AACTA Film Fest | Richard Sowada's Top Picks

Article by Revelation Film Festival Director Richard Sowada


This is a rare film in so many ways. As a fuel injected, taut and tense crime thriller it stands up completely on its own. But after about five minutes of viewing when you realise this low-budget feature is shot in a single take, well, the film takes on a whole other dimension. With the camera ducking and weaving through streets and buildings, in and out of cars, through car chases and gunfights, it never stops moving and is a testament to the imaginative and sheer "guts and glory" filmmaking. In what is a major achievement in recent independent Australian cinema, WATCH THE SUNSET heralds major new production talents here in Oz.

WATCH THE SUNSET  will screen in Sydney on 6 September, in Melbourne on 16 September, in Brisbane on 9 September and on AACTA TV as part of AACTA Film Fest (see more here).


There is so much in the title that reflects itself in this poetic feature which constantly confounds the outback genre forms that have been so strong since WAKE IN FRIGHT and SUNDAY TOO FAR AWAY. There’s such beautiful interplay between all the characters here; who struggle to communicate their feelings but whose relationship with their arid and subterranean and terrestrial world bring them together in the most unexpected of ways. Very well played and very well directed, STRANGE COLOURS can only be Australian but has such a lovely international feel.

STRANGE COLOURS will screen in Sydney on 17 September, in Melbourne on 11 September, in Brisbane on 24 September and on AACTA TV as part of AACTA Film Fest (see more here).


There’s many nods to great Australian and international cinema traditions in SWEET COUNTRY, which provide the film with a place in yesterday, today and tomorrow. The film’s always surprising experimentation with time and space gives SWEET COUNTRY a real international feel as it’s in no hurry to get to its inevitable destination. Great performances, unquestionable authenticity and a ‘reason to be’ that is missing from so many films, powers SWEET COUNTRY forward, but it’s poetic heart is all in the eyes. 

SWEET COUNTRY will screen in Brisbane on 12 September and on AACTA TV as part of AACTA Film Fest (see more here).


AACTA Film Fest screenings and AACTA TV are exclusive and complimentary to AFI | AACTA members. Membership is open to everyone and starts at just $70! Click here to join today and enjoy AACTA's Film Fest, Docs Fest and over $650 worth of annual benefits and events.

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