Ten feature-length documentaries will vie for a juried prize as part of the first Cockatoo Island Film Festival, to be held 24-28 October at the Sydney Harbour destination.
The Australian/American co-production My Brother, The Serial Killer will receive its world premiere in the section. Directed by Mike O’Neill and David Monaghan, the film features Clay Rogers, whose brother Glen sits on Florida’s death row for the killing of five people in a cross-country spree.
Receiving its NSW premiere is Marten Persiel’s German doco This Ain’t California, which documents the lives of three East German skate punks in the last summer before the 1989 toppling of the Berlin Wall.
The remaining eight films are all Australian premieres. Director Omar Shargawi’s Egyptian/Danish co-production ½ Revolution follows Egyptian filmmakers on the streets of Cairo during the January 2011 Arab Spring uprising, whilst Stevan Riley’s British entry Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007 was made to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise and does just what it says on the tin.
From Nina Davenport, director of the acclaimed 2007 Operation Filmmaker, First Comes Love documents the New York-based director’s decision to become a single mother in her forties. Australian filmmaker Peter Hegedus, who grew up in socialist Hungary worshiping American films, travels the world asking whatever became of that idealised dream of his youth in My America.
Japanese director Toshi Fujiwara haunted the 20-kilometre evacuation zone around the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station in the days immediately following the tsunami, talking to residents on their way out of the new No Man’s Zone. Meanwhile, The Oath of a Tobruk, a French/Egyptian co-production directed by French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy and Marc Roussel, follows the former’s passionate involvement in the 2011 Libyan uprising that led to the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi.
Paul the Psychic Octopus is director Alexandre O. Philippe’s US/German co-production that explores the phenomenon of the 2010 Soccer World Cup-predicting cephalopod, whilst Álvaro Longoria’s Spanish/African Sons of the Clouds features actor Javier Bardem passionate involvement with a dispossessed Arab-African group. Finally, Austrian essayist Timo Novotny’s Trains of Thought is an audiovisual essay in the spirit of his earlier Life in Loops that explores urban transportation systems around the world.
Three additional documentaries are amongst the 45 feature-length films announced by the CIFF to date. They include Peter Brown’s American profile Confessions of an Eco Terrorist on Captain Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society; Florian Habicht’s New York-set docudrama Love Story from New Zealand; and the similarly genre-bending Croatian/Czech co-production Marija’s Own, from director Zeljka Sukova.
Tickets for these and all CIFF films and events are available now.
*Image from First Come Love.
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