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Buoyancy Unclassified 18+

View Trailer

Inspired by the real-life plight of workers sold into Southeast Asia’s fishing industry and featuring a powerful performance from its first-time star, this gripping high seas drama was awarded the Panorama Prize by Berlinale’s Ecumenical Jury.

Tired of toiling in the rice fields, 14-year-old Chakra (a magnetic Sarm Heng) leaves Cambodia in search of a Bangkok factory job. After paying smugglers to ferry him over the border, the boy is instead traded to a seafood trawler where violence and murder are a routine occurrence, all under the watch of ruthless and sadistic captain Rom Ran (Thanawut Kasro).

Making his feature debut after several shorts – including MIFF 2013 Best Australian Short Film winner, Tau SeruAccelerator Lab alumnus director Rodd Rathjen combines an edge-of-your-seat thriller with the stark reality of the modern-day slave trade. Building tension until it’s ready to snap, the resulting film is entertaining from the first frame to the last while always remaining sensitive to the subject matter.

Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, and stunningly shot by cinematographer Michael Latham (Island of the Hungry Ghosts and Strange Colours, MIFF 2018), Buoyancy was filmed on location in Cambodia with a cast of non-actors who lend the work a vérité feel that underscores the real-life urgency of its message.

“A terse minimalist thriller … Heng’s largely wordless central performance is captivating.” – Sight & Sound


The world premiere screening on 9 August will feature a Welcome to Country and special guests – including star Sarm Heng, director Rodd Rathjen, and anti-slavery advocate Kate Kennedy – who will introduce the session and participate in an extended post-screening In Conversation unpacking the many moral quandaries raised in the film, including ethical food supply.

Read a Q&A with Rodd Rathjen.
Guests: Kate Kennedy, Rodd Rathjen, Sarm Heng

Tickets

2431
Fri 09 Aug 6:45 pm [2431]
Buoyancy (92 mins)
The Capitol Assisted ListeningWheelchair Access100% Subtitles
4590
Mon 12 Aug 4:00 pm [4590]
Buoyancy (92 mins)
Kino 2 Assisted ListeningAudio Description Wheelchair Access100% Subtitles OC
8761
Thu 15 Aug 9:15 pm [8761]
Buoyancy (92 mins)
Hoyts 10 Assisted ListeningAudio Description Wheelchair Access100% Subtitles
This session is bookable on a pass

To book a wheelchair space or to advise of other access requirements, please contact Box Office on (03) 8660 4898 or email boxoffice@miff.com.au
Key Cast
Sarm Heng, Thanawut Kasro
Director
Rodd Rathjen
Producers
Samantha Jennings, Kristina Ceyton, Rita Walsh
Screenwriter
Rodd Rathjen
Composer
Lawrence English
Editor
Graeme Pereira
Premiere Status
Australian Premiere
Format
Digital

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