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Immersive International Cinema for Students

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Ivan Tsarevitch and the Changing Princess

France (57 mins, dir. Michel Ocelot)
Language: French, w/English subtitles
Michel Ocelot, the modern master of French animation, delivers another fantastical kaleidoscope of imagery and invention.

In a forgotten cinema in Paris, a projectionist and his two young assistants are bringing stories of old to life on the screen. In one, a young girl fights back against the monsters who terrorise her community. In another, a cabin boy on a pirate ship and a cat join forces, while in yet another a young sorcerer gains great power, but at a terrible cost. Finally, a Russian prince must go on an elaborate quest to save his father, only to fall in love.

The latest film from virtuoso silhouettist Michel Ocelot (Tales of the Night, MIFF 2011; Azur and Asmar, MIFF 2007) is a visually sumptuous journey through four wildly different worlds of imagination and intrigue. Packed to the brim with jaw-dropping animation, winsome humour and sublime storytelling, Ivan Tsarevitch and the Changing Princess is a film of sheer cinematic pleasures.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

07/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book
09/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: The power of fairytales, stories from around the world, archetypes and mythology, what it means to be a hero.
Age suitability advice: Contains some mild-impact supernatural themes and very mild-impact horror themes. Some scenes with mild-impact violence
Unclassified: no age restrictions. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 10+

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Stonehead

People's Republic of China (90 mins, dir. Xiang Zhao)
Language: Mandarin, w/English subtitles
A tale of friendship and football.

For 10-year-old Zhu – nickname: Stonehead – a brand new soccer ball is the most incredible gift he's ever received. He wants to keep it pure and untouched until he can play with his Dad, but his parents have been away in the city for months. After his best friend Pouchy lets the rest of the class know about Stonehead's prize, he's forced to share it with them. However, when the ball goes flat, suspicion immediately falls on Pouchy; and when he starts getting bullied, it's up to Stonehead to make everything right.

Stonehead is a tender and gently wrought exploration of the plight of China's 'left behind' kids: the estimated 60 million children who live with their grandparents in remote, impoverished villages while their parents move to the city to find work. Naturalistic and filled with endearing performances from its cast of first-time child actors, Stonehead is a moving testament to the innocence and angst of childhood and the bonds between friends.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

16/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book
18/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: Doing the right thing even when it's not the best thing for you personally; resilience to bullying; how far you would go to look out for a friend; growing up poor; growing up with absent parents; lying versus telling the truth
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning poverty and parental absence. Some scenes with mild impact violence
Unclassified: no age restrictions. MIFF recommends this film is suitable for ages 10+

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Boy on the Bridge

Cyprus (85 mins, dir. Petros Charalambous)
Language: Greek, w/English subtitles
A darkly edged coming-of-age story filled with unexpected twists.

It’s summer in 1988 and 12-year-old Socrates is spending his days riding bikes around his tiny village in Cyprus and setting off makeshift firecrackers with his cousin and best friend, Marcos. But a dark shadow is being cast over their Mediterranean idyll by Marcos’s father, a menacing and increasingly violent man. Inspired by his war-hero grandfather, Socrates decides to take matters into his own hands and put his bomb-making skills to use. But when things don’t go to plan, Socrates is drawn into a web of intrigue and revenge that will change his life forever.

Based on British Cypriot author Eve Makis’ novel Land of the Golden Apple, Boy on the Bridge is the intriguing feature film debut from director Petros Charalambous. Stuffed with memorable characters and layer upon layer of moral ambiguity, it’s a complex reflection on the power and purpose of violence that will leave you debating long after the credits roll.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

10/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book
12/08/20171:30pmACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: Social culpability and individual responsibility; learning from the past; do the ends ever justify the means; the importance of taking the moral high-ground; the difference between justice and revenge
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning domestic violence and criminality. Some scenes with non-explicit violence (mostly implied and offscreen). One scene containing high-impact coarse language
Unclassified: restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 14+

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Salawaku

Indonesia (82 mins, dir. Pritagita Arianegara)
Language: Indonesian, w/English subtitles
The remote wilderness of Indonesia's Maluku Islands provide a magnificent backdrop for this gentle journey of youthful discovery.

In a secluded village in Indonesia's beautiful Maluku Islands, ten-year-old Salawaku's older sister has gone. Salawaku takes it upon himself to find her and sets off on a grand journey into the wild heart of his country. Joined in his travels by the son of the village chief and a tourist from Jakarta carrying her own heavy burden, Salawaku will learn to see his sister in a new light after discovering that the world of adults is more complicated than it seems.

From rising star of Indonesian cinema Pritagita Arianegara comes Salawaku, an eye-opening and heart-stirring road movie set in a stretch of the world where roads barely exist. Nominated for eight awards at the Indonesian Film Festival, including Best Film and Best Director, it is a film of surprises and wonder, where difficult secrets and glorious landscapes combine into a tender and morally complex whole.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

08/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book
10/08/20171:30pmACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: Double standards for men and women in different cultures; attitudes towards sex and family; how romance is depicted in cinema; the divide between the country lifestyle and the city lifestyle; knowing how to behave ethically
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning unwanted pregnancy for an adult character with indirect references to abortion. Some scenes with very mild-impact violence
Unclassified: no age restrictions. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 10+

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Swagger

France (84 mins, dir. Olivier Babinet)
Language: French, w/English subtitles
A visually striking, atypical portrait of French youth that struts its stuff with plenty of style and attitude - Hollywood Reporter

In the underprivileged Parisian bainlieue of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a diverse group of teenagers wrestle with familiar questions of what it means to leave childhood behind: love, identity, ambition, friendship, faith and family. But life can be hard in the suburbs of Paris and for these remarkable, ordinary teens, a reckoning with the future is something that brings with it both hope and fear. Swagger is their story, in their own words.

It is also a bold, genre-bending documentary from former music video director Olivier Babinet, with a score by Air's Jean-Benoît Dunckel. Embellishing the teens' fierce, frank and unique perspectives on their everyday realities with richly imagined fantasy sequences bringing their hopes and dreams to life, the film shines an optimistic light on a too-often dismissed stretch of the world, while simultaneously underlining the deep similarities that bind all of us together.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

09/08/20171:30pmACMI 2Book
11/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: How attitudes to different cultures are shaped; attitudes towards immigrants; how young people define their identity; what issues are important to young people; how do documentaries reflect reality and what different forms do documentaries take
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning racism, terrorism, poverty, violence, inequality, bullying, drug dealing and trauma. One scene containing high-impact coarse language, moderate coarse language in song lyrics during end credits
Unclassified: restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 13+

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Jeffrey

Dominican Republic (78 mins, dir. Yanillys Perez)
Language: Spanish, w/English subtitles
The creative docudrama about an impoverished Dominican boy who dreams of stardom as a reggaeton singer.

Charismatic 12-year-old Jeffrey lives in the slums of Santo Domingo, where he washes windshields at an intersection to help his family of nine make ends meet. Precocious and pragmatic, he nevertheless chases his musical dreams with a passion, cutting a track with his older brother in pursuit of fame.

Dominican director Yanillys Pérez's inventive debut feature picked up the Discovery Best Film award at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, where the jury praised it as “a true collaboration between subject and storyteller [that] weaves vérité and socially conscious observation together with poetic moments of magical realism”. The result is a charming, heartwarming portrait of youthful drive and resilience that doesn’t shy from exploring its subject’s harsh realities.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

14/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book
15/08/20171:30pmACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: What defines a family; what age do different responsibilities begin; the gap between rich and poor; the nature of the entertainment industry; how reality television is constructed; blurring fiction and documentary; the role of the arts and culture in communities
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning poverty and domestic violence. No actual violence, but one scene with characters playing with realistic looking toy guns, and songs with some violent lyrics
Unclassified: restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 13+

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Hello, Goodbye

Japan (80 mins, dir. Takeo Kikuchi)
Language: Japanese, w/English subtitles
With subtlety and sensitivity, Hello, Goodbye depicts an unexpected friendship between two girls on opposite sides of the adolescent social ladder.

Hazuki and Aoi are classmates but their relationship outside class is fraught, and outside school non-existent. But when both girls are drawn to helping an elderly woman, they're forced to interact, confronting their differences and similarities as well as their deepest secrets.

This is the second feature film directed by Takeo Kikuchi, who for the past decade has worked in the Japanese film industry as an assistant director, and he brings understanding and immediacy to his keenly observed tale of teen turbulence. Featuring fine-tuned performances by stars-in-the-making Minori Hagiwara and Sayu Kubota and engaging, relatable central characters, Hello, Goodbye probes not only the hierarchies that dictate high-school life, but also the repercussions that echo beyond the classroom.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

15/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book
16/08/20171:30pmACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: Bullying and social hierarchies at school, belonging to a group versus and friendship, caring for people who cannot care for themselves, attitudes and double standards toward sex
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning unwanted pregnancy for an older teenage character with references to abortion
Unclassified: restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 13+

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Fly Away Home

Austria (109 mins, director: Mirjam Unger)
Language: German, w/English subtitles
The weeks in summer of 1945, when everything lay in ashes, were the most exciting, most thrilling and maybe even most beautiful weeks of my childhood - author Christine Nostlinger

After nine-year-old Christl's home is destroyed in an air raid, she and her family are moved to an abandoned villa on the outskirts of Vienna. It's the summer of 1945 and for a few blessed weeks, she finds a peace and lightness she's never known before. But when the Nazis retreat and the Russians move in, Christl discovers that her life is far from returning to normal.

Award-winning author Christine Nöstlinger's much-loved, autobiographical Young Adult novel is now a captivating feature film from writer/director Mirjam Unger. Filmed with an almost entirely female cast and crew, Fly Away Home is a deeply humane portrait of children in war, and the plight of innocents caught up in a conflict they never asked for.

Find out more about the webinar for this film.

26/07/20171:30pmHoyts Melbourne Central Cinema 11Book
04/08/201711:00amACMI 2Book

 

Classroom discussion points: The emotional and psychological impact of war, differentiating between those who wage war and those who are considered the enemy through association, how to treat the enemy humanely, who suffers the most during war
Age suitability advice: Contains themes concerning war. Some non-explicit scenes depicting people and animals being shot, some scenes where people are physically assaulted, and scenes implying the threat of sexual violence. Some scenes implying (not showing) sexual activity between consenting adults. Some moderate coarse language
Unclassified: restricted to persons aged 15 and over unless accompanied by an adult. MIFF recommends this film as suitable for ages 15+

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