Australian Music Week Film Festival reveals 2018 lineup featuring Jen Cloher, Mogwai, Curse of Lono, Karnivool & More

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  • September 24, 2018
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This year’s Australian Music Week Film Festival has revealed a diverse lineup of feature and short films set to appear as part of the annual event, which takes place on November 10th and 11th at the GU Film House in Cronulla, NSW. Following on from the Australian Music Week industry conference (7-9 Nov), the film festival will feature six feature films, each of which will be accompanied by a short film, together shaping up no less than 8 Australian Premieres.

The program starts alphabetically with ARADA, a Turkish film which is the first ever scripted feature to be a part of the Australian Music Week Film Festival. The engrossing film follows a young punk rocker in Instabul who tracks down a cruise ticket to California on the night of his birthday gig. Set during the 1990’s political unrest in the country, and against the backdrop of a record store that brings to mind films like High Fidelity, the film is an enjoyable punk adventure.

In the Indian film Rockumentary: Evolution of Indian Rock, we see how the Western rock scene in the Asian nation has evolved from the 1930s to now, and how Aussie groups like Karnivool have influenced the flourishing scene. Seven years in the making, the film is the most comprehensive look at the scene ever produced, with over 30 artists taking part in the feature.

The Canadian documentary Slave to the Grind looks at the world’s fastest and most aggressive music scene, Grindcore, which was originally fuelled by the leftist politics of Punk Rock, and has developed over the last 35 years to a scene more intense than ever before. The film premiered earlier his year at the Calgary Underground Film Festival, and this screening will mark the Australian premiere of the feature which is slowly but surely making its way around the world.

Sitting as the festival’s most political entry comes the award winning feature from Cultures of Resistance Film, Burkinabe Rising: The Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso. The documentary looks at creative non-violent resistance in the small, landlocked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso, home to a vibrant community of artists and engaged citizens.

Through art, music and film they show how political change can be achieved when people come together with a creative spirit, with this particular group featured carrying on the revolutionary spirit of former President Thomas Sankara, who was killed in a coup d’etat in 1987. The film documents the trip that director Iara Lee made to the country in 2016, as she meets a remarkable cast of artists, musicians and activists. The film comes to Cronulla after winning Amnesty International and UNESCO Awards.

The only Australian feature to appear at the 2018 festival comes from Melbourne. Now Sound: Melbourne’s Listening will have its NSW premiere at the Australian Music Week Film Festival following its sold out world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival and a limited cinema release in the city which concludes this week.

The acclaimed film explores Melbourne’s love of music, focusing on the vibrant scene of Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs, guided by a plethora of culturally relevant artists and a number of subcultures. The film documents the trials and tribulations that constantly threaten to demolish Melbourne’s iconic music culture and the unending passion that revives and sustains it. The film features interviews and performances from bands like Saskwatch, Bedroom Suck, Divide & Dissolve, Jen Cloher, RVG, Courtney Barnett, local labels like Chapter Music and much more.

And finally, from Ireland and Scotland comes Lost in France. Directed by Niall McCann, the documentary looks at the rise of the Glaswegian music scene, revisiting a chaotic trip to France in the mid-1990s, which helped define and cement the careers of indie rock band The Delgados, who established the cult record label Chemikal Underground. The label paved the way for acts like Mogwai, Arab Strap and Franz Ferdinand, who all feature in the film.

Each feature film will be accompanied by a short film, with films from India, Australia and the UK represented.

Of the Australian shorts, there’s Wannabe, a hilarious mockumentary about an Aussie Spice Girls cover band who are getting set to reform. Busking for Change, an insightful look at three buskers living in Sydney, and Elska: Heart + Harp, a short documentary about Gold Coast artist and Harpist Elska, who is one of the Australian Music Week’s performing artists.

From the UK comes Broadband, a beautifully shot short that looks at a musical project that brought together dozens of musicians through the internet, resulting in a uniquely collaborative song and video. Somewhere In Their Heads is a short documentary about the record of Curse of Lono’s second album As I Fell. Shot and edited by acclaimed music filmmaker Gregg Houston (Noel Gallagher, Two Door Cinema Club), the film follows the band as they record between London and the US desert in Joshua Tree, taking audiences behind the scenes of the songs as they engage in deeply personal conversations about death and heroin addiction.

And finally there’s Mixtape, a documentary that explores the music scene of Old Delhi, India. The film traces how Sonotek Cassettes and Sonic Entreprises have created entire subcultures of regional and Islamic devotional music, against the shifting tides of technology. It will accompany the Indian feature also in the program, Rockumentary.

Festival guests and special events around the screenings will be announced closer to the date.

When: 10th and 11th November 2018
Where: GU Filmhouse, Cronulla
How Much: Free for Australian Music Week Badge Holders, $10 tickets per film for everyone else. Individual tickets on sale in the coming weeks, direct through the cinema.

Session times and full ticketing details will be posted on the Facebook Page ( and on the official website ( in the coming weeks.


Feature Films:
ARADA (Turkey)
Rockumentary: Evolution of Indian Rock (India)
Slave to the Grind (Canada)
Burkinabe Rising: The Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso/Bulgaria/US)
Now Sound: Melbourne’s Listening (Australia)
Lost in France (Ireland/Scotland)

Short Films:
Wannabe (Australia)
Mixtape (India)
Broadband (UK)
Busking For Change (Australia)
Elska: Heart + Harp (Australia)
Somewhere In Their Heads (UK)

Each feature film will be accompanied by a short film, in the order listed above.