Aussie & Kiwi Film Fest Comes to Prague, November 16-22
Fans of films from Australia and New Zealand have a lot to look forward to over the next week as the fourth edition of the Aussie & Kiwi Film Festival returns to Prague.
From November 16th through the 22nd, a selection of contemporary hits from down under along with a few choice classics will be headed to Prague cinemas Kino Lucerna and Bio Ponrepo.
The festivities kick off on Thursday night with a screening of Ali’s Wedding at Kino Lucerna. The movie, from director Jeffrey Walker, is a culture-clash comedy that follows a young Muslim man who is in love with an Australian-born Lebanese woman, despite an arranged marriage looming over his head.
Other highlights at this year’s fest include the new thriller Jasper Jones, starring Hugo Weaving and Toni Collette, and Emo: The Musical, a comedy about a sullen high schooler who falls in love with a Christian girl.
Two out-and-out classics from the region will also be screened at Bio Ponrepo during the fest: Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and Vincent Ward’s The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey.
While Picnic at Hanging Rock isn’t a really horror movie, it’s one of most deeply chilling films ever made; Weir, of course, went on to direct Hollywood features like Dead Poets Society and The Truman Show. The Navigator is also haunting, in its own way, and deserves wider appreciation; Ward, too, was on his way to Hollywood success before the performance of the underrated Robin Williams film What Dreams May Come derailed his career.
The fest will close out with a screening of Mahana (pictured above), the latest feature from acclaimed New Zealand filmmaker Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors) on November 22 at Bio Ponrepo.
In Prague for the festival will be the Maori dance group Whakaari Rotorua, who will perform live with popular Czech band Chinaski at O2 Arena on November 16 to honor the Velvet Revolution and former Czech president Václav Havel, who visited New Zealand in 1995.
A discussion on the topic of “Václav Havel and Maori” with Whakaari Rotorua and Havel’s longtime photographer Jiří Jírů will follow at the Václav Havel Library on November 20.