Interview with Festival Director Frances Hill (Down Under Berlin Film Festival)

Down Under Berlin was established in 2011 and is a project of the not-for-profit association Down Under Berlin – Australian Film Festival e.V. Since 2011 it has developed into the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film. As such it provides not only a window to storytelling and cinematography from Down Under but also a platform for filmmakers, who want to present their work to German audiences. The festival showcases a wide range of films including Indigenous cinema, short films, documentaries, experimental and feature films. Down Under Berlin is a member of festiwelt, the Berlin Network of Film Festivals.

http://www.downunderberlin.de

Interview with Festival Director Frances Hill

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

Frances Hill: Down Under Berlin Film Festival gives Australian and New Zealand filmmakers a new platform for their films in Europe.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?

FH: A range of high quality shorts across all genres, strong independent feature films, entertaining and moving documentaries, and a selection of features from established directors.

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

FH: The films, the directors, or the subject matter must be connected with Australia or New Zealand. We encourage submissions that show off the high standard of filmmaking that can be found Down Under, as well as films that give varied perspectives on these countries and their cultures.

MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

FH: A film festival is always a showcase of many different films, which makes it hard to highlight each and every film that is screened. It’s also a matter of audience and press interest: those films that have bigger names attached to them will be easier to market. But supporting up and coming filmmakers who have produced quality films is just as important, audiences appreciate good films regardless of budget and celebrity.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

FH: The Down Under Berlin team is passionate about bringing new and unseen films to Berlin, we want to show our international audience films they cannot see anywhere else. We also see the appreciation from European and German audience members for the cultures of Australia and New Zealand and want to support indigenous filmmaking from Down Under in Europe.

MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?

FH: Our first festival included mostly shorts with a few longer documentary films, which was a result of our reach at the time. We are now part of the Berlin film festival network and are also gaining recognition in Australia and New Zealand for our work. We have increased the number of films and audience members steadily over the years, and are proud to bring great films to Berlin, which otherwise would not be seen in cinemas.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

FH: We hope to take Down Under Berlin to other cities in Germany, maybe to other countries too. We would like to work more with film schools from Australia and New Zealand whose students are producing amazing films, which we believe should be seen in Europe too.

MT: What film have you seen the most times in your life?

I think The Castle from Australia and Run Lola Run from Germany.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A compelling story with captivating visuals.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

In Berlin the film scene is great, we have studio productions next to independent projects, film school shorts alongside visiting directors from all over the world. Also we have many independent cinemas screening a diverse range of films, including short film nights. Berlin is a fantastic place to make and see films.

down_under_berlin

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Died Today (July 30th): Claudette Colbert (1903–1996)

claudettecolbertClaudette Colbert (1903–1996)

Born: September 13, 1903 in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, France
Died: July 30, 1996 (age 92) in Speightstown, Barbados

Married to:
Dr. Joel Pressman (24 December 1935 – 26 February 1968) (his death)
Norman Foster (13 March 1928 – 1935) (divorced)

It Happened One Night
1934
dir. Frank Capra
starring
Clark Gable
Colbert
movie posterTHE SECRET FURY
1950
dir. Mel Ferrer
Starring:
Claudette Colbert
Robert Ryan

 

Died Today (July 30th): Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007)

ingmarbergman.jpg director Ingmar Bergman

Born: July 14, 1918 in Uppsala, Uppsala län, Sweden

Died: July 30, 2007 (age 89) in Fårö, Gotlands län, Sweden

Married to:
Ingrid von Rosen (11 November 1971 – 20 May 1995) (her death) (1 child)
Käbi Laretei (1959 – 1969) (divorced) (1 child)
Gun Grut (1951 – 1959) (divorced) (1 child)
Ellen Bergman (22 July 1945 – 1950) (divorced) (4 children)
Else Fisher (25 March 1943 – 1945) (divorced) (1 child)

SUMMER WITH MONIKASummer with Monika
1953
dir. Bergman
starring
Harriet Andersson
Naemi Briese
Smiles of a summer nightSmiles of a Summer Night
1955
dir. Bergman
Starring
Ulla Jacobsson
Eva Dahlbeck
WILD STRAWBERRIESWild Strawberries
1957
dir. Bergman
Cast: Victor Sjöström
Bibi Andersson
The Seventh SealThe Seventh Seal
1957
dir. Bergman
starring
Max Von Sydow
Gunnar Bjornstand
WINTER LIGHTWinter Light
1962
dir. Bergman
Starring
Max von Sydow
Ingrid Thulin
PERSONAPersona
1966
dir. Bergman
Starring
Bibi Andersson
Liv Ullmann
VARGTIMMENVargtimmen
1968
dir. Ingmar Bergman
Cast
Max von Sydow
Liv Ullman
Fanny and AlexanderFanny and Alexander
1982
dir. Bergman
Cast
Pernilla Allwin
Bertil Guve

Happy Birthday: Peter Bogdanovich

peterbogdanovichPeter Bogdanovich

Born: July 30, 1939 in Kingston, New York, USA

Married to:
Louise Stratten (30 December 1988 – 2001) (divorced)
Polly Platt (June 1962 – 1972) (2 children)

The Last Picture Show
1971
dir. Bogdanovich
Cast
Timothy Bottoms
Jeff Bridges
MOVIEPAPER MOON
1973
dir. Peter Bogdanovich
Starring:
Ryan O’Neal
Tatum O’Neal
THEY ALL LAUGHEDThey All Laughed
1981
dir. Peter Bogdanovich
Cast
Audrey Hepburn
Ben Gazzara
MaskMask
1985
dir. Bogdanovich
starring
Eric Stoltz
Sam Elliot
Noises Off …
1992
dir. Bogdanovich
Starring
Carol Burnett
Michael Caine
THE THING CALLED LOVE MOVIE POSTERThe Thing Called Love
1993
dir. Bogdanovich
Starring
Samantha Mathis
River Phoenix
MOVIE POSTERWHAT’S UP DOC?
1972
dir. Peter Bogdanovich
Stars:
Barbra Streisand
Ryan O’Neal
MOVIE POSTERINFAMOUS
2006
dir. Douglas McGrath
Stars:
Toby Jones
Daniel Craig
MOVIE POSTERHUSTLE
2004
dir. Peter Bogdanovich
Stars:
Tom Sizemore
Dash Mihok
SOPRANOS SEASON 1Sopranos
Season 1

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SOPRANOS SEASON 2Sopranos
Season 2

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SOPRANOS SEASON 3Sopranos
Season 3

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SOPRANOS SEASON 4Sopranos
Season 4

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SOPRANOS SEASON 5Sopranos
Season 5

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SOPRANOS SEASON 6Sopranos
Season 6

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Happy Birthday: Jean Reno

jeanreno.jpgJean Reno

Born: July 30, 1948 in Casablanca, French Protectorate of Morocco [now Morocco]

Married to:
Zofia Borucka (29 July 2006 – present) (1 child)
Nathalie Dyszkiewicz (1996 – 2001) (divorced) (2 children)
Genevieve Reno (1977 – 1995) (divorced) (2 children)

LE GRAND BLEULe Grand Bleu
1988
dir. Besson
Starring
Reno
Rosanna Arquette/a>
LES VISITEURSLes Visiteurs
1993
dir. Jean-Marie Poiré
Starring
Christian Clavier
Reno
LEON MOVIE POSTERLeon
1994
dir. Besson
Starring
Reno
Gary Oldman
Natalie Portman
Mission Impossible
1996
dir. Brian DePalma
Tom Cruise
Starring
Jon Voight
PINK PANTHER 2Pink Panther 2
2009
dir. Harald Zwart
Starring
Steve Martin
Reno
ARMORED Movie PosterArmored
dir. Nimród Antal
Stars:
Columbus Short
Matt Dillon
Laurence Fishburne
COUPLES RETREAT Movie PosterCouples Retreat
dir. Peter Billingsley
Starring
Jon Favreau
Vince Vaughn

Happy Birthday: Laurence Fishburne

laurencefishburne.jpgLaurence Fishburne

Born: July 30, 1961 in Augusta, Georgia, USA

Married to: Gina Torres (22 September 2002 – present) (1 child)

Apocalypse Now
1979
dir. by Francis Ford Coppola
starring
Martin Sheen
Marlin Brando
Predators  Predators
dir. Nimród Antal
Stars
Adrien Brody
Laurence Fishburne
RUMBLE FISHRumble Fish
1983
dir. Francis Ford Coppola
Starring
Matt Dillon
Mickey Rourke
Diane Lane
The MatrixThe Matrix
1999
dir. Wachowski Bros.
starring
Keanu Reeves
Carrie-Anne Moss
The Matrix Reloaded
2003
dir. Larry and Andy Wachowski
Starring
Keanu Reeves
Hugo Weaving
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONThe Matrix Revolution
2003
dir. Larry and Andy Wachowski
Starring
Keanu Reeves
Hugo Weaving
Mystic RiverMystic River
2003
dir. Clint Eastwood
Starring
Sean Penn
Tim Robbins
Kevin Bacon
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE IIIMission Impossible III
2006
dir JJ Abrams
Starring
Tom Cruise
Philip Seymour Hoffman
movie posterSEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER
1993
dir. Steven Zaillian
Starring:
Max Pomeranc
Joe Mantegna
MOVIE POSTERHANNIBAL season 1
2013
Created by Bryan Fuller
TMNT
2007
dir. Kevin Munroe
Starring
Chris Evans
Sarah Michelle Gellar
2121
Directed by Robert Luketic
Starring
Jim Sturgess
Kevin Spacey
MOVIE POSTERA NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3
1987
dir. Chuck Russell
Starring:
Heather Langenkamp
Robert Englund
ARMORED Movie PosterArmored
dir. Nimród Antal
Stars:
Columbus Short
Matt Dillon
Fishburne
MOVIE POSTERMAN OF STEEL
2013
dir. Zack Snyder
Stars:
Henry Cavill
Russell Crowe
MOVIE POSTERCONTAGION
dir. Steven Soderbergh
Stars:
Matt Damon
Kate Winslet
MOVIE POSTERAKEELAH AND THE BEE
2006
dir. Doug Atchison
Stars:
Angela Bassett
Laurence Fishburne
MOVIE POSTERBATMAN VS SUPERMAN
2015
Dir. Zack Snyder
Star:
Ben Affleck
Gal Gadot
MOVIE POSTERBOBBY
2006
dir. Emilio Estevez
Stars:
Anthony Hopkins
Demi Moore

 

Happy Birthday: Terry Crews

terrycrews.jpgTerry Crews

Born: July 30, 1968 in Flint, Michigan, USA

Married to: Rebecca Crews (29 July 1990 – present) (5 children)

THE EXPENDABLES 2
dir. Simon West
Stars:
Sylvester Stallone
Liam Hemsworth
MOVIE POSTERTHE BENCHWARMERS
2006
dir. Dennis Dugan
Stars:
David Spade
Jon Heder

bridesmaidsBRIDESMAIDS
dir. Paul Feig
Stars:
Kristen Wiig
Maya Rudolph
movie posterTHE LONGEST YARD
2005
dir. Peter Segal
Stars:
Adam Sandler
Burt Reynolds
GAMER Movie PosterGamer
2009
dir. Mark Neveldine
Taylor
Starring
Gerard Butler
Michael C. Hall
NORBITNorbit
2007
dir. Brian Robbins
Starring
Murphy
Thandie Newton
TERMINATOR 4 SALVATIONTerminator 4: Salvation
2009
dir. Mc G
Starring
Bale
Sam Worthington
Street KingsStreet Kings
Directed by David Ayer
Starring
Reeves
Forest Whitaker

td width=”214″>MOVIE POSTERCLOUDY 2: REVENGE OF THE LEFTOVERS
2013
dir. Cody Cameron
Kris Pearn
Stars:
Bill Hader

MOVIE POSTERSCARY MOVIE 5
2013
dir. Malcolm D. Lee
Stars:
Lindsay Lohan
Charlie Sheen
tv POSTERARRESTED DEVELOPMENT SEASON 4 TV SHOW PILOT
2013
Creators: Mitchell Hurwitz
tv POSTERBROOKLYN NINE-NINE TV SHOW PILOT
2013
Created by: Dan Goor, Michael Schur
Stars: Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher
BLENDED
2014
dir. Frank Coraci
Stars:
Adam Sandler
Drew Barrymore
MOVIE POSTERIDIOCRACY
2006
dir. Mike Judge
Stars:
Luke Wilson
Maya Rudolph
MOVIE POSTERTHE EXPENDABLES 3
2014
dir. Patrick Hughes
Stars:
Sylvester Stallone
Jason Statham
MOVIE POSTERDRAFT DAY
2014
dir. Ivan Reitman
Stars:
Kevin Costner
Jennifer Garner

 

Happy Birthday: Richard Linklater

richardlinklater.jpgRichard Linklater

Born: July 30, 1960 in Houston, Texas, USA

Married to: Christina Harrison

Dazed and ConfusedDazed and Confused
1993
dir. Linklater
starring
Jason London
Matthew McConaughey
TAPETape
2001
dir. Linklater
starring
Ethan Hawke
Uma Thurman
Before Sunset
2004
Linklater
starring
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
ME AND ORSON WELLES Movie PosterMe and Orson Welles
dir. Linklater
Starring
Zac Efron
Claire Danes
MOVIE POSTERBAD NEWS BEARS
2005
dir. Richard Linklater
Stars:
Billy Bob Thornton
Greg Kinnear
MOVIE POSTERBERNIE
dir. Richard Linklater
Cast:
Jack Black
Shirley MacLaine
MOVIE POSTERBEFORE MIDNIGHT
2013
dir. Richard Linklater
Stars:
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
BEFORE SUNRISEBefore Sunrise
1995
dir. Linklater
starring
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy
FAST FOOD NATION
2006
dir. Richard Linklater
Stars:
Greg Kinnear
Bruce Willis
MOVIE POSTERBOYHOOD
2014
dir. Richard Linklater
Stars:
Ellar Coltrane
Patricia Arquette
MOVIE POSTERA SCANNER DARKLY
2006
dir. Richard Linklater
Stars:
Keanu Reeves
Winona Ryder

 

Happy Birthday: Lisa Kudrow

lisakudrowLisa Kudrow

Born: July 30, 1963 in Encino, California, USA

Married to: Michel Stern (27 May 1995 – present) (1 child)

EASY A
dir. Will Gluck
Stars
Emma Stone
Amanda Bynes
BANDSLAM Movie PosterBandslam
dir. Todd Graff
Starring
Alyson Michalka
Vanessa Hudgens
HOTEL FOR DOGSHotel for Dogs
2009
dir. Thor Freudenthal
Starring
Emma Roberts
Jake T. Austin
SydneyWhiteP.S. I Love You
2007
Directed by Richard LaGravenese
Starring
Swank
Gerard Butler
MOVIE POSTERNEIGHBORS
2014
dir. Nicholas Stoller
Stars:
Seth Rogen
Zac Efron