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Antenna Documentary Film Festival 2013

Sarah Khazaal

Tue Oct 08 2013


FROM abortion issues to jewel thieves, the Melbourne leg of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival promises a line-up of engaging films featuring real issues and real people. Sarah Khazaal chooses her highlights from the festival.

Starting from October 17 – 20, eager documentarians will be able to catch the Antenna International Documentary Film Festival for the very first time in Melbourne.

Working to encourage a culture of documentary viewers in Australia, the festival has joined up with the Australian Centre of Moving Image (ACMI) to help extend its reach even further. Originally screening exclusively in Sydney for the past few years, Melbourne will have the privilege to see some of these world-class documentaries as they grace our shores.

While this year’s festival’s program has been touted as its largest, Melbourne documentary-lovers will be able to catch 12 of the best documentaries that the festival has to offer. Of the documentaries that will make it to the Melbourne tour, several have graced a number of the world’s leading film festivals.

To help you find out which films are worth checking out, we’ve compiled a list of standout documentaries for your viewing consideration.

The Network

Opening the festival is The Network, a feature-length documentary that poses difficult questions about the power of the media, its ability to challenge a society, and even its power to reflect it.

Australian writer and producer, Eva Orner, explores how the establishment of an independent media network changed the culture of Afghanistan in a time where they thought there would be no end to the Taliban rule.

The network gave the country hope that they will again be in touch with one another and unite to overcome the Taliban. With hope comes fear though – a fear that an everyday way of life that includes random suicide bombings will stand in the way of this communication revolution.

After Tiller

Making their feature-length debut, directors Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s documentary, After Tiller, captures the controversy surrounding the practices of abortion.

The film follows the life of the remaining four doctors in the United States who are able to perform third-trimester abortions after the assassination of abortion advocate, Dr George Tiller in 2009.

After Tiller reveals to audiences why these four doctors face threats to their lives to reach out to women in trouble and addresses one of the most prevalent debates in modern times.

Terms and Conditions May Apply

We all click the ‘I Agree’ button on every account that we make, every application that we install and with every bank account we open but with these seemingly easy clicks of the mouse, do we ever stop to wonder what exactly we’re signing away?

As technology and social media continually encroaches into our everyday lives, it would appear that asking us to sign away our lives and our privacy is becoming all too easy for big companies like Facebook.

Terms and Conditions May Apply delves into just how much information the government may be able to access about us just by asking Facebook (among other sites and search engines), if they can take a quick peek into your personal details. Director Cullen Hoback directs this documentary brilliantly to uncover just where the loopholes lie, and who the largest culprits violating our individual privacy really are.

The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne

Closing the festival is, The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, a documentary based on the true story of Doris Payne.

Doris grew up in the south of the United States during times of segregation and now at the age of 80, it has become widely known as one of the most notorious jewel thieves that ever was.

With wit and charm to boot, this sly woman stole nearly $2 million in jewels exclusively from Cartier and Tiffany’s stores stretching from Monaco to Tokyo, as well as the major capital cities in the United States.

Directors Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina (Marcolina is a guest of the festival this year), explore how Doris coped when she was forced to go to trial for the theft of a department store’s diamond ring.

The full list of films that will be making their way onto Melbourne screens can be found at Antenna’s Melbourne Tour list. For more information about the Antenna Documentary Film Festival, visit their official website.