9émes Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes
DEPUTY AND MAYOR OF SAINT-TROPEZ

The Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes are now part of the Saint-Tropez landscape
since the town is welcoming the 9th edition of this festival.

This year, the festival is particularly symbolic as this international cinematographic event, patroned since
its beginnings by the Australian and New Zealand ambassadors, is taking place during the Rugby World
Cup which is putting the Antipodes in the limelight.

For the official opening of the festival and the preview of Russell Crowe’s latest film, 
« American Gangster », Saint-Tropez is indeed honoured to welcome the Australian Ambassador
to France, HE Penelope Wensley AO.

This festival from the far end of the world has also given to Saint-Tropez the opportunity and the
desire to establish strong relationships with Australia thanks to exchanges with Busselton in
Western Australia.

This is thanks to Bernard Bories, founder and President of the festival, that we have had the
opportunity to discover over the years the many facets of this cinema as atmospheric as it is rich.

But this richness is not limited to cinema, and we will also see, in this year’s festival, exhibitions
such as « Arts des Antipodes », music, as well as a professional round table attended by Brian Rosen,
CEO of the Australian Film Finance Corporation, who will present and discuss the new organisation
of the Australian film industry.

This year, Saint-Tropez is also delighted to welcome as president of the jury one of Australian cinema’s emblematic figures, Phillip Noyce, a renowned filmmaker who gave us, among others,
« Patriot Games » «  Clear and Present Danger» with Harrison Ford and « Dead Calm »
with Nicole Kidman.

I extend my warmest welcome to all our Australian, New Zealand and French friends who have
a passion for the Antipodean arts and I am proud of the success of each and every edition of this
festival which strengthens the economic and cultural links between France, Australia and
New-Zealand, and enable us to forge deep and lasting relationships.

 

Jean-Michel Couve
Deputy and Mayor of Saint-Tropez

AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR

In rugby parlance, the St Tropez Festival of Australian and New Zealand film is a “Tri-Nations” festival of cinema.  Now in its 9th year, the festival aims to build bridges and collaboration between French, Australian and New Zealand film, fostering a higher profile for Antipodean film in France, joint film production activity, and a greater, shared understanding.  Certainly the St Tropez festival has given the French movie public – and les Tropéziens in particular – a feeling for what constitutes Australian film. May it continue and grow.

The Australian cinema industry today employs some 50,000 people, and around 2,000 private firms are involved in film, television and video production.  Our equivalent of Fémis - the Australian Film, Television and Radio School - has developed a solid international reputation, as have a large number of Australian actors (Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts, Toni Collette and Heath Ledger, to name a few).  Technical advances in film production have been developed and mastered in Australia, to the point where blockbuster productions – such as recent films in the Matrix, Mission Impossible, and Star Wars series – have based their post-production work at major studios in Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

At the same time, the content of Australian cinema has continued to evolve.  Especially since the advent of our own “New Wave” in the 1970s, directors like Bruce Beresford, Peter Weir, Gillian Armstrong and this year’s St Tropez jury president, Phillip Noyce, have helped give Australian film and film-makers a reputation for uniqueness.  Themes of identity, social and personal redemption, and geographical isolation - mixed with a certain irreverence of authority and a sardonic humour - give Australian cinema its distinctive edge that sets it apart internationally.

Several of the directors of this year’s films will be new to you, as no doubt they will be to some of our Tri-Nation jury.  But we’ll be seated there in the dark, our eyes wide open, absorbing the work of Michael James Rowland, Matthew Saville, Cherie Nolan and the other highly talented directors whose work will be presented this year.  My warm thanks and appreciation go to the Festival President, Mr Bernard Bories, the Mayor of St Tropez, Mr Jean-Michel Couve, and all the other partners for bringing together this wonderful expression of international cinema.

Bon festival.

Penelope Wensley AO

Australian Ambassador to France
NEW-ZEALAND AMBASSADOR

The New Zealand Embassy is very pleased to continue its longstanding relationship with the Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes.  Now in its ninth year, this festival continues to showcase New Zealand and Australian film making to a discerning and appreciative audience in France.

As the New Zealand Film industry goes from strength to strength the New Zealand Film Commission can feel rightly proud of this evolution. New Zealand offers cinematic expertise, first rate post-production facilities and innovative genius, and this technical strength and artistic vision combines with a physically spectacular environment.

New Zealand is a young, dynamic country whose identity continues to evolve in exciting ways.  This diversity and richness of New Zealand society is expressed in the dynamism and variety of New Zealand cinema.  Films that might be very different in subject matter or inspiration often share a common link through a unique approach that brings a freshness and capacity to surprise, with a new or unexpected perspective on life.

In the programme of New Zealand films chosen for this Festival by Bernard Bories you will experience a diversity of New Zealand themes and styles, from the light intimacy of family life to the confronting story of one of the country’s darkest and most tragic events, and traversing back over thirty years of the film industry in New Zealand to the first New Zealand film to be distributed in the United States.  Each of these stories provides an insight into the history, the people and the creativity of Aotearoa, “The Land of the Long White Cloud”.

The Embassy is proud once again to support this Festival and acknowledges with appreciation the organisational energy, great enthusiasm and commitment that brings it all together. I wish Les Rencontres Internationales du Cinema des Antipodes 2007 every success.

 

Sarah Dennis
New-Zealand Ambassador to France

PRESIDENT OF CINEMA DES ANTIPODES

While, with the famous Wallabies and All Blacks teams, the Rugby World Cup throws the Antipodes in the limelight, the 9th edition of the Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes will host, for the second year running, an Australian and New Zealand feature film competition and will be honoured to welcome as President of the jury Phillip Noyce, one of Australia’s most distinguished film-makers, who directed, among others, « Dead Calm », « Patriot Games », « Rabbit-Proof Fence », « Catch a Fire », and who is currently preparing to adapt for the screen Tim Winton’s novel « Dirt Music ».

This year’s festival will also see, for the second time, the Nicolas Baudin – Woodside Valley Foundation Prize for Best Short Film awarded by a jury of high school students. A great opportunity for these young people to discover an emerging cinema, while their comments and reactions will surely be of use to the aspiring filmmakers. This screening of short films will be part of the Antipodes Junior section, which is attracting an ever widening audience.
 
But it is the vibrancy of a cinema constantly reinventing itself that is taking Saint-Tropez by storm with such original films as « Last Train to Freo », « Lucky Miles », « Noise », « Out of the Blue », « Eagle vs Shark » as well as the preview of « Clubland » and « Black Water », all first features.

We will also celebrate the 30th Anniversary of  « Sleeping Dogs » a New Zealand film by Roger Donaldson which has become a cult classic, and, as a (hardly) veiled reference to the Rugby World Cup, Khoa Do’s « Footy Legends » will close the festival, while the opening film will be the preview of Russell Crowe’s latest film, « American Gangster », an event which we are proud to be able to bring to you.
 
Finally, Place des Lices, your wanderings will lead you to discover a new exhibition space with « Arts des Antipodes », organised in partnership with the Nathalie Duchayne Gallery. And let’s not forget the cinema concert which will be given by New Zealand pianist Christopher Hainsworth, as well as the professional round table organised around Brian Rosen, the CEO of the Australian Film Finance Corporation and the warm welcome of the France New-Zealand association.

I wish you a pleasant stroll in Saint-Tropez, at the heart of the Antipodes and their cinema.

Bernard Bories

President of Cinéma des Antipodes