Thursday, 1 December 2005

from kenya to coburg...real life on film 2006

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image will be a hub for filmmakers from around the globe and a key destination for local film fans when ACMI presents Real Life on Film, Australia's leading documentary film festival, as the exclusive film event in the 2006 Commonwealth Games cultural program, Festival Melbourne2006.

Screening across eleven days (11-21 February 2006) in the state-of-the-art cinemas at ACMI, Real Life on Film will present a curated program of cutting edge local and international documentaries from all across the Commonwealth including UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia & Torres Strait, South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon, India, Lesotho, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea.

Real Life on Film will provide a complex portrait of the Commonwealth at work and play, moving local audiences to a deeper understanding of the richness and complexity of Commonwealth experiences.

Real Life on Film will continue its tradition of supporting documentary film by presenting a number of awards: Best International documentary ($4,000), Best Australian documentary ($4,000), Best Short documentary ($2,000), and an Audience award.

The Real Life on Film program will feature many Australian premieres with several acclaimed international documentary-makers already confirmed to visit Melbourne for the festival.

Among those coming to Melbourne will be legendary British director / producer / writer / criminologist Roger Graef who will present the Australian premiere of his films Fever Road, an intimate portrait of life in a Kenyan village during a Malaria outbreak and Murder Blues which charts the activities of Operation Trident, the elite Metropolitan Police unit that deals with gun crime within London's black communities.

One of the UK's most influential documentary-makers with a staggering 80+ films to his name, Graef began his career in the 1970s British comedy scene directing the cult hit The Secret Policeman's Ball and co-producing of the first ever Comic Relief event (with Richard Curtis). He is famous for gaining first-time access to many (previously closed) institutions at the highest level of international politics and corporate life most notably the United Nations and the European Union, and for his many documentaries exposing the many dysfunctions and prejudices of the UK police force

Other confirmed highlights of Real Life on Film include:

How Arnold Won the West (UK, 2004) dir. Alex Cooke (AUSTRALIAN THEATRICAL PREMIERE)
How Arnold Won the West is a hilarious and insightful political satire that tells the story of the most bizarre American election to date - Arnold Schwarzenegger's successful bid for Governor of California. Seen through the lens of UK documentary filmmaker Alex Cooke, How Arnold Won the West follows this extraordinary showbiz campaign from the moment Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy all the way through to his victory.  Alex Cooke will be coming to Melbourne as a special guest of Real Life on Film and The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

Going for the Kill (UK 2005), dir. Luke Holland (AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE)
Going for the Kill covers the two year lead up to the banning of one of England's most enduring but widely condemned traditions - fox hunting. Directed by Luke Holland, Going for the Kill is the first instalment of A Very English Village, the highly anticipated BBC documentary series that takes the viewer into the real experience of rural England beyond the idyllic picture-perfect gloss. Luke Holland will be coming to Melbourne as a special guest of Real Life on Film and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

Pulled from the Rubble (2004, UK) dir. Margaret Loescher (AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE)
Pulled from the Rubble is the story of Gil Loescher, one of the few survivors of the devastating bomb blast on the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003. Through poignantly honest narration, and observational scenes of high emotion, his daughter Margaret records the family's recovery during the months after the bomb. Using the camera becomes her way of dealing with the suddenness of the family's changed reality, and a way of re-visiting the haunting images of the bombsite - a place of both horror and hope. Margaret Loescher will coming to Melbourne as a special guest of Real Life on Film 2006.

Final Solution (2004, India) dir. Rakesh Sharma (MELBOURNE PREMIERE)
The Final Solution is a raw and confronting view of the politics of hate. Filmed up close on DV Cam during and after a series of murderous riots in Gujurat province, Western India, in 2002/3, The Final Solution has all the colour and theatricality of Indian life while graphically documenting the changing face of right wing politics in India. After its initial banning by the Indian Censor board, the filmmakers embarked on a massive grassroots effort to change the decision, conducting a highly unusual "pirate and circulate" campaign which invited viewers to make multiple (free) duplicates of the film and circulate them to many friends and associates as possible. Rakesh Sharma will be in Melbourne as a special guest of Real Life on Film 2006.

Story Of A Beautiful Country (2004, South Africa) dir. Khalo Matabane (AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE)
Apartheid ended in 1990. The troubled, segregated homeland that black South African Khalo Matabane remembers from his childhood no longer exists. Shooting entirely from the front seat of a minibus taxi, Matabane travels across nine provinces of South Africa, capturing the physical beauty of the landscape and posing questions about the past and present to the passengers he encounters along the way. Director Khalo Matabane and producer Don Edkins will be in Melbourne as special guests of Real Life on Film 2006.

Beethoven's Hair (2005, Canada) dir. Larry Weinstein (AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE)
Part detective story and forensic examination, this big budget documentary, complete with immaculate dramatic recreations, traces the story of a lock of hair cut from Beethoven's head after his death. From Ludwig Van's deathbed, via Nazi Germany, the precious lock ends up in the collection of two zealous Americans, determined to solve the riddle of Beethoven's death. They do so with the aid of a surprising Australian connection.

Real Life on Film is part of Festival Melbourne2006, the cultural festival of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Festival Melbourne2006 celebrates the breadth of culture and art from across the nations of the Commonwealth.  The Festival is an integral part of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, and it is proudly funded and supported by the Victorian and Australian Governments.

Further information

Media Enquiries:  Danielle Poulos, ACMI Communications Coordinator
PH: 03 8663 2415, m 0417 540 543,
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