MIFF Talks - Pioneering Women: In Conversation
Co-presented with the Australian Directors’ Guild
An extensive look at influential female directors and actors of the past 30 years come together in a stellar line-up featuring Gillian Armstrong, Claudia Karvan, Nadia Tass, Ana Kokkinos and Clara Law.
Moderated by Sam Lang.
Gillian Armstrong first garnered attention for her debut feature, My Brilliant Career, adapted from the classic novel by Miles Franklin. Her feature films and documentaries since include Starstruck and High Tide, as well as The Last Days Of Chez Nous, Little Women, Oscar And Lucinda and Women He’s Undressed. Gillian was the first President of the Australian Directors’ Guild and was awarded an ADG Outstanding Achievement Award in 2007 and the Women in Hollywood Icon Award in 2008. Last year she was the recipient of the CinefestOZ Screen Legend award.
Acclaimed writer/director Ana Kokkinos’ career spans film and TV. Her films, which include Blessed, The Book of Revelation and Head On, have won over 30 international and national awards and premiered at numerous festivals. She has also directed many episodes of TV for shows including The Secret Life of Us, Massacre at Myall Creek and Seven Types of Ambiguity for Matchbox Pictures. Kokkinos has also taught extensively at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and RMIT, and lectures in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
Claudia Karvan is one of Australia’s most respected and acclaimed film and television actors. She was most recently seen on the ABC series Newton’s Law, and has also appeared in the ABC series Jack Irish and The Time of Our Lives, which won her the AACTA Award for Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama. She is the co-producer of the Nine Network’s Doctor Doctor and co-created, produced and starred in Southern Star’s Spirited. Claudia’s other credits include movies Daybreakers, Paperback Hero, The Heartbreak Kid, High Tide and The Big Steal, and popular TV series The Secret Life of Us and the Logie-winning Love My Way.
Nadia Tass’ 1986 debut feature Malcolm was a worldwide smash that went on to win an unprecedented eight Australian Film Institute Awards (including Best Film and Best Director) and 23 international awards. She followed up this success with numerous films including the Ben Mendelsohn and Claudia Karvan vehicle The Big Steal; the international smash hit and Cannes award-winner Amy; and the multi-award-winning Matching Jack. During the last decade, Tass has continued to direct in America for Universal Studios, Disney, WB, ABC (America) and CBS.
Clara Law studied film at the National Film and Television School in England after has been making films internationally since the 80s, including the award-winning Farewell China, Autumn Moon and Temptation of a Monk. In 1996 she made her first Australian film, Floating Life, which took home the Silver Leopard at Locarno. Other films include The Goddess of 1967 and Like a Dream. Clara is currently in post production on a bold and experimental feature/essay film titled Drifting Petals.
Samantha Lang (Moderator)
Samantha Lang is a film director, writer and visual artist. Her films have screened at festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Locarno and Cannes, and been won many awards. In 2015, her film Carlotta won three AACTA awards. As well as being a creative practitioner, she has mentored, supervised and lectured postgraduate students and emerging directors in her capacity as Head of Directing at AFTRS. In 2015 she was elected as President of the Australian Directors’ Guild, and in 2016 was on the taskforce at Screen Australia that rolled out the Gender Matters Initiative to redress gender and diversity imbalance in the sector.
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