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:: Spotlight :: 2014 Bayside Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

With the 11th annual Bayside Film Festival just around the corner, there’s no need to venture far afield to get a five star ‘cinematic fix’ as the 2014 Festival has a show-stopping line-up, along with a fabulous new home at Palace Dendy Brighton!

Screening from Wednesday August 27 to Sunday August 31, Artistic Director, Richard Moore, who is helming Bayside for the second consecutive year, has continued to expand the program by sourcing an outstanding and varied slate of independent features from around the globe. There’s also the renowned Youth Documentary and Digital Stories Program, which, in keeping with the event’s proud tradition, continue to showcase the talent of young, local filmmakers.

Opening night will see the Victorian premiere of the US thriller, Cold in July, directed by Jim Mickle (Stake Land, We Are What We Are) and starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and screening courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment, this genre-bending tale follows an average family man whose uneventful life erupts after he accidentally kills a home intruder. Screening with Cold in July will be the award-winning claymation short No More Mr. Mice Guy, from Sydney-based teenage brothers Ben and Josh McCarthy – which takes a comic look at a couple’s efforts to rid their home of some pesky, movie-mad mice.

Rounding off Bayside’s five-day filmic journey will be a trip of a different kind with the endearing Land Ho (Sony Pictures) in which two aging buddies – Mitch, a lewd American loudmouth and Colin, a gentle, soft-spoken Australian, set off to Iceland in an attempt to reclaim their youth on a tour of Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas and rugged campsites.

Additional highlights of the 2014 Festival include:

ELSA AND FRED (USA) – Australian Premiere
Screening courtesy of StudioCanal
Directed by Michael Radford and starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer
The story of two people who discover that it’s never too late to find love. Both set in their ways, Fred and Elsa meet when he moves into the same apartment block following the death of his wife. There Fred discovers Elsa, a woman obsessed with the Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini and his film La Dolce Vita. Elsa dreams of playing Anita Eckberg in her famous scene walking through Rome’s Trevi Fountain pursued by the devilishly handsome Marcello Mastroianni. When curmudgeonly Fred meets Elsa’s frenzy, he’s moved to try and make her dream come true. A bittersweet comedy for the young at heart.

A PROMISE (France) – Australian Premiere
Screening courtesy of Vendetta Films
Directed by Patrice Leconte and starring Alan Rickman, Rebecca Hall & Richard Madden
Acclaimed French filmmaker Patrice Leconte’s first English language film is a haunting, romantic drama set in Germany just before World War 1, which tells the story of a married woman who falls in love with her husband's protégé.

BLOOD BROTHER (USA) – Victorian Premiere
Screening courtesy of Madman Entertainment
- 2013 Sundance FF Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize,
- 2013 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival – Best Feature Documentary
This multi-award winning documentary is an intimate portrait of Rocky Braat, a young man whose desire for a family led him to an AIDS hostel in India, a place of unspeakable hardship, where he found almost more love and need than he could bear.

MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS (Argentina) – Victorian Premiere
Screening courtesy of Potential Films
Directed by Daniel Burman and starring Guillermo Francella, Ines Estevez, & Alejandro Awada
Santiago and Eugenio are more than deeply devoted friends; they are also life-long business partners…until one day Eugenio disappears leaving no clues behind. Embarking upon a journey to find him, Santiago and Laura, Eugenio’s distressed wife eventually discover a whole lot more in this funny and poignant film about midlife crisis, relationships & dreams.

Screening courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment
Directed by Neil la Bute and starring Stanley Tucci & Alice Eve
After an absence of four years, a man surprises his young and beautiful former mistress, claiming to have finally left his wife. But when she rejects his efforts to rekindle their romance, his persistence evolves into obsession, exposing a dark history between the ex-lovers.

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