by Matthew Eeles
It’s that time of year again when our inbox becomes flooded with emails questioning our decision to choose only nine Australian films we can’t wait to see in 2018.
For new readers, it’s something we’ve done every year since launching Cinema Australia.
Why nine? Why not ten? We couldn’t tell you. Looking back on our first ever ‘9 Films’ article we still scratch our heads wondering why we only picked nine films. We’ll be damned if we’re going to change it now after all these years, so nine it is.
Obviously we can’t wait to see every Australian film to release in 2018, but these are a few we’re particularly excited to see.
Leave a comment below, or hit us up on our socials if there’s anything you can’t wait to see. Or if you’ve made a film headed for a 2018 release then get in touch. We’d love to know about it.
Directed by Warwick Thornton
Written by Steven McGregor and David Tranter
Produced by David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin
Starring Bryan Brown, Matt Day, Tremayne Doolan, Trevon Doolan, Anni Finsterer, Natassia Gorey Furber, Gibson John, Ewen Leslie, Hamilton Morris and Sam Neill
What it’s about When Aboriginal stockman Sam (Hamilton Morris) kills white station owner Harry March (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence, Sam and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run. They are pursued across the outback, through glorious but harsh desert country.
Why we can’t wait If you haven’t heard any of the noise this film has already made internationally then you’ve been living under a rock for the last six months. There’s even talk the film is looking at an Academy Award nomination. Just imagine.
Warwick Thornton is this country’s most exciting filmmaker and we can’t wait to see what he’s done with this emotional piece of Australian storytelling.
Directed by Jennifer Kent
Written by Jennifer Kent
Produced by Kristina Ceyton, Steve Hutensky and Bruna Papandrea
Starring Aisling Franciosi, Baykali Ganambarr, Sam Claflin, Damon Herriman, Ewen Leslie, Harry Greenwood, Michael Sheasby, Luke Carroll, Charlie Shotwell, Magnolia Maymuru and Charlie Brown
What it’s about 1825 Tasmania. A young convict woman seeking revenge for the murder of her family, takes an Aboriginal male outcast with her through the interior and gets much more than she bargained for.
Why we can’t wait Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook went largely unseen locally – criminal considering it’s one of the best Australian film’s of the century. The Nightingale seems like the perfect fit for Kent’s intense filmmaking style. We have world-class production design in Australia and we’re looking forward to seeing this recreation of 1825 Australia.
Directed by Simon Baker
Written by Simon Baker and Gerard Lee
Produced by Jamie Hilton and Mark Johnson
Starring Simon Baker, Elizabeth Debicki, Richard Roxburgh, Rachael Blake, Samson Coulter and Ben Spence
What it’s about Set in mid-70s coastal Australia, two teenage boys, hungry for discovery, form an unlikely friendship with a mysterious older adventurer who pushes them to take risks that will have a lasting and profound impact on their lives.
Why we can’t wait Robert Connolly reinvented event-style cinema with his audacious adaptation of Tim Winton’s The Turning and we’ve been anticipating the next Winton adaptation ever since. Simon Baker’s passion for this project is infectious and the director’s young cast are impressive in the film’s trailer. If you’re wondering what that dreamy (hard to Shazam) song is in the trailer it’s Glas / Green by Solomon Grey.
Directed by Luke Sparke
Written by Luke Sparke
Produced by Carly Imrie and Carmel Imrie
Starring Jacqueline McKenzie, Temuera Morrison, Bruce Spence, Rhiannon Fish, Stephany Jacobsen, Charles Mesure, Aaron Jeffery, Dan Ewing, Erin Connor, Roy Billing, Katrina Risteska, Felix Williamson, Zachary Garred, Charles Terrier, Izzy Stevens and Ben Chisholm
What it’s about A small group of town residents have to band together after a devastating ground invasion. As they struggle to survive, they realize they must stay one step ahead of their attackers, and work together for a chance to strike back.
Why we can’t wait Some major talent makes up director Luke Sparke’s incredible cast. Australian action films are few and far between and Occupation looks like it’s set to bring the goods. We were lucky enough to be on set during a major piece of pyrotechnic work and we were blown away by what we saw. Literally.
What Felix Williamson told Cinema Australia “I worked with Luke once before on Red Billabong where I played a diabolical real estate agent who turned out to be Special Forces. Luke has incredible ideas and huge big themes and great story ideas. There are some great themes in this like immigration and other things woven into it which you get with sci-fi adventure films. It’s got a big scope and audiences are going to love it!”
Directed by Stephen McCallum
Written by Matt Nable
Produced by Jamie Hilton and Michael Pontin
Starring Eddie Baroo, Ryan Corr, Simone Kessell, Abbey Lee, Josh McConville, Matt Nable, Aaron Pedersen and Jacqui Williams
What it’s about 1% is set within the primal underworld of outlaw motorcycle club gangs. It follows the heir to the throne of a motorcycle club who has to betray his president to save his brother’s life.
Why we can’t wait Cinema Australia was right in the middle of a shoot out between Matt Nable, Eddie Baroo and an outlaw motorcycle gang during our set visit in Western Australia. We couldn’t believe where we were placed watching Nable and Baroo as they delivered their fiery dialogue before opening fire. If the rest of the film is anywhere near as edgy as this one scene then we expect we’re in for a treat.
What Matt Nable told Cinema Australia “Seeing my vision come to life is very rewarding. It’s been a long time coming. There are a lot of talented people working on this film and it’s very rewarding to be working with such talent.”
Directed by Genna Chanelle Hayes
Written by Genna Chanelle Hayes
Produced by Genna Chanelle Hayes
Starring Mark Coles Smith, Kit Esuruoso, John Brumpton, Genna Chanelle Hayes, Simon Elrahi, Jack Ellis, Marlikka Perdrisat, Rashidi Edward, Christopher Stollery and Pippa Grandison.
What it’s about Akoni focuses on the refugee crises, and follows the journey of a Nigerian refugee when he is forced to flee his country and integrate into Australian society.
Why we can’t wait We’ve been keeping an eye on Akoni since it began production earlier in the year. The teaser trailer is stunning and we challenge anyone to listen to its powerful and emotional narration without being moved by it.
What Genna Chanelle Hayes told Cinema Australia “These issues that we are addressing, they are everything right now in this country and around the world. The refugee crisis, people deserve to have a safe place to live. It’s their human right. Things need to change. Now.”
Directed by Abe Forsythe
Written by Abe Forsythe
Produced by Steve Hutensky, Jodi Matterson, Keith Calder and Jessica Calder
Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Gad and Alexander England
What it’s about A washed-up musician teams up with a teacher and a kids show personality to protect young children from a sudden outbreak of zombies.
Why we can’t wait Two words. Abe. Forsythe. This incredible filmmaker has already made two of the country’s funniest comedies with Ned and Down Under. We’re anticipating big laughs backed up by an impressive international cast including an Oscar winner in Lupita Nyong’o.
Directed by Storm Ashwood
Written by Storm Ashwood
Produced by Jim Robison and Blake Northfield
Starring Megan Drury, William Charles McDonald, Nicholas Hope, Texas Watterston and Jack Ruwald
What it’s about When a doctor looking for her missing child awakens to find herself in an abandoned school, she must survive the supernatural terror and face her own demons if she is to find the truth about where her son is.
Why we can’t wait We love it when Australian filmmakers get creative and Storm Ashwood’s The School has a highly-imaginative concept – Peter Pan meets Lord of the Flies with a whole lot of horror. Yes please.
What Storm Ashwood told Cinema Australia “The School is a type of purgatory. The physical realm of the school is a place where children might find themselves once they die. This might be a place where kids get stuck. This mother is trying to find her son in a very different world to ours which is controlled by children.”
Directed by Shawn Seet
Written by Justin Monjo
Produced by Michael Boughen and Matthew Street
Starring Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney, Morgana Davies, Erik Thomson, David John Clark, Luca Asta Sardelis, Trevor Jamieson and Finn Little
What it’s about Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a highly emotional tale of a young boy growing up on the beautiful but uninhabited coastline of Southern Australia who unexpectedly rescues and then raises three orphaned pelicans. When he forms a close bond with them, he finds himself at odds with his fisherman father and his life takes a new and unexpected turn.
Why we can’t wait We couldn’t think of anyone more exciting to take on the role of Fingerbone Bill than Trevor Jamieson – after David Gulpilil brought the character to life in the original 1976 classic. We love the story of this new interpretation of Colin Thiele’s book which sees Geoffrey Rush’s Mike relate his childhood adventures to his troubled granddaughter.
What we’ve already seen which you’re going to love:Swinging Safari, Watch The Sunset, The Pretend One, Friends, Foes and Fireworks.