The Canberra International Film Festival is Go!

September 13, 2017
The program launched yesterday, and the new website is live.

The program for the 2017 Canberra International Film Festival has been launched, and tickets are now on sale via the official site. Running from October 26 to November 5, the festival, now in its 21st year, offers a mix of new and exciting films, plus a curated program of cinema classics.

Director and co-programmer Andrew Pike said, “This year, CIFF takes an exciting new form, with two primary strands of programming: Contemporary and Retrospective. We’ve always had a retrospective component, but this year, it is greatly expanded and fills over half of the Festival’s sessions.”

Opening night kicks off with one of the latter- Jacques Tournier’s horror classic Cat People, one of the most influential thrillers ever made. Shot on a miniscule budget, the film is a masterpiece of misdirection and implication, with Tournier keeping his monster off screen for the simple fact that he couldn’t afford to show it. Starring Simone Simon as a woman who is cursed with a weird form of lycanthropy, the 1942 film is an exercise in sustained paranoia and tension that can still shock and surprise today.

Cat People is just the first salvo in a Tournier retrospective, which includes the 1947 noir Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum; the iconic 1957 horror, Night of the Demon; and the 1951 swashbuckler, Anne of the Indies.

The contemporary cinema program kicks off with the documentary, My Year With Helen, Gaylene Preston’s account of her 12 months in the company of former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark as she campaigns for the posotion of UN Secretary General. Also on the cards: Warwick Thornton’s We Don’t Need a Map; the controversial and acclaimed The Square; the award-winning Afghani film, Wolf and Sheep; and the thoughtful and touching On Body and Soul, which was acclaimed at the Sydney International Film Festival.

One special event worth circling in red is a special presentation of David Lean’s immortal Doctor Zhivago, screening in memory of Dr. Darrell Killen, who opened Canberra’s first independent cinema. The 4K restoration of Lean’s three-hour-plus epic is a must see for dedicated cinema lovers.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For more information, session times, and tickets, head over to the official site.


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