Friday, 1 May 2009

first look: we are wizards

We Are Wizards

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) presents We Are Wizards, an effervescent and heartfelt tribute to popular culture fandom and do-it-yourself ingenuity. We Are Wizards will premiere as part of the First Look program this June.

We Are Wizards is a documentary by New York film maker, Josh Koury, which explores the myriad of creative worlds inspired by the global phenomenon that is J.K Rowling's Harry Potter. 

In We Are Wizards it becomes clear that Rowling's legacy extends far greater than her audiences enjoyment of her written works and the films that followed; she has single-handedly spawned a creative uprising. The documentary is a fascinating look into the lives of some of the most creative Harry Potter devotees including Wizard Rock bands such as 'Harry and the Potters', a group of seven-year-olds who perform as 'The Hungarian Horntails', alternative sound trackers, fansites that slay corporations, books on the nature of Harry Potter fandom and of course, a naysayer who believes Harry Potter will turn your child towards the dark arts!

ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson says We Are Wizards belongs to the fans. "Josh Koury's film documents how a special time in literary history can trigger such creative and emotional responses in people. Through his beautifully crafted documentary, Koury spotlights a handful of those who have moulded lifestyles and creative pursuits out of their fandom and ultimately how legions of fans have taken ownership of this cultural phenomenon," said Kristy. 

"Although", she continues, "this is ultimately a tribute to the cult of fandom and not limited to fans of Potter. It could have easily been a film about the way Beatle-mania manifested itself and permeated its influence into people's lifestyles and fashion in the 1960s and 70s. It's a true documentary gem in the way it can translate to relate to whichever cult community you subscribe."

This is the second feature film for documentary maker Koury. His first film, Standing By Yourself (2002), documented the daily machinations of a group of outcast friends at their strip-mall in their New York State hometown and received critical acclaim and enjoyed screenings at over 40 film festivals. Koury was also behind the moving 11-minute documentary Richard Shakes (2001) which details his older brother Richard's debilitating struggle to find physical and emotional peace while living with epilepsy. He is also the co-founder of the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival where he is Program Director and was previously a Programming Manager at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

We Are Wizards was among official selection for the SXSW Film Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, New York Underground Film Festival, the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival and many others throughout the Unites States. 

We Are Wizards kicks off a winter of wizardry at ACMI. Kids' Flicks will screen a Harry Potter Movie Marathon for the June/July school holidays and ahead of the release of the latest instalment of the film series. The Harry Potter Movie Marathon will start on Monday 29 June. For more information, please visit:

4 stars - Time Out New York

"a loving tribute to creativity and artistic freedom" -  New York Post

"Heartfelt and hugely entertaining!" - Independent Film Channel News

Official movie site:

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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