Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra
Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra

The 23rd annual Revelation Perth International Film Festival returns December 9 – 13, showcasing a curated program of international and local content.

The Festival will open on December 9 with the inspiring and evocative Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra – a documentary marking the 30th anniversary of Australia’s most iconic performing arts company, Bangarra Dance Theatre, co-directed by Perth’s Nel Minchin, which tells the story of three young Aboriginal brothers who turned a newly born dance group into a First Nations cultural powerhouse.

“CV19 has devastated the film fest scene globally, but a microbe isn’t going to stop us presenting some of the most exciting, vital, vibrant and acclaimed new and international short, feature and documentary films to WA audiences,” says Festival Director, Richard Sowada.

“It’s a program packed with special events, industry networking opportunities, a sister online component of around 15 additional titles and some of the most acclaimed festival titles you’ll find anywhere. In the most challenging of cultural times, we’re continuing to redefine what a film festival can be – and we can’t wait to see how audiences respond.”

Fitting with Rev’s long-standing commitment to local screen practitioners and industry, the Festival is introducing the WA Screen Culture Awards on Sunday December 13 – marking the first time in five years that the Western Australian screen industry has had an official awards platform. Geared specifically towards recognizing excellence across the WA screen sector in a new media environment, the WA Screen Culture Awards embrace all forms from new, established and emerging screen practices over 16 categories including documentary, feature film, computer game, moving image or installation. Entries have been extended until 8 November 2020, nominations can be made online.

Locally produced highlights within the program include murder-mystery The Xrossing which premieres as part of the festival ahead of its theatrical release on January 7, 2021. The debut feature from Steven J. Mihaljevich, The Xrossing had its world premiere at the Toronto Independent Film Festival recently where it took home best film in the micro-budget category for films budgeted below $250,000 and also won Best Feature Film at The London Independent Film Awards; Laura’s Choice – a complex film exploring the family experience of three generations of women coming to terms with a radical approach to dying; An Ideal Host – a horror, comedy, sci-fi mash up from director Robert Woods about the protagonist’s quest to host the perfect dinner party with her partner at their newly purchased rural property – a film which was shot in just 13 days; and The Beloved – a documentary about The Orange People, a conspicuous presence in the Fremantle community in the 80’s, which runs for over 4-hours including suitable intervals.

Other local offerings come in smaller/shorter packages with the annual Get Your Shorts On! and City of Vincent Film Project films; along with a Westralia Showcase of WA content.

Indie darlings direct from Sundance include the fun, low budget film Save Yourselves! which tells of millennials disconnecting from devices and the coming-of-age comedy Dinner in America which explores two misfits finding each other through music and chaos.

The 90s flop Showgirls features in a double-bill with 2020’s You Don’t Nomi – the masterful documentary (or cine-essay) about the afore mentioned box office disaster – and a fitting pre-film introduction from Fanta-Sea.

Music afficionados will revel in documentaries Crock of Gold – which chronicles Pogues front man Shane MacGowan, directed by Julien Temple and produced by Johnny Depp; My Darling Vivian – a story about Vivian Liberto, the first wife of Johnny Cash, directed by Matt Riddlehoover and Lydia Lunch – The War Is Never Over – a career-spanning documentary retrospective of the confrontational, acerbic American singer, poet, writer, actress and self-empowerment speaker whose career was spawned by the New York no wave scene in the 1970s, directed by Beth B.

Those seeking to experience what has been billed as “the must-see documentary of the year” presenting an exposé of corporate malfeasance need look no further than The New Corporation the sequel to the 2003 film The Corporation, which profiles new developments in the political and social power of global corporations and brands.

Whilst those seeking to experience one of the most controversial films of the year which was banned from MIFF and numerous other festivals can quell their curiosity with The Trouble with Being Born; winner of a special jury prize at the Berlin Film Festival in February whilst also prompting audience walkouts.

Revelation Film Festival’s virtual reality arm, XR:WA, returns for its second year running just prior to the official festival from December 3 – 6 – as a major conference and public exhibition showcasing the ideas, works, technology and constantly evolving environment of the VR and digital screen industry. The program features panel discussions, a Games and Experience Emporium, trade exhibitions and workshops with keynote speakers.

A highlight of this year’s program is FourByFour; which comprises of four 4-minute short films which will premiere as part of the festival created as a multidisciplinary cross-art-form collaboration with Co3 Dance Australia, Tura New Music and some WA’s best VR film practitioners.

With over 30 feature films and documentaries, a comprehensive program of shorts and Western Australian content, the re-introduction of an official awards platform for the state’s screen industry as well as the XR:WA VR program and REVonDEMAND streaming select content until December 13, this year’s Revelation Perth International Film Festival is a reflection of the commitment of the handful of curators who work tirelessly to deliver a world class program that is second to none.

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