The Australian High Commission Singapore presents the inaugural Aussie Film Festival from 17th to 27th March at The Projector. Presented in tandem with Harmony Week in Australia to celebrate Australian multiculturalism, the festival features contemporary films that reflect Australia’s rich cultural diversity.
The festival features four films that are built on inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging. Curated to empower connection through shared stories, the festival presents a good mix of frontier films and light hearted romantic comedies. The films for the inaugural edition of the festival are High Ground directed by Stephen Johnson, Rhapsody of Love, and Get a Life, Alright! directed by Joy Hopwood, and The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson directed by Leah Purcell.
Poignant, joyful, and thought-provoking, these festival films offer a compelling insight into Australia’s culture of diversity and inclusion. The film selection also includes Australia’s First Nations Peoples’ stories, foregrounding Australia’s history and truth-telling.
The festival opens with Stephen Johnson’s High Ground, a frontier truth-telling film that recounts the story of Travis, a former WW1 soldier turned policeman in a remote landscape of Northern Australia, and a young Aboriginal man, Gutjuk as they hunt down the outlaw Baywara, the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, Gutjuk’s Uncle. The film follows them as they journey through the outback and begin to earn each other’s trust.
The opening screening of High Ground will be preceded by a live virtual Q&A session with Producer/Actor Witiyana Marika (Yothu Yindi’s Elder and frontman) and Director/Producer Stephen Johnson.
Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, another frontier film, is a reimagining of an acclaimed play and classic short story. It is a searing Australian revenge tale and a stark revisionist Western, offering a powerful new interrogation of Australian history and a universal story of what a mother will do to protect her children.
Singapore-born Australian director Joy Hopwood’s two films at the festival are more than just romantic dramas. Rhapsody of Love is the first Asian-Australian romantic comedy with Asian Australian lead actors. This multicultural film follows the lives of four couples at different stages of their relationships.
Get A Life, Alright!, Joy Hopwood’s second film in the festival, is Australia’s first diverse indie romantic drama musical, led by a powerful team of women. The film follows the life of an aspiring actor, Nick Singh who juggles working two part time jobs; his father’s Indian restaurant, Ballu’s Bollyfood, and Joe’s Florist. The film has a strong theme about the importance of female friendships and mental health is explored in a nuanced way.
“We are delighted to present the first Aussie Film Festival in Singapore in 2022. Through the creative lens of cinema, we shine the light on the cultural diversity and richness of Australia, and the stories of our First Nation Peoples. Timed to coincide with Harmony Week in Australia, the Aussie Film Festival celebrates our multiculturalism. These films are a window into our world and they tell stories that resonate beyond our borders, allowing us to make connections with audiences here in Singapore. We hope that through these films, you will have the chance to experience and understand the many narratives that shape and define our nation,” says H.E. William Hodgman, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore.
The Aussie Film Festival 2022 runs from 17th to 27th March 2022. Tickets available here