Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless comes highly recommended, having been awarded the Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Festival, but it only elicited lukewarm applause in Melbourne. Perhaps Australians are less welcoming to the wintry bleakness of the film’s settings, not to mention the searing, hateful exchanges between Boris and Zhenya as they approach divorce and argue about which of them is best suited to look after their twelve year son, Alyosha.  Boris’s job is at stake if his employer finds out about the divorce; Zhenya hopes he will be fired as she indulges in her Brazilian wax treatment. Aloysha bursts into silent tears as he overhears his parents’ vituperations and he decides to run away. All this domestic drama takes place in a social context of lives led in quiet desperation (thank you, Thoreau) of I-phone Dreaming, selfies, bland indifference to others and public drunkenness. The police are unhelpful, too busy with murders and robberies and worried about paperwork; and social workers are a force to be feared and avoided if possible.  Boris’s new love is pregnant and fearful of abandonment, whereas Zhenya gives herself to body worship and unbridled lust, kidding herself that she has finally found true love, after acknowledging her failure to choose wisely between abortion and marriage. Meanwhile, a child is missing.

The search for Aloysha takes up more than half the movie and creates the tension one would expect in a thriller, but without the conventional dénouement.  We walk through icy forests, abandoned buildings, hospital corridors and witness a terrible scene where Boris and Zhenya scream and scratch at each other inside a filthy morgue… There is no respite, no redeeming feature, unless it is the remarkably well-equipped team of volunteers who scour the area in search of Aloysha.  Meanwhile, the television shows us the carnage in eastern Ukraine, voice-overed with the bland reassurances of the authorities. The only enlivening scene involves a splendid diatribe from Zhenya’s paranoid mother (‘Stalin in a skirt’) who rails against everything and begs God for help. The closing scenes, a few years on, show that nothing is likely to change for anyone.

The Sphere Peninsula Short Film Fest


It’s nearly here! This weekend we would love for you to join us in Rosebud for The Sphere Peninsula Short Film Fest. The festival is Victoria’s largest public short film screening and is expected to attract over 8000 attendees! It’s set to be a great night spent watching 20 wonderful short films and live music performances.

We hope to see you there!

This year we’re delighted to have a star-studded judging panel that will award prizes in a total of nine categories, including best film, best cinematography, best director and best screenplay.




THESPHEREAGENCY Level 1, 6 Palmer Parade, Cremorne, Victoria 3121 / PHONE 03 8679 2200







Antenna Documentary Film Festival is off and running! Our second day of screenings kicks off this evening at 7pm with Servant or Slave, which is one of four films screening in the Australian Competition. Servant or Slave revisits the time of the Stolen Generation, when thousands of Aboriginal girls were taken from their families by the Australian Government and forced into servitude. The film sheds light on a still raw part of modern Australia’s history, the consequences of which are still felt today.

Films also screening tonight include They Call Us Monsters (SOLD OUT) and Shadow World, which is selling fast so get in quickly! Plenty more festival films are selling fast, including tomorrow’s screenings of Bobby Sands: 66 Days and Brothers.

Read on for festival highlights including a rundown on our inaugural Horizons exhibition, which kicks off today.



Today we launch our Horizons initiative, which this year takes the form of a virtual reality exhibition at Blank_Space Gallery in Surry Hills. Get ready to step inside stories from all corners of the globe, by putting on a headset and immersing yourself. Read more about the experiences on offer here.

Horizons is a free exhibition running 11am-7pm Wednesday to Friday, and 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday. Antenna would like to thank our Horizons major partners SBSand AFTRS and supporting partner Start VR

Tomorrow’s highlights


At this Red Cross school in Denmark, each child has a harrowing tale of adversity and survival, having fled conflict zones with their families. AT HOME IN THE WORLD is an intimate and engaging film that provides a vital addition to the global conversation on the current refugee crisis.



Acclaimed filmmaker Chantal Akerman opens up about her career and her craft. Director Marianne Lambert explores the filmmaker’s oeuvre, presenting excerpts from many of her films and inviting Akerman, and her long-time editor and collaborator, to reveal her aesthetic approach and thinking.


A word from our Horizons major partner SBS

Did you know? SBS is bringing the world of VR to your phone through the SBS VR app – immersing you in a world of unique and diverse stories.

The new-look SBS VR app is free to download and is available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices.

Keep up to date with the latest festival news!
Nathan Hall pictured directing during “Return of the Gweilo”.

Multi talented artist Nathan Hill, one of Melbourne’s hidden gems is to shine at MUFF on closing night with his latest feature film “Revenge of the Gweilo”, in which he directed and starred in.

Nathan Hill has begun making waves even back as a student at Footscray City College Film Dept. when Nathan Hill was accredited with pioneering the diploma program of two year to instilling the advanced diploma to a four year study “They used me as the first student to help pioneer the 3rd year, for which during that time I was almost alone in my work”. Nathan Hill culminated his film studies with the production of his first feature film, ‘Tomboys’ which went on to win at festivals in L.A.

Nathan Hill takes the film industry seriously.Nathan Hill takes the film industry seriously.

To date Nathan Hill has made an impressive eight feature films, many of which have won at festivals around the world, with ‘Revenge of the Gweilo’ having recently won best music score at the Prestige Awards in L.A. (composer-Gerard Mack), & Best Action Film at the 21st Indie Gathering International Film Festival USA & Official selection Action on Film in L.A. (the AOF).

Along with his passion for directing, Nathan is also an outstanding actor having featured in 15 feature films, 7 of those in lead roles, at one point went to extreme lengths of losing 15 kilos to authentically act the role of tortured character, in Nathan Hill’s first horror film, “The Tub”, nominated for an international award.

Nathan Hill as Joel Haydon in short film, "The Tub".Nathan Hill as Joel Haydon in short film, “The Tub”.

With a slew of commercials currently airing for RACV, Work Safe & Healthy Break, being the face of Monsterfest’s 2016 trailer, also starring festival creator Neil Foley and actor Glenn Maynard, he is also the casting director for ‘Cult Girls’ directed by Mark Bakaitis, starring Jane Badler & Dean Kirkright, and is in post production for his latest feature film ‘Colourblind’ (co-starring Jake Ryan & Anne Gauthier).

The time has come for the world to see a whole lot more of Nathan Hill with Channel 31 being a loyal supporter having aired ‘Running on Empty’ interviews with Nathan Hill three times this year and now will be raising Nathan Hill’s recognition further with showcasing 13 NHP films dating over the past 13 years, by airing one per week, on Monday nights for the last 13 weeks of the year.

Nathan Hill delivers a fly kick during filming for "Revenge of the Gweilo".Nathan Hill delivers a fly kick during filming for “Revenge of the Gweilo”.

The Melbourne Underground Film Festival will screen ‘Revenge of the Gweilo’ on closing night, 17th September, at 8pm Alex Theatre, 135 Fitzroy Street St Kilda 3182 (Richard Wolstencroft’s 17th year running), tickets available at the door and through Ticketek.

Aussie docs at Antenna


Here at Antenna we can’t help but beam with pride when we see the breadth of home-grown documentary talent, unearthing and creating stories both uniquely Australian and universally human. In 2016, Antenna presents 19 Australian documentaries in total, including four features, 14 shorts and one Virtual Reality experience.

Four Australian features are in the running for the prize for Best Australian Documentary, to be presented at closing night, and the directors will be holding Q&As after their screenings. SERVANT OR SLAVE (pictured above), directed by Steven McGregor, revisits the time of the Stolen Generation, when thousands of Aboriginal girls were taken from their families by the Australian Government and forced into servitude. The film sheds light on a still raw part of modern Australia’s history, the consequences of which are still felt today. Read on below for more info on the Australian features.

Antenna is also pleased to be presenting our Australian shorts program over two dedicated sessions on Sunday 16 October. The shorts competition showcases the best emerging and established Australian filmmaker talent, with films from some Antenna old friends as well as exciting new faces.



A powerful and moving film by Rosie Jones (THE TRIANGLE WARS, ANTENNA 2011). ‘The Family’ was a sinister apocalyptic cult active in Melbourne in the ’60s and ’70s. THE FAMILY pulls back the cover on the murky story of a still-operating sect, revealing the scars the victims carry to this day.



Australian director Jeff Daniels shadows brash and outspoken Shelley Rubin, leader of the Jewish Defense League – advocating any means necessary to prevent antisemitism. MOTHER WITH A GUN untangles her past and present to expose this unusual pathway to Jewish extremism.



Take one comic-book artist, send him on a journey following his father’s footsteps from French resistance to restaurant ownership in Melbourne, add a sprinkling of Nazis and coat liberally in mayonnaise. Artist and filmmaker Philippe Mora is producing a graphic novel about his late father, Georges, and his fascinating life.



Shorts take centre stage in two dedicated sessions on Sunday 16 October. Come and discover an eclectic mix of stories from the personal, to the quirky, to the scientific, to the global! There will be a short intermission between the sessions, buy tickets to one or both.




Queer Screen Film Fest features four outstanding feature-length documentaries,WEEKENDSDANNY SAYS, MAJOR, andSOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR (pictured above), which played at Tribeca and HotDocs 2016. Full program here.


Discover how AFTRS’ 2017 Grad Certs and newMA Screen (11 disciplines including Documentary) are designed to nurture the next generation of visionary screen and broadcast storytellers. Wed 21 Sept, 6-8pm. Check out details on the AFTRS website.

Please join us in celebrating Aussie documentary at Antenna – and make sure to book tickets early as many films will sell out fast!

Get in quickly to see these films on the big screen.


Get your program in tomorrow’s The Saturday Paper



Even in the digital age, there’s still nothing quite like perusing a printed festival program and circling the films you’re interested in with a pen. Tomorrow morning when you sit down to breakfast with your coffee and newspaper you can do exactly this, as a copy of the 2016 Antenna Documentary Film Festival program will be nestled snugly in the pages of your favourite weekend read, The Saturday Paper.

Great journalism and great documentaries make a natural pairing, which is why Schwartz Media, publishers of The Saturday Paper and the Monthly, sponsor Antenna and make the hard copy program available to you. So get your pens ready!



Antenna is partnering with The Saturday Paper to present THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES at the festival. You might have seen a dozen climate change docs, but you certainly haven’t seen this one. Director Jared P. Scott (REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM, Antenna 2015) takes a new tack, no melting glaciers and species die-offs to be seen. Instead he places in the interviewee’s chair people generally positioned as a conservative policymaker’s dream – military planners, marine brigadier generals, Pentagon insiders and veterans who have served in warzones. These are the people who will be on the frontline when climate stimulated conflict hits – wars over scarce resources, mass migrations creating population tensions. Together, they build a terrifying picture of a series of global humanitarian catastrophes, and draw a direct and unassailable line between them and our voracious energy consumption.

Screens Sunday 16 October, 5:15pm at Chauvel Cinema, Paddington


The Antenna Documentary Film Festival is on from
11-16 October 2016 in Sydney, then tours to Brisbane and Melbourne.

Janis Joplin and Sharon Jones add a feminist beat to the Melbourne Film Festival

Two of the twelve music documentaries featured in the Melbourne International Film Festival’s Backbeat program this year are about iconic female blues singers: Janis Joplin and Sharon Jones.Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015) is a posthumous look at arguably, the world’s first female rock icon while Miss Sharon Jones!(2015), the “female James Brown” is battling to keep her music alive after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2013.

The films, which had their Australian premiers at MIFF, challenge the misrepresentation and marginalisation of women in the music industry. They are also directed by award-winning women, Amy Berg and Barbara Kopple, in another industry where women struggle to get ahead.

Janis: Little Girl Blue is a nostalgic musical journey based on rare archive footage. It is laced with interviews with her younger siblings (Laura and Michael), but largely features members of her boy bands: firstly Big Brother and the Holding Company, and her later backing bands, Kozmic Blues Band, and the Full Tilt Boogie Band.

We follow Joplin’s upbringing in the small, conservative mining town of Port Arthur, Texas in the 1940s, leading to her student days at the University of Texas in the early 60s, and her debut in Austin’s burgeoning folksy blues college music scene.

Janis: Little Girl Blue (2015).

The images of Joplin’s involvement in the development of the San Francisco psychedelic sound during the mid-60s are a highlight of the film; while the scenes associated with her lonesome demise in Hollywood in 1970 are melancholic.

Joplin emerged as the premier blues vocalist of the 1960s. As Sheila Whiteley wrote in Women and Popular Music: Sexuality, Identity and Subjectivity(2000), Joplin’s recording of Little Girl Blue (1969) offered “a new delicate and compassionate insight into blueness”.

Nicknamed the Mother of the Blues, Joplin sang to her own Southern acoustic beat and inspired other female musicians, such as Sharon Jones, to combine rhythm and blues with extraordinary soul.

Miss Sharon Jones! is a medical mix tape of the 60-year-old singer’s struggle with cancer since 2013, her loyalty to her Brooklyn-based indie label, Daptone Records and life on the road with the Dap Kings, where – like Joplin – Jones was The Girl in the band.

Miss Sharon Jones! Cabin Creek Films

Jones learnt her craft as a gospel singer in church, and worked in various jobs (for example, as a prison warden), before a mid-life career break as a session backup singer for soul and funk legend, Lee Fields in 1996. Her band the Dap Kings, which formed in 2002, helped to rekindle a
renaissance in funk and soul music

Understandably, both documentaries differ in tone. Janis, Little Girl Blue laments the loss of a great talent at age 27. Joplin’s fourth (and most famous) album, Pearl, was released three months after her death from an accidental heroin overdose. It delivered a Number 1 Billboard hit with Me and Bobby McGee.

In contrast, Miss Sharon Jones! celebrates Jones as a soul survivor, who has cancer but is using music as a remedy.

Both stress that Joplin and Jones experienced marginalisation in the music industry, not only because of their gender, but also because of their appearance.

When the plain looking, slightly overweight and acne-scarred Joplin strutted her musical talent at University of Texas, she was nominated as the “Ugliest Man on campus”.

Later Joplin was criticised by feminists for exploiting her bisexuality at a time when popular culture was grappling with “the problems of image and the representation” of women. In her brief eight year career, Whitely argues, Joplin had “the balls to succeed in the brotherhood of rock”.

Miss Sharon Jones! (2015) Cabin Creek Films,

In a similar vein, Sharon Jones, who released her first record at age 40, was told she was “too old, too fat, too short, too black” to make it in the industry.

Yet both films hit high emotional notes. The highlight of Miss Sharon Jones! is watching her sixth album with the Dap Kings, Give The People What They Want, be nominated for the band’s first Grammy in the Best R&B album section.

Both these singers’ train-rattling, emotionally powerful voices became trademarks in an industry that prides itself on radicalism, yet silences woman from serious discussion and participation.


This article was written by Andrea Jean Baker
[Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Monash University]


Antenna News from our friends at Sydney Film Festival


The line-up includes subjects as diverse as refugee crises, an elusive endangered parrot and docu-fiction hybrids. The inimitable documentarian Werner Herzog – whose last Festival film was 2011’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams – turns his idiosyncratic gaze to the many oddities of the Internet age, with Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. Two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple has two entries in the year’s line-up: Hot Type: 150 Years of the Nation, a tour of America’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine, and Miss Sharon Jones, which charts the eponymous singer’s life and music.Weiner, about Anthony Weiner’s now-infamous 2013 New York mayoral campaign, has been hailed as “the best documentary about a political campaign ever made.” And the Festival continues to be as supportive of world-renowned non-fiction filmmakers as homegrown ones. The Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary competition again features films from ten Australian directors, covering subjects as diverse as their makers. BOOK NOW!

Screening at the 2016 Sydney Film Festival are 65 documentaries from 27 countries in 31 languages. 59 are feature-length productions, 40% are directed by women filmmakers, 14 are Australian productions or co-productions, eight are world premieres, 52 are Australian premieres – and there’s one international premiere, for good measure. In short, it’s a broad representation of all that’s on trend in the documentary filmmaking world.


In this charming documentary, award-winning Sydney director Gillian Leahy (My Life Without Steve) combines her two great passions: dogs and film.



The moving story of two determined Indigenous women with a dream to make it to the Arnolds – an amateur bodybuilding competition being held in Australia for the first time.


SAT 11 JUN 8:50PM –
MON 13 JUN 6:15PM | DENDY OPERA QUAYSAn excitingly original hybrid documentary about four young couples in today’s Europe, viewed both in and out of the bedroom, by award-winning filmmaker Jan Gassman.BOOK NOW
SUN 19 JUN 5:15PM – EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STWinner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at Berlinale: a striking Italian documentary exploring the tragic refugee crisis on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.BOOK NOW
SUN 12 JUN 6:30PM | DENDY OPERA QUAYSSharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s film about honour killings in Pakistan won the 2016 Oscar for Best Documentary Short, and will screen in a double bill with her 2012 Oscar winner, Saving Face.BOOK NOW
SUN 19 JUN 6:15PM | DENDY OPERA QUAYSCelebrated documentarian Frederick Wiseman explores New York’s Jackson Heights – one of the world’s most diverse neighbourhoods – in his exquisite fly-on-the-wall style.BOOK NOW
SUN 12 JUN 1:00PM –
TUE 14 JUN 10:00AM – STATE THEATREThe fantastical and utterly unique imagery of Dutch medieval painter Jheronimus Bosch is celebrated and interrogated in this true-life whodunit from the obsessive world of art.BOOK NOW
THU 16 JUN 8:05PM –
SUN 19 JUN 12:05PM – DENDY OPERA QUAYSSundance award winner: a provocative interpretation of the events leading to the first televised suicide, directed by innovative US filmmaker Robert Greene (Actress).BOOK NOW
SAT 11 JUN 3:50PM – EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STThe 2016 Teddy Award winner at Berlinale: a walk through New York City’s voguing ballroom scene, led with swagger by gatekeeper Twiggy Pucci Garçon.BOOK NOW









WED 15 JUN 8:20PM –
EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STFilmed over three decades, this intimate documentary charts the life-story of Richard, a young man with a complex disability since birth.BOOK NOW
WED 8 JUN 6:15PM –
THU 9 JUN 3:55PM STATE THEATREWerner Herzog, director of such beloved classics of the non-fiction realm as Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams, turns his inimitable eye on the evolution of the Internet.BOOK NOW
SUN 19 JUN 11:00AM – EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STAn award winner at Sundance 2016, Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams’ heart-warming documentary tells the unique story of a boy with autism and his love of Disney films.BOOK NOW











MON 13 JUN 6:20PM –
EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STA David-and-Goliath battle between the residents of the Paga Hill settlement, Port Moresby, and the developers with plans for an international five-star hotel and marina.BOOK NOW
SUN 19 JUN 9:30AM STATE THEATREA beautiful and precise account of the world of blindness: an innovative visual recreation of the audio diaries of writer and theologian John Hull.BOOK NOW
FRI 10 JUN 6:30PM – EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STA jaw-dropping documentary on the surprisingly sinister world of competitive endurance tickling, from New Zealand co-directors Dylan Reeve and journalist David Farrier.BOOK NOW
SUN 19 JUN 5:45PM EVENT CINEMAS GEORGE STAbsorbing exposé of Anthony ‘sexting scandal’ Weiner’s 2013 New York mayoral campaign: winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary – 2016 Sundance Film Festival.BOOK NOW




St Kilda Film Festival 2016

ST KILDA FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT Palais Theatre, St Kilda After Party at St Kilda Town Hall Melbourne, Thursday 23rd May 2012 Please Credit 2013 JIM LEE PHOTO

The St Kilda Film Festival 2016
19th May to 28th May
Palais Theatre

I was fortunate enough to be a part of this year’s opening night of what I believe is the 33rd year of the St Kilda Film Festival. I shared this lavish affair with a 2000+ large audience of filmmakers and devoted lovers of film all celebrating the unique talent of the Australian film industry.

The festival is presented and produced by The City of Port Phillip and is “Accredited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the St Kilda Film Festival is now an Academy Awards® qualifying event, with award-winning films from the Festival eligible for consideration in the Short Film Awards AND Documentary Short sections of the Oscars®”.

I could not think of a more spectacular venue than The Palais Theatre to present this special event, with all it’s grandeur and history it is a perfect setting to celebrate this year’s Australian top 100 short films, by filmmakers that are both emerging and accomplished industry professionals.

After many introductory speeches, including that of Festival Director Paul Harris and MP Martin Foley, both passionate and dedicated to supporting Australian talent, plus tributes to those in the industry that have passed, screenings of some wonderful historic archives, we finally, with great anticipation, were offered a select sample of a collection of some of the best works that the 2016 program has to offer.

Approximately 8 samples of some extraordinary films and documentaries were screened, each with a running time of no more than approximately 10 to 20 minutes, showcasing a range of drama, documentary and wonderful Australian humour. Always topical, always raising awareness, Australian filmmakers are translating through film important and thought provoking issues in today’s society, both in the context of Australia and all around the world.

The opening night was a splendid representation of the sensitivity, the creativity and the amazing talent that Australian film has to offer, it is exciting to watch the unique talent of our industry.

It was hard for me to pick a favourite, but if I had to chose, I would The Flower Girl, a drama about a young girl from a rural village who is sold by her parents and forced to live with strangers and sell flowers in Bangkok. It is a very real and raw depiction of the trafficking of children. Directed by Kaz Ceh and produced by Hayley Surgenor.

On a lighter note The Strudel Sisters directed and produced by Peter Hegedus and Jaina Kalifa is a lovely documentary about two elderly sisters who share the art of making Hungarian strudel. It is a warm and humorous look at a unique lifestyle, and depicts a very deep and personal story of the mother that taught her daughters everything they know.

The St Kilda Film Festival is a great and significant event that provides opportunity and support for those in the Australian film industry by highlighting some fascinating works and in turn it’s an opportunity for the public to experience Australia’s filmmaking first hand.


Matt & Guy Awards photo COSTUMES3rd Culture Film Festival


Of wild desire with the success of


Matt & Guy Awards RHODE IS

Last Friday, mid-afternoon I had the pleasure to interview the creators of “Sick to My Bones” in Starbucks just down from Lang Kwai Fong, the trendy up-market entertainment district of Hong Kong. And true to form, both Matthew NOMATTSLAND Leonhart, who wrote the screenplay and created the world behind the concept, and his co-director, Guy Davies, whose expertise with the technical side of film making is second to none, both were speeding at a million miles an hour between engagements to talk about their aims, concepts, development, and how they both entered into the film-making business as teenagers. Their schedule at the time, having just returned from setting up their clobber at the Third Culture Film Festival, it was time for the interview then off to take some drone footage over high-rise Hong Kong Central for use in their next movie, and then freshen up for the excitement and intense local and international press coverage for the official opening of the festival that was to take place a few hours hence.

Matt & Guy Awards Puppet

Sick to My Bones trailer 

Matt & Guy Awards Filming SCOTLAND

At the award ceremony at the end of the festival their efforts were roundlyapplauded as they took out the top two coveted awards; the People’s Choice Award and the Outliers Award. The first things that one notices about this dynamic pair is the unwavering commitment and direction they employ in focusing on their work. They have this infectious youthful positivity about them that radiates in the way they discuss ideas, concepts and possibilities. One gets the feeling that no obstacle too huge or implacable could be placed in their path to hinder their progress in the slightest.

Matthew began his life, and his first 18 years, in Hong Kong to a British father and a Chinese mother. There is something special about the way these two bloodlines has fused into forming his character and personality in a blending of the Ying and Yang to produce an achiever whose glory days are still way ahead of him as he sets about building on each success with another step foward in his constant journey upwards.

Educated at the prestigious English Foundation Island School on Hong Kong Island where he first began to develop his interest in acting and multi-media, the moment he finished his final year of secondary education, the stable door burst open and he was off and flying to study acting in Los Angeles at the Californian Institute of the Arts. It was here where he first gained his love of puppetry, an element of his signature work which has featured to a high degree in his films, music videos and live theatre shows. After completing his course of study at the Institute he worked professionally in films and theatre garnering his skills and experience, and connecting with a wide range of professionals employed across the theatre and visual arts spectrum.

Later he returned for a five year spell to Hong Kong where he completed a Master’s degree in Multi-media Technology and re-entered the world of visual arts where he set about curating and creating many solo and group exhibitions, some of which were toured through the Asian region. At the end of that five year period, seeking new fresh fields, ideas and experience, he was off to London where he hit the ground running involving himself in a variety of projects in film, live theatre and acting. After some time in London he was to experience that classic Robert Frost ‘fork in the road’ dilemma that was to shape his future in a really significant way. Responding to an ad for an acting job, on the morning of the day of his interview he tossed over in his mind whether he filled the right requirements for the job, or should he just give it a miss. At the last moment he decided to take the road less travelled, and it was purely through making that choice that he came in contact with Guy Davies whose film, ‘Emily’ he was to be interviewed for. Of course he got the job and the rest is pretty much history as that was the basis of their formidable and productive relationship. Soon after , Matt was on board Zebrafish Media Productions , the company established by Guy Davies and Matt Brawley, as a storyboard artist and director.

Matt& Guy RTHK

Guy, who is seven years younger than Matt, actually had a much earlier start in the film industry, beginning as a child actor at the age of 11 in a leading role in a short film, “Benjamin’s Struggle”. The film was about a German Jewish boy who came across Hiltler’s manuscript of Mein Kampf, and tells of the struggles and persecution that beset Benjamin’s life, and the poetic justice it renders in the end. The story begins in 1934 while the Nazi reign of terror is running white hot, with Guy as the young Benjamin while Andrew Sachs, well-known for the Manual character he played in the British classic comedy series Fawlty Towers, takes over the role as the adult Benjamin. After premiering at the Californian Palm Springs FF in 2005, it screened at several Oscar qualifying festivals worldwide and won the Audience Award at ‘Encounters’, UK’s leading short film and animation festival. Already bitten by life in the film industry he spent his teenage years making films and being involved in many film projects. By the age of 18 he was awarded the Brett Ratner tuition grant to study at the New York Film Academy’s Cinematography programme. After graduating from this he returned to London to continue his passion of working with cameras to gain greater experience and opportunities. By 2014 Guy had expanded his range of skills to include directing and shooting his first short film, Emily, which had its premiere in New York and was then subsequently shown on the international short film circuit.

‘Sick to My Bones’ is the first film in a trilogy of films that, while not connected by storyline, are linked thematically to cover fundamental concepts of human perception and behaviour such as the struggle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ using allegory and uncluttered imagery to present a set of opposites, and by the end of the film arriving at a point of resolution. Set a billion years in the future when the earth, after much evolutionary change, is unrecognisably to the world we know today. In our timeframe, it was 570 million years ago that life forms that we are familiar with today began to evolve, and it wasn’t until 200,000 years ago that homo sapiens first started to take shape with the major religious beliefs that surround us today having their beginnings a mere two thousand years ago. Therefore as the film begins, much change both through war and climatic cycles, has taken place, and opens on an earth that has just cooled down enough to allow the two tribes of surviving humans to once again walk upon its surface. Prior to this one tribe had to tunnel into the land to seek relief and survive while the other had to live in the upper atmosphere to escape the earth’s heat. The earth people, as represented by the nine foot mole-like puppet with a demonic appearance, had to grow horns in order dig through the soil and rock to survive. Meanwhile the sky people, as represented by the aviator angle-like figure, developed wings to survive in their aerial domain. At the end the opposing forces are resolved and assimilated into the one state for, in essence there is both the good and bad in everyone and when that is acknowledged, the differences that divide them fade away and are taken over by the positive elements they share. Matthew’s deft hand at storytelling and with the extensive research he had put in on the world’s major religions and belief systems, and combining that with his visual arts and performance skills have all come together to a thoroughly plausible conceptual framework for the film.

The ethereal yet foreboding voiceover that underpins the tone of the film adds a new dimension to the story. If the narration was only spoken in English, perhaps that would have, to a greater or lesser degree, lessened the impact of the film to an English speaking audience. Doing it this way, the short clipped lines of English subtitles flash on the screen to make bare simple statements on the development of the action in the story. Presented in Japanese by Reina Tokura

 Matt & Guy Awards Rheina Takura


It adds a glow of timelessness to the film that gives it the authority of a classic morality play or a children’s classic story. Added to that is the sensational panoramic landscape scenes taken in the Scottish Highlands by cinematographer Sil Williams which bring a breath-takingly stunning location to life with mountainous terrain, ancient woods, drifts of mists, floating clouds and other elemental features.

 Stil Williams


A brilliant cinematographer, Stil Williams brought amazing depth and created beautiful shots with his talent using the ARRI ALEXA camera.
Check out his reel and past work at  WWW.STILWILLIAMS.COM

Another point worth mentioning that further enhances the icing on the cake is music. That was composed by Xiaotian Shi who has written music for the Royal Ballet School, London Contemporary Dance School and the Sacconi Quartet. Xiaotian was the Winner of 1st Prize in the 6th Annual International Composition for Orchestra Competition, in LA, California, his orchestral work was premiered by the Asia America Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Benoit. He was also a prizewinner of the Sibelius Student Composer of the Year competition.

He was the youngest finalist of the Transatlantyk International Film Music Competition for 2 years running, open to all composers aged up to 35. The judges were made up of A-List composers such as Jan Kaczmarek, Mark Isham and Marco Beltrami.

Over the last few years, he has been working as an assistant composer for both Series 1 and 2 of the Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award Winning “Stephen Hawking’s Universe”. Xiaotian’s music has been used by Greenpeace International and UNICEF.

 Matt & Guy Awards COMPOSER Xiaotian ShiXiaotian-Shi composer


Kristina Lao, a Hong-Kong born actor and singer-songwriter gives a formidable appearance as the lead actor in the film. She studied at the London School of Musical Theatre, and has worked on a number of theatre productions, commercials and short films in the UK and Hong Kong. She is currently living in Vancouver and recently signed with Principals Talent.

Angel Song

Sick to My Bones website

As well as playing the lead role in this film, Kristina co-wrote the theme song to ‘Sick To My Bones’ with her long-term co-writing partner, Elli Parish at Spotty Snail Studios.  .



Third Culture Film Festival Pt B (Word download for winning films and information of the festival judges: Cntrl + click)


This is the official selection of Films for TCFF 2016, curated by TC co-founder, Faiyaz Jafri.

In its first year, there were over 1800 submissions from around the world.

The films selected were done so based solely on merit, artistic vision, creativity, originality, professionalism.  Maybe one element of the film stood out, the story, the acting, the production, the direction.  What we made sure of however, is that we gave all films a fighting chance, irregardless of where they were from, or what budget they had.  If the film was good, it would be considered, and in this way we strive to stay true to our desire of being a genuinely independent festival.

#LINGO Vicente Nirō Portugal 2015 10m 30s
All Rot Max Hattler Hong Kong 2015 7m 0s
An Angry Man Jannik Dahl Pedersen Denmark 2015 19m 59s
An Unforgettable Day Brian A. Crandall Korea 2015 21m 57s
And We’ll Eat Flowers Logic Paillard France 2014 24m 50s
Back Hometown Li Bin China 2015 19m 59s
Body Hair Archive Dorothy Lee USA 2014 4m 17s
Broken Mirrors Nacho Recio Spain 2014 4m 59s
Coordinated Movement Michael Pelletier Canada 2015 3m 11s
Dark Bile Nuno Sá Pessoa Portugal 2013 17m 41s
Das Katzenjammertal Ara Jo Germany 2014 4m 0s
Dawn Leon Le USA 2014 10m 0s
Disobedience Baris Alp Turkey 2015 10m 0s
Doctor Pafke Kris Verdonck Belgium 2015 12m 30s
Doggy Love Wong Ping Hong Kong 2015 6m 0s
Emily’s Diary Shu Zi China 2016 14m 58s
Extreme Pinocchio Pascal Chind France 2014 22m 44s
False Allegory Greg Doble Canada 2014 1m 43s
Family Meal Park Soo-Min Korea 2014 20m 40s
Fatvolution Adam Ng Wei Sheng Singapore 2015 9m 23s
Fleischwelt Ara Jo Germany 2015 0m 52s
Followers Gints Zilbalodis Latvia 2014 7m 36s
God’s Work Joseph Angelakis Hong Kong 2015 15m 54s
Haiku 4: STILL Lyle Pisio Canada 2014 6m 25s
If They Had Eyes Carlos Polo Menárguez Spain 2015 14m 55s
Il Fascino di Chiamarsi Giulia Samuele Alfani Italy 2015 20m 5s
In a forest Fons Schiedon Netherlands 2014 2m 30s
Insomnia Bernardo Lima Portugal 2015 11m 0s
Into the Dark Lukas Hassel USA 2014 14m 24s
Ivan’s Need Manuela Leuenberger Switzerland 2015 6m 20s
Jussey, France 2009 André Thijssen Netherlands 2012 2m 3s
Marionettes Tamas Waliczky Hungary 2007 7m 0s
Marius Pierre-Julien Fieux France 2014 4m 8s
Mediation Francisco Lorite USA 2014 14m 10s
Memories of a Hitman Sebastian Vuye Belgium 2015 13m 0s
Microwave Neil Champagne USA 2015 13m 14s
Mischa Remy Kooi Netherlands 2015 12m 33s
Oneiria Jeroen Cluckers Belgium 2014 3m 52s
Pianos Aleksandr Kirienko Russia 2015 2m 10s
Ratio Murat Sayginer Turkey 2013 2m 4s
Religatio Jaime Giraldo Canada 2014 3m 22s
Rita Valery Yuzefovich Israel 2013 4m 10s
Sick To My Bones NOMATTSLAND UK 2015 14m 28s
Stark Electric Jesus Hyash Tanmoy India 2014 12m 7s
Still Yin Liu USA 2015 5m 10s
Stop Serdar Cotuk Turkey 2014 3m 0s
The 8-Bit Cup Paul Johnson Canada 2014 2m 37s
The Chicken Una Gunjak Croatia 2014 15m 0s
The Fisherman Alejandro Suarez Hong Kong 2015 20m 0s
The Horse Raised by Spheres David O’Reilly Ireland 2014 2m 38s
The Hose Mansour Foruzesh Iran 2014 14m 20s
The Little Match Girl Kyoko Yamashita Brazil 2014 9m 13s
The Punishment Nelson Fernandes Spain 2012 3m 30s
The Real American Darya Zhuk USA 2015 13m 9s
The Stomach Ben Steiner UK 2014 15m 0s
The Wheel Menna Ekram Egypt 2015 13m 53s
To See More Light Kurtis Hough USA 2015 15m 20s
Unhappy Happy Peter Millard UK 2015 7m 7s
Up Route Jordan Wippell USA 2015 5m 7s
Urban Conformation 31:41 Rouzaud Cornabas Florian France 2014 2m 49s
Victoria Mathilde Marc France 2014 13m 26s
Vitreous Robert Seidel UK 2015 3m 30s
Vivid Guillaume Foresti France 2014 22m 0s
Wayward (org. title ‘Rodløs’) Kira Richards Hansen Denmark 2014 20m 0s
While You Lower Your Head Anastasia Tsang Hong Kong 2015 8m 0s
Wolf Nadan Pines Israel 2015 10m 0s
You Are Not Alone Yufeng Li USA 2015 6m 1s
Zeitnot Ernesto Rowe Argentina 2015 11m 0s
Zero M2 Matthieu Landour France 2015 18m 16s


Third Culture Film Festival Pt B (Word download for winning films and information of the festival judges: Cntrl + click)