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Antenna Documentary Film Festival today unveils its 2017 program



October 10-15, 2017


Antenna Documentary Film Festival today unveils its 2017 program, presenting a captivating line-up of the most creative and thought-provoking documentaries from Australia and around the world. The program includes 50 films from 20 countries, three film competitions with cash prizes, DocTalk sessions, filmmaker Q&A’s and Gala events.

“We have watched an incredible amount of films from around the world and have selected an exceptionally strong line-up that represents the diversity of creative nonfiction cinema today,” said Antenna’s Festival Director, David Rokach.

Opening the festival is Faces Places, the latest film from legendary filmmaker Agnès Varda, co-directed with the street artist JR. In this profoundly moving film, the duo travel across rural France creating giant photo installations of the people they meet along the way.

The much anticipated documentary Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will close the festival. Fresh from its world premiere at TIFF, this intimate film is a multi-narrative journey through the private and public realms of the iconic singer and performer Grace Jones.

Other international highlights include:

City of Ghosts, by Academy Award nominee Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land), captures the extraordinary story of a fearless group of journalists who risk their lives to document and expose the atrocities of ISIS in their home city.

Sundance Winner Dina, a funny and unconventional love-story between two eccentric, middle-aged neurodivergent souls. They are head-over-heels for one another, but shacking up poses new challenges for both. He is uncomfortable with physical intimacy, she is a Kardashians fanatic who wants to share with him all she’s learned about sensual desire from popular culture.

Mr Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees finding laughter and levity as they struggle through the migration crisis, being gay in the Muslim world and their hope to find a better future in Europe.

Venus explores how a new generation of young women relate to themselves as sexual beings. In response to a casting call by two female directors, more than a hundred women turn up and talk straight into the camera about their erotic fantasies.

Lucy Walker’s Buena Vista Social Club: Adios picks up from Wim Wenders’ landmark 1999 Oscar-winning documentary. The film follows the acclaimed Cuban band on their final tour, covering the years since they became a world phenomenon, as they reflect on their remarkable careers and the extraordinary circumstances that brought them together.

As part of Antenna's commitment to the cutting edge of nonfiction, the program includes films that experiment with content and form: Brimstone & Glory, a mesmerising documentary about a small Mexican city devoted to making and exploding fireworks; Photon, an ambitious experimental film that summarises the entire history, and imagined future, of the universe; and Rat Film, Theo Anthony's astonishing debut feature, examining our culture from the point of view of the humble brown rat living in the city of Baltimore.

Australian documentaries prominently feature at the festival, with an Australian Competition of feature documentaries as well as an Australian Shorts competition. Stand out feature documentaries include the world premiere of Kings of Baxter, which follows boys in a juvenile detention centre performing Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and the Sydney premiere of Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy, in which Yolngu warrior and shaman Djalu Gurruwiwi must find a way to bring two worlds together to save his culture, with some help from global pop star Gotye.

Antenna will also hold special programs and events such as ArtDocs, a collaboration  with the Museum of Contemporary Arts presenting documentaries by and about artists, Q&A’s with local and international filmmakers, and the annual DocTalk, Antenna’s full day industry event featuring discussions and master-classes about the art, craft and business of documentary filmmaking.

The seventh edition of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival opens Tuesday 10 October in Sydney and runs until Sunday 15 October. For complete program information and to purchase tickets and passes, go to

Tuesday 10 to Sunday 15 October 2017

Palace Verona – 17 Oxford Street, Paddington
Chauvel Cinema – 249 Oxford St, Paddington (Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd)
Palace Norton St - 99 Norton St, Leichhardt N                       
Museum of Contemporary Art – 140 George St, The Rocks

General Admission – Adult $19.50, Concession $17





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Chatelin Bruno
(M21 Entertainment -

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