CULTURE

Showcasing the diversity of Australian cinema

Australian actors punch well above their weight on international screens but how many cinema-goers are aware that the entire Australian film industry itself has something special to offer? Athenians will have an opportunity to enjoy some of the originality and diversity of recent Australian cinema in a film festival this weekend at the Athinais Cultural Center. Among the five features and five shorts are films with renowned Australian actors such as Eric Bana («Munich» and «Troy») in «Chopper» and Toni Collette («In Her Shoes» and «About a Boy») in «Japanese Story.» In «Kiss or Kill» (Saturday, 6.30 p.m.), Nikki (Frances O’Connor) and Al (Matt Day) play young lovers on the run from the police, leaving a string of murders that make them suspect each other. Director Bill Bennett uses a gritty story to ask how well we know even those closest to us. Andrew Dominik’s «Chopper» (Saturday, 9 p.m.) tells the true tale of a disquietingly likable violent criminal and his quest for fame. «Head On» (Saturday, 11.30 p.m.), directed by Ana Kokkinos, follows Greek-Australian teenager Ari for 24 hours as he rebels against heterosexuality and the restrictions of his environment. On Sunday, old and new worlds collide in Mark Lamprell’s «My Mother Frank» (6.30 p.m.), followed by Sue Brooks’s «Japanese Story» (9 p.m.), a journey of change and discovery set in the beautiful Pilbara Desert. Exciting and often provocative films are the most visible part of the story, but the Australian industry also has a robust infrastructure with advanced production facilities and expertise that attract numerous filmmakers from abroad, notably the United States. The Greek-Australian connection has yet to be exploited. This festival was put together by the Australian Film Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 34-36 Kastorias Street, Votanikos. The films are in English and will not be subtitled. Admission costs 7 euros per day, 5 euros per day for students.