ALBURY-Wodonga’s Regent Cinemas will become the focus of a glittering selection of fine international films offering drama, romance, adventure, comedy, sci-fi, true stories and much more.
Oscar-winning Australian movie star Geoffrey Rush will launch the Border Mail 2013 Albury-Wodonga International Film Festival — on the big screen — playing the eccentric art auctioneer Virgil Oldman in the Italian movie The Best Offer, the festival’s opening movie.
From Wednesday, August 14, 32 movies from 17 countries will screen over 12 days at a festival that is growing in popularity every year ... and no wonder.
Many will be screened in Albury just days after screenings at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Regent Cinemas marketing manager Lucas Mellier has sampled most of the 2013 Border festival movies, and is impressed with the quality and variety on offer.
“We did want to get a diverse range, which I think we’ve definitely achieved,” he says.
“It’s not just the break-up of all the countries but it’s the genres that are covered as well.
“In previous years drama has been pretty well represented — I think again, we’ve got seven drama movies and maybe five drama/romance movies — but we also have several documentaries this year, three thrillers, a crime drama, three comedies, four drama comedies and also some drama/sci-fi and sci-fi/comedy as well.
“The value is fantastic and it’s probably the only time of the year that you get to see any of these films.”
Mr Mellier says the number of documentaries this year reflected the increasing popularity of the genre worldwide.
“I think last year we had just two documentaries and this year we have seven,” he says.
“Our list probably represents what’s been shown at Cannes and other film festivals around the world.”
“One is Blackfish, which looks quite interesting, about a captive killer whale in America that killed one of its trainers.
“The opening movie, The Best Offer, is an Italian film with Geoffrey Rush, but English speaking — that one should be very interesting.
“Another that I’ve been looking forward to seeing is The Hunt, which stars Mads Mikkelsen who received a prize for his role at the Cannes Film Festival.”
Danish actor Mikkelsen rose to fame as the villainous Le Chiffre in 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale and is starring in the new TV series Hannibal as the title character, Hannibal Lechter.
“Sleepwalk with Me, an American comedy, looks very funny while A Highjacking, a Danish film, looks very good and our closing movie is Mud, which features Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey,” Mr Mellier says.
There has been strong interest in Before Midnight, “one of the great movie romances of the modern era” according to trade magazine Variety, and the final movie in a Richard Linklater trilogy that follows the travails of Jesse and Celine in a series that began with Before Sunrise in 1995 and continued with Before Sunset in 2004.
Mr Mellier says Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the US are all represented, making the festival a truly international outing for Border movie fans.
More US movies will be screened this year, from Joss Whedon’s new take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to the music documentary Muscle Shoals, the US/Chilean thriller/drama collaboration Magic Magic and the documentary The Trials of Muhammad Ali.
Two Australasian films will be screened: Australia’s Satellite Boy, about two young indigenous boys lost in the outback trying to remember half-forgotten bush survival skills, and the Kiwi comedy Shopping, a drama/comedy that uncovers the racial tensions in a small New Zealand town in the early 1980s.
ACROSS THE GENRES:
Documentary: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (Russia)
Comedy/drama: A Gun in Each Hand (Spain)
Romance/drama: Rust and Bone (France/Belgium)
Biography/drama/comedy: The Look of Love (Britain)
Drama: What Richard Did (Ireland)
Thriller: The Loneliest Planet (USA/Germany)
Crime: Sister (France/Switzerland)
Drama/Sci-Fi: Upstream Colour (US)