In recent years the charming St Tropez-based Festival des Antipodes has become more of a Festival of Australia plus a few add-ons, a trend that the 2014 programme does absolutely nothing to reverse.
The festival divides its 16-strong feature selection into two programmes, in and out of competition. In competition Max Currie’s Everything We Loved screens against five Australian features.
It might be optimistic to expect a NZ victory as the progamme introduction says, “As far as the selection of New Zealand films is concerned, it is Vincent Ward’s first feature, Vigil, which will be its highlight.”
Last year Dean Hewison’s How To Meet Girls From A Distance did take the Grand Prize, while youngsters Kevin Paolo and Julian Dennison jointly took the Best Male Talent gong for Shopping.
In this year’s out of competition selection Vigil screens with Daniel Joseph Borgmann’s The Weight Of Elephants and Gerard Johnstone’s Housebound.
The festival’s (out of competition) closing film will be jury president Fred Schepisi’s Words and Pictures. Schepisi is joined on the jury by French writer Sylvie Bourgeois Harel and four French actors, Eriq Ebouaney, Gabrielle Lazure, Maria Pitarresi and Salomé Stévenin.
The festival’s seven-title documentary strand doesn’t feature a NZ film, and only three of 17 selections for the competitive short film programmes are from NZ: Alyx Duncan’s The Tide Keeper, Adam Gunser’s Killing Phillip, and James Cunningham’s Shelved – which the programme credits as Australian.
The Festival des Antipodes 2014 runs 13 – 19 October.