By Ryan Keating-Lambert
Prague’s Aussie and Kiwi Film Festival is now in its fourth year and continues to showcase the best of the best in feature films, documentaries, and short films that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. This year’s festival will take place from the 16th-22nd of November in Prague’s Kino Lucerna and Kino Ponrepo.
‘Laughter is the most beautiful music’ is the festival’s motto this year, so it’s only fitting that opening night sees the Czech premiere of the Melbourne and Sydney International Film Festival hit, Ali’s Wedding. Written by and also starring Osamah Sami, the film follows Sami’s Australian integration and his difficulties in dealing with his strict Muslim parents when marriage comes into play.
Also screening is the hilarious and heartwarming Australian film Emo: The Musical, which sees depressed high school boy Ethan accidentally find love with a Christian girl determined to convert him.
From New Zealand comes documentary Poi E: The Story of Our Song, a documentary about the catchy and inspiring Maori song that became the unofficial nation anthem of the country. Kino Lucerna will also host the Maori dance group, Whakaari Rotorua, as well as screen a collection of Maori short films.
The documentary David Stratton: A Cinematic Life will also be a festival highlight. The film is an inside look at the famous Australian film critic and former director of the Sydney International Film Festival. A man who sees cinema as a way of life rather than just mere entertainment. The documentary also has dozens of interviews with well-known actors from both Australia and New Zealand, including Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Eric Bana, Sam Neill and more.
In cooperation with the National Film Archive, Kino Ponrepo will screen the classic Peter Weir film Picnic at Hanging Rock. The haunting tale of a group of Melbourne girls who vanish on a school field trip in 1900.
Accompanying the festival will be an exclusive photo exhibition by Jiří Jírů, documenting the late Czech president and humanitarian Václav Havel meeting the Maori on his visit to New Zealand in 1995.
For full programme and tickets, visit the festival website.
Photo: The Brag