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Oz Film Festival Opens

The new Oz Film Festival has announced they will open on Friday 30th June – 2nd July 2017, for a weekend of Australian films at Regent Street Cinema in London. Opening night film will be the UK premiere of Jasper Jones, starring Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving, directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran NueDae 2009, Radiance 1998) and based on the bestselling novel by the screenwriter, Craig Silvey.

With the resurgence of the Australian film industry over the last 2 years and box office hits such as LION (2016 Garth Davis) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015 George Miller), the festival team believes the timing couldn’t be better.

The festival director, ex-pat Laila Dickson, did meticulous research before deciding to go ahead. ‘We interviewed hundreds of non-Australians around central London. Not one person said they wouldn’t come to the festival which was really encouraging. And, everyone had a very clear idea of what makes Australia unique. There was a lot of warmth and nostalgia in people’s answers’.

Festival programmer, Moira McVean says, ‘We are proud to draw together a programme with a distinctly Australian take on life. We want people to come along for an Australian weekend mini break in a gorgeous central London location and experience everything that Australia is – the energy, beauty, toughness, drama, eeriness, rebellion, humour and emotional honesty – it’s young and ancient at the same time – and our programme reflects that’.

Also confirmed is the rarely screened 30 year old cult classic, Dogs In Space (1987 Richard Lowenstein), starring Michael Hutchence who passed away 20 years ago in November, and the profoundly moving LGBT documentary Remembering the Man, narrated by the author of the internationally bestselling biography Holding the Man and which the film with the same name (2015 Neil Armfield) was based on.

The full festival programme includes an exciting mix of new and significant classic Australian feature films, documentaries, comedies and dramas, as well as films perfect for families, short films and, of course, an edge of your seat horror.

Strictly Ballroom

Strictly Ballroom (25th-anniversary screening
Saturday 1 July 2017, 3pm
  • Director Baz Luhrmann  
  • Starring Paul Mercurio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter.  

Dogs in Space

Dogs in Space (30th Anniversary screening
AUS 1986 (first screened in London in 1987)
5pm Saturday 1 July 2017
  • Director: Richard Lowenstein
  • Starring: Michael Hutchence, Saskia Post.
The death and life of Otto Bloom
The Death and Life of Otto Bloom (UK Premiere)
8pm Sunday 2 July 2017
AUS 2016
Director: Cris Jones 85 mins
Starring: Xavier Samuel, Rachel Ward, Matilda Brown.
“The festival is dedicated to Anthony Middleton, who sadly passed away in March 2017. Originally from the Blue Mountains, Tony had lived in the UK for over 50 years and was the most loyal supporter of the original Australian film festival and film societies from their beginnings and had a huge breadth of knowledge of Australian film – we loved him deeply and he will be sorely missed”