The Antenna Documentary Film Festival has delivered us a snippet of what’s to come in their 2016 program, releasing the titles of twelve of the documentaries set to air over the festival period (Tuesday 11 – Sunday 16 October) at the Palace Cinemas in Paddington, Sydney.
The film festival will focus on highlighting the diversity of cultures and creativity amongst non-fiction storytellers as festival director, David Rokach explained “We have watched an incredible amount of films from around the world and have selected an exceptionally strong line-up that represents the diversity of creative nonfiction cinema today”.
Abiding by the theme, Jose Villalobos’ The Charro of Toluquilla will lead the festival through its opening night. The film follows the story of Jaime Garcia who is ‘a mariachi singer and braggart who lives his life like a chauvinistic vintage Mexican movie character, but with one difference: he is HIV-positive.’ Jose Villalobos will be in attendance at the Festival’s opening night to introduce his film to the audiences.
A Present from the Past will be the curtain-closer to the festival, finishing the event with a road trip film that follows a father-daughter to Rome, to find a long lost love with only a three-decade-old address. The film is recorded through hidden cameras and is a powerful visual essay from Kawthar Younis.
Amongst the other titles released were City 40, a story of residents of a walled town in Russia trading high quality living for radiation poisoning and the documentary Bugs, which will follow two food researchers from the prestigious restaurant NOMA, exploring the culinary value and environmental benefits of eating insects.
The Islands and the Whales will follow an isolated community in the Faroe Islands of the North Atlantic, where the local traditions of hunting whales and seabirds have become threatened by the global environmental crisis and a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society with Pamela Anderson in tow, bringing a well-intentioned yet culturally imperialist critique of the locals’ way of life.
The Australian film Mother with a Gun will also have its World Premiere at the Antenna Festival. It will follow Shelley Rubin, the leader of the Jewish Defense League as they aim to prevent another Holocaust by any means necessary. The filmmakers have been granted privileged access to Rubin, untangling her past and present to expose this unusual pathway to extremism.
The political drama Bobby Sands: 66 Days was amongst the titles announced, and explores the life of Bobby Sands, famously played by Michael Fassbender in the film Hunger. The documentary uses reconstructions, archival material and key interviews to create a tapestry of the 1981 Maze Prison hunger strike in Ireland.
Antenna will also celebrate the life of Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who died in July this year, with a special screening of his best work, Close-Up (1990), which follows the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf.
Also announced were Troublemakers: The Story Of Land Art, Gary Numan: Android In La La Land, Starless Dreams and Behemoth by the acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhao Liang.
The full program is to be announced by Tuesday the 6th of September and will bring a wide diversity of foreign and local films to the festival body in October. Access any details at http://antennafestival.org/