Last week was Perth’s annual 18th Revelation Film Festival, filled with a great range of diverse films from local and international filmmakers. Held from July 2nd to the 12th, Revelation in conjunction with Luna Cinemas presented not only films but competitions, kid’s screenings, and VIP events, to provide the ultimate film festival experience to all. Opening with Jeremy Sims’ Last Cab To Darwin with Australian favourite Michael Caton, Revelation started with a bang with appearances from Caton himself as well as co-stars Jacki Weaver and Mark Coles Smith, prior to the screening of the film at Luna Leederville. Revelation screened a vast arrangement of feature films and documentaries all with the express goal of entertainment, and to shock.
I personally attended Revelation not just as a movie-goer but also as a volunteer to usher films, which I would highly recommend to those who are looking to network in the film industry in Perth. Having therefore seen a chunk of the films provided through the festival, in my opinion due to the standard R18+ rating that all films bore regardless of their content, the synopsis’ provided barely did the films justice. What I mean by this is that there weren’t many clues given as to what each film entails. For example, one of the first films I saw during the festival was The Tribe, a Ukrainian feature following youths in a deaf school. What I love about these festivals is that because the synopsis don’t provide much, you are left in surprise. The Tribe was told all in sign language, and included close ups of sex, an abortion, violent murders and overall just allowed us as an audience to delve into the somewhat disturbing world of teenage boys and how hierarchies work in a social stance. Duke of Burgundy was another interesting feature that I was able to view. Who knew that with a title like that the film would be all about lesbians enjoying a bit of S & M? No one, and yet another surprise with highly inspiring camera work by cinematographer Nic Knowland. H. was also an interesting feature screened at Revelation this year, as it follows the story of two different women (both named Helen), and how they deal with sort of apocalyptic themes and motherhood.
Documentaries screened at the Revelation film festival for 2015 were interesting and thought provoking to say the least. The Damned gave us a look at a punk band that perhaps should have been as popular as The Rolling Stones were, as The Damned were the ones who actually put one of the first records out ever. When My Sorrow Died was one of the first screenings I watched during the beginning of the festival, and what a perfect way to start with a bang. Following a gay Persian-Armenian man named Armen Ra, we are shown Armen’s talent of playing the Theremin and how doing what he does has had some serious challenges, but many positives have come out from it. When My Sorrow Died in my opinion is a perfect feature to sort of tie together the whole festival, mainly because an image of Armen in essentially the front cover of the Revelation festival program. His pure beauty as a woman and as a man defines the festival; in that it is something beautiful, unique and shouldn’t be missed.
Besides screenings, Revelation also had special events to bring something extra to the festival. As Revelation is in conjunction with the Iranian and Polish film festivals, work from those festivals was also included. There were kids’ screenings available also, as well as the popular WA Screen Awards. I personally attended The Revel-8 Super 8 Film Competition, which was held just this Sunday gone at Luna Leederville. Essentially the night was screenings of finalist films shot on super 8 film. A competition for both filmmakers and composers; filmmakers were challenged to shoot three silent minutes of footage on super 8 film, whilst composers were challenged to compose and record a music soundtrack to a filmmakers film, without even meeting the director. The night overall was entertaining and engaging, and really got me thinking about just how much talent there is in a small film industry that Perth has.
So if you missed out on Perth’s Revelation Film Festival this year, please make sure that you attend just a few of the screenings next year at least. The festival is something different, which we all know is something that we need in our lives from time to time. The work displayed is of utmost talent and pride, and really reinforces the fact that Perth is here and thriving, and we do have a film industry, and it’s evolving.
Further information on films mentioned:
Last Cab To Darwin: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3680410/
The Tribe: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1745787/
Duke of Burgundy: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2570858/
The Damned: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3512486/
When My Sorrow Died: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2833550/