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PIA Press Release

8th Australian film festival to animate Filipino moviegoers

Davao City (20 November) -- Rediscover the magic of animation as the Australian Embassy presents the 8th Australian Film Festival featuring critically-acclaimed feature and short animated films from 26 November to 28 November in Manila and 30 November to 5 December in Davao.

The festival will open with a special screening of the "claymated" feature film Mary and Max by Academy Award-winning director Adam Elliot. The film's set construction manager, Shaun Patten, will be in Manila to open the festival and to conduct masterclasses on'The Art of Mary and Max' at the University of the Philippines Film Institute and De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts.

"Patten's visit will further enhance our existing linkages developed through the film festival in the past few years, including through workshops conducted by visiting Australian actors and directors for student film producers and directors," Ambassador Smith said.

Mary and Max features the voice talents of Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Doubt, Capote), Emmy Award-winning actress Toni Collette (Sixth Sense, About A Boy), Barry Humphries (Dame Edna, Finding Nemo) and Eric Bana (Munich, The Other Boleyn Girl).

The film opened the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and received international accolades including the Grand Crystal Best Feature Animation, 2009 Annecy Animation Festival, Winner, Crystal Bear Special Mention, Berlinale Generation 14+, and Best Feature Animation, 2009 Stuttgart Animation Festival.

Also featured are The Magic Pudding, a film based on an Australian children's classic and the mixed animation and live action film, Look Both Ways. Elliot's Oscar-winning Harvie Krumpet leads this year's selection of short films which also includes Footnote, The Projectionist, Mother Tongue, Mozzie and the Oscar-nominated shorts The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, Ward 13 and Birthday Boy.

"The Embassy is pleased to continue our tradition of providing Filipinos the opportunity to experience Australian film excellence and learn more about Australian popular culture, history and contemporary values," Ambassador Smith said.

The Australian film festival is now entering its eighth year. Separately, the Embassy has promoted Australian film through local film festival Cinemanila, including by supporting the visit of Cinemanila founder and director Amable'Tikoy' Aguiluz to Australia in 2007.

The Australian film industry holds the distinction of producing the world's first full length feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, in 1906. Today, Australian actors, such as Nicole Kidman, Mel Gibson, Russel Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett, have carved out successful careers in Hollywood. Australia's state-of-the art digital and visual effects facilities and spectacular locations also make it as a sought-after location for filming and post production of foreign movies, including The Matrix trilogy, Superman Returns and Charlotte's Web.

The 8th Australian Film Festival will run from 26-28 November at Glorietta 4 Cinema 4, Makati City and 30 November- 5 December at SM City Davao. The festival is presented by the Australian Embassy, Screen Australia, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas, Greenbelt, Glorietta, Ayala Center, SM Cinema and SM City Davao. Partners include Philippine Airlines, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, 2nd Avenue, Jack TV, 99.5 RT and For information screenings and masterclasses, visit (Australian Embassy) [top]

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