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Melbourne red carpet a swarm of stars

Of the stars of Little Fish, only Cate Blanchett was unable to turn up, but Hugo Weaving, Noni Hazlehurst, Joel Tobeck, Lisa McCune and Daniela Farinacci were the main attraction on the red carpet for the Opening Night of the Melbourne Film Festival (July 20-August 7) at the Village City Centre, the event hosted by the new current affairs mag, The Monthly.

Little Fish director Rowan Woods, screenwriter Jacquelin Perske, producers Liz Watts, Richard Keddie and Vincent Sheehan were also carpeted, and accompanying the Little Fish team were the director and producer of the Opening Night Short film Tama Tu, Taika Waititi and Ainsley Gardiner, who were nominated for an Academy Award earlier this year, for last year’s Opening Night Short Film, Two Cars, One Night.

International guests included UK dark wave electronic duo Klive and Nigel Humberstone from In the Nursery, who are in Melbourne to perform a live score to Electric Edwardians; Three of Hearts: A Post-modern Family’s filmmaker Sarie Horowtz and South Korean filmmaker, Choi Dong Hun who directed The Big Swindle.

Other Australian filmmakers and actors with festival works attending the opening included director/writer Greg McLean, producer David Lightfoot, and stars Cassandra McGrath, Kestie Morassi and Andy McPhee (Wolf Creek); Sarah Watt and William McInnes (Look Both Ways), Stuart McDonald, Beth Frey and Emily Browning (Stranded), James Clayden (The Marey Project), Tom Zubrycki (Vietnam Symphony), Tony Krawitz (Jewboy) Dean Rabaiov (Under the City), Nicholas Hansen (Rash), Paul Cox (The Remarkable Mr. Kaye), David Shea (Symphony of Scenes) and Scott Ryan and Nash Edgerton (The Magician).

Local industry stalwarts attending included Tom Long, Alkinos Tsilimidos, Dan Spielman, Clara Law and Eddie Fong, Bud Tingwell, Paul Grabowsky, Adam Elliot, Jan Sardi, Ana Kokkinos, Greg Sitch, Fred Schepsi, Jan Chapman, Bill Hunter, John Brumpton, Victoria Hill, Kerry Armstrong, Sigrid Thornton, Gary Sweet, Angus Sampson and Stephen Curry.

Little Fish. Written by Jacqueline Perske, directed by Rowan Woods with a cast that includes a luminous Cate Blanchett, the incomparable Hugo Weaving plus Noni Hazlehurst, Sam Neill, Martin Henderson and Dustin Nguyen, Little Fish (screening courtesy of Icon Film Distribution) is a deeply affecting drama about a young woman (Blanchett) who must learn to confront her fears in order to find happiness and escape the pain of her recent past. “Cate Blanchett added, “It is exciting for me that Melbourne International Film Festival has decided to open this year with Little Fish. On first glance this would appear
to be a story very particular to Sydney but as with all great stories the more particular and specific they are the greater the potential for resonance.”

Andrew L. Urban


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