Melbourne International Film Festival today announced filmmaker Abe Forsythe’s second feature film, DOWN UNDER, will screen as the prestigious Centrepiece Gala at the 2016 edition of the festival. It announced the film as part of its First Glance at the line-up, introducing 46 films from the program early.
A black comedy set during the aftermath of the Cronulla riots, DOWN UNDER is the story of two carloads of hotheads from both sides of the fight destined to collide. Sincere, though misguided, intent gives way to farcical ineptitude as this hilarious yet poignant story of ignorance, fear and kebab-cravings unfolds, and what was meant to be a retaliation mission turns into something neither side could have imagined. Set to screen at a gala event in Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre on 6 August, it makes its World Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival on 16 June.
Other films announced during the First Glance program include Danny DeVito’s latest directorial effort, CURMUDGEONS, a short film about a foul-mouthed senior citizen; Andrzej Zulawski’s COSMOS, which won Żuławski the prestigious Best Director award at the Locarno Film Festival; Werner Herzog’s exploration of a technological world in LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD; screenwriting veteran James Schamus’ (Brokeback Mountain) directorial debut INDIGNATION; the wonderfully batty Anders Thomas Jensen film MEN & CHICKEN; and many more.
As always, we salute MIFF’s Accent on Asia section, which this year is already yielding Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s five hour epic HAPPY HOUR, which is said to have echoes of Rivette and Rohmer, Ozu and Kore-eda and be a Japanese take on Sex & the City! There’s also Daigo Matsui’s OUR HUFF AND PUFF JOURNEY, about four girls who set out on a 800 kilometre bike-ride to see their favouerite band; Bi Gan’s award-winning KAILI BLUES; and Zhi-xing Zhong animated THE MAGIC BRUSH.
The 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival runs 28 July – 14 August. The full program will be announced on Tuesday 5 July with public tickets on sale Friday 8 July. MIFF members already have access to opening night tickets, so snaffle these up as this looks to be a big premiere for both Melbourne and the Australian film scene. For more information and other films in the First Glance visit miff.com.au