Kicking off with Kiwi romp Pork Pie, watching Emma Watson jump into tech thriller territory in The Circle, seeing The Castle's Stephen Curry turn Hounds of Love serial killer: they're just some of the movie treats in store during GCFF's 12-day run. And if they're not enough to inspire a road trip down south to sit in a cinema, here's five other flicks you should put on your must-see list.
Horror anthologies are almost as common as horror movie characters making bad decisions. Yep, you've seen plenty of both before. XX stands out for a groundbreaking reason: it's the first horror anthology solely written and directed by female filmmakers. About time, you're probably thinking — and you're right — however there's more to this scarefest then showcasing the fright-inducing skills of four talented ladies. One story jumps into creature feature terrain, another finds the evil side of raising a child. And, the film also includes the directorial debut of Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent.
Goodbye Miranda Hobbes, hello Emily Dickinson — worlds away from her time on Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon is at her absolute best in poet-focused biopic A Quiet Passion. Indeed, she so convincingly steps into the shoes of the reclusive 19th century slinger of lyrical words, becoming mesmerised by her commanding performance is a foregone conclusion. The feature also marks the latest effort from Sunset Song filmmaker Terence Davies, who has been carving quite a considerable niche in making movies about norm-defying women.
In years to come, we'll all look back at this year's animated film category at the Oscars and wonder why My Life as a Courgette (also known as My Life as a Zucchini) didn't win. The Swiss-French claymation effort engages, entertains and amuses — and boasts more feeling in its dollops of plasticine than many movies with flesh-and-blood actors. Directed by illustrator Claude Barras and co-written by Girlhood's Céline Sciamma, it tells the tale of an orphaned boy finding his way in the world in a new care facility. As beautiful in its emotions as it is in its imagery, it's nothing short of an animated triumph.
As far as famous boxers are concerned, Finnish fighter Olli Mäki didn't become a worldwide household name. As this warm-hearted recreation of his 1962 world championship bout shows, however, there's a reason for that. A gorgeously shot black-and-white boxing flick that's also a love story, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki charms from start to finish, wowing critics when it premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival and continuing to do so as it jumps around the international festival circuit.
Local thrills will bring this year's GCFF to a close — if you've ever wondered what 24 would look like if it was set in Australia, Event Zero has the answer. The film steps into a scenario where Sydney is under attack from terrorists, a deadly virus is seeping through the population, cops try to chase down the culprits and politicians squabble about how to best use the situation to their advantage. It's directed by producer and editor turned writer and helmer Enzo Tedeschi, who also wrote the very effective low-budget horror The Tunnel back in 2011.