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Australia hits the big screen

11 April 2006

Australia hits the big screen, So where the bloody hell are you?

Hot on the heels of its provocative new branding campaign, Tourism Australia is bringing a mixture of popular Australian art house films to the big screen at Rialto, Newmarket.

The United Travel Australian Film Selection is one of a series of events planned for Tourism Australia's inaugural G'DAY NZ Australia Week 2006, which runs from 23 - 29 April. Focusing on the 'Spirit of Mateship' between Australia and New Zealand, the week is designed to showcase the best Australia has to offer by highlighting Australian food and wine, film, arts and indigenous culture.

In celebration of G'DAY NZ Australia Week, the United Travel Australian Film Selection will feature one matinee (1.00pm) and one mid-evening (8.30pm) screening of an Australian feature film each day from Monday 24 to Saturday 29 of April.

Vito Anzelmi, Tourism Australia's Regional Manager for New Zealand, says the week-long event captures the essence of Australia through the profound thought-provoking dimensions of film.

"The films showcased in The United Travel Australian Film Selection highlight the diversity of Australian culture and the experiences it offers. What makes this event distinctive is that New Zealand audiences will connect with the psyche of these Australian films while still celebrating those things that set us apart," he says.

Phillipa Green, Marketing Manager at United Travel, says that the United Travel Australian Film Selection is a highly accessible medium through which to highlight the vast experiences visitors can expect when traveling to Australia.

"Set in iconic cultural and geographical Australian landscapes, these films illustrate the myriad of opportunities, on all levels, which can be encountered when travelling through Australia," she says.

The United Travel Australian Film Selection is as follows:

Crackerjack, Monday 24 April.
An ailing Australian bowling club's ageing members make a last ditch effort to form a winning team in order to enter a tournament and win the prize money needed to stay afloat. Little do they know that their fate relies on a younger club member whose sole purpose for holding a club membership is to maintain a cheap carpark. The question is, will he join the team?

Gallipoli, Tuesday 25 April.
Narrated by Sam Neil, Gallipoli portrays the historical importance of the controversial battles at Gallipoli during the First World War. Based on facts, the courage and sacrifices endured by soldiers from both sides are brought to life through their own words, in a film which captures a human dimension within the general structure of battle.

Japanese Story, Wednesday 26 April.
Against the background of an elemental Australian landscape, this film captures the journey of two complete strangers, who travel further and further into the West Australian desert. A feisty Australian geologist finds herself showing a Japanese businessman around the mines and deserts of the Pilbara with a view to selling him the unique geology software she has been developing. He however, mistakes her as his driver and demands they trek to the desert in a tale which sees them leave more of what they know about each other, and themselves, behind.

Rabbit Proof Fence, Thursday 27 April.
This poignant film captures the true story of Molly Craig, a young Aboriginal girl who leads her younger sister and cousin in a journey of escape from an official government camp. Travelling over 1,500 miles of Australia's outback, sheer determination leads the girls in search of the rabbit-proof fence that bisects the continent and will lead them home.

Somersault, Friday 28 April.
Australian youth culture is reflected in Cate Shortland's vibrant debut feature film. Set in the town of Jindabyne, sixteen-year-old Heidi seeks refuge at the ski resort after being thrown out of home for coming on to her mother's boyfriend. Her directness strikes unexpected chords in Joe, a young man who hardly dares connect with anyone at all, and so begins a journey which flummoxes and nourishes them both.

Lantana, Saturday 29 April.
The Saturday feature is a measured adult thriller that centres around four couples whose lives overlap, sometimes profoundly, sometimes briefly and sometimes with severe consequences. With nearly all the characters crossing paths at some point, a web of lies and surfacing secrets, the film promises deception, passion and intrigue.

Throughout the G'DAY NZ Australia Week 2006 a number of events will take place such as the Spirit of Mateship Gala Dinner for trans-Tasman corporate businesses, the Longest Australian Lunch in New Zealand and a National Geographic Photographic Exhibition covering Australia's vast landscape.

The United Travel Australian Film Selection is open to the general public and tickets for all films can be purchased at the ticket booth at Rialto Cinema, Newmarket.

For more information on any of the events happening in G'DAY NZ Australia Week 2006 please visit


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