• Festivals

Docs: Angus McDonald on “Freedom is Beautiful” at Sydney Film Festival

The documentary feature, Freedom is Beautiful, focuses on two remarkable Kurdish Iranian asylum seekers who are musicians, artists, poets and close friends. Farhad Bandesh and Mostafa ‘Moz’ Azimitibar were also freed within a month of each other, in 2020, after each having spent eight years locked up in brutal refugee camps on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and a Melbourne detention center run by the Australian Government.
  • Festivals

70th Sydney Film Festival Opening Night

Cate Blanchett might be the biggest star of the Aussie drama, The New Boy, but the film’s opening night premiere for the 70th annual Sydney Film Festival (June 7-18) prompted the biggest response for its smallest stars. Blanchett, who is also a co-producer, was absent as Indigenous writer/director Warwick Thornton took to the stage at the State Theatre and gave a special nod to the eight young boys in their first film – including the young lead, Aswan Reid.
  • Festivals

Ora! Fest Opens with Helen Mirren

When Dame Helen Mirren arrived in a golf cart in the historical center of Monopoli, the charming port town in Puglia, she – unlike her colleagues who are attending the festival – had only been on a three-hour car ride to get there. Mirren loves to spend her summers in her Italian home, a 16th-century Masseria, a typical Pugliese farmhouse in Tiggiano that she and her husband, director Taylor Hackford, have spent the better part of five years restoring.