the remarkable collaboration between Ingrid Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock in three films made between 1945 and 1949:
NOTORIOUS (Fri 25 Oct, 7.30),   SPELLBOUND (Sat 26 Oct, 7.30) and the rarely seen UNDER CAPRICORN (Sun 27 Oct, 2pm).BOOK NOW! Full details on
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:
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