5:00 PM, 9th December, 2023
The disastrous Black Summer bushfires of 2019 were the worst ever experienced in the Nambucca Valley of New South Wales, where Australian film director and actress Rachel Ward and her family have had a farm for more than 30 years. Inspired to take up action by the devastation wrought on the surrounding homes and forests, she decides to learn more about the ecological impacts of conventional agriculture practices on her own property. Her journey takes her from wilful ignorance to eventually embracing the regenerative farming movement, which aims to restore the health of Australia’s farmlands, food and climate.
Featuring intimate interviews with Rachel, her family and the people who she has been inspired by, this is an eye-opening and triumphant film that offers a unique insider’s look at the state of Australian farming, where it’s headed, and what can be done to move things in a better direction.
7:30 PM, 9th December, 2023
It’s 1995 and Shayda (Zar Amir Ebrahimi) lives in Australia with Hossein (Osamah Sami), who is soon to finish studying medicine and intending to return home to Iran afterwards. As Nowrooz, the Iranian New Year, approaches, Shayda takes heed of this time for rebirth and files for divorce from her abusive husband. Seeking refuge in a women’s shelter with her six-year-old daughter (Selina Zahednia), she finds unexpected kinship in strong community of women, while coming to terms a new world of possibilities. But the ongoing threat posed by Hossein ¬– and the risk of losing her daughter – puts Shayda’s freedom in jeopardy.
Tackling the under-explored subject of domestic violence head-on, this deeply engrossing film has gone from strength to strength since it won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year. It has now rightfully been selected as Australia’s submission for Best International Film at next year’s Oscars. Not to be missed.