Welcome to AACTA Film Fest
From AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 2018 AACTA Film Fest. With a record-breaking 38 feature films in competition - many of which you can't see anywhere else - this year's Festival is an all-inclusive look at Australian film. AACTA Film Fest provides the opportunity to view the outstanding Australian films from the past 12 months competing for our nation's highest screen accolades - the AACTA Awards.
It's a fascinating time as the landscape of our industry continues to change; from the expansion of non-traditional distribution pathways and the availability of VOD and SVOD services to the role social media plays as a marketing platform, Australian films have more opportunities to find audiences than ever before.
In particular, more and more great Australian independent films are making waves, telling diverse and unique stories that you can't find anywhere else. This year we're thrilled to recognise these films and the creative filmmakers behind them who are doing incredible things with small budgets via the AACTA Award for Best Indie Film.
This year's competing films feature a dynamic mix of genres, including: thrillers such as 1% and CARGO; dramas including BREATH, WEST OF SUNSHINE and BOY ERASED; sci-fi films including UPGRADE and OCCUPATION; comedies such as BROTHERS' NEST, LADIES IN BLACK and THE MERGER; and family films PETER RABBIT™ and THE LEGO® NINJAGO MOVIE.
There are also plenty of familiar faces on-screen, including award-winning home-grown talent such as Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Kylie Minogue, Joel Edgerton, Rose Byrne, Guy Pearce, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Clarke, Magda Szubanski, Sam Neill and Simon Baker, among many others. We also enjoy performances from international actors including Helen Mirren, Rooney Mara, Martin Freeman, Julia Ormond and Lucas Hedges.
Almost half of this year's films were made by first-time directors, who compete alongside some of Australia's leading directors including Bruce Beresford, Warwick Thornton, Nash Edgerton, Stephan Elliott and Garth Davis.
I'm pleased to report that this year we've seen increased representation for women in Australian film. There are nine female directors in competition, over half the competing films feature prominent female leads or female-centric storylines, and seven films have females making up over half the awards candidates. We're also pleased to see a third of competing films with culturally and linguistically diverse themes and representation.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the industry for ensuring Australian film remains vibrant and dynamic through their tireless work, as well as our valued partners, new and continuing, for their generous support throughout the year.
And finally, I thank our members. Your passion and support of our industry ensures it continues to flourish, as well as allow us to continue supporting, promoting and celebrating Australian screen productions, practitioners and performers.
I encourage you all to participate in the largest conversation on Australian film and join us at the 2018 Film Fest in cinemas, online and on AACTA TV. I also hope you will take the time to join us at AACTA Shorts Fest in August and AACTA Docs Fest in October - either in cinema in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth or via AACTA TV.
Enjoy the 2018 AACTA Film Fest!
For your complete guide to the feature films competing for a nomination for the 2018 AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel, download the Film Fest Guide here (6MB).