ENTERTAINMENT

These Aussie Films Will Make A Splash At The 2017 Sundance Festival

We're taking the stage in short film, documentary and VR.

15/12/2016 10:03 AM AEDT | Updated 15/12/2016 11:47 AM AEDT
Fairfax Media
The 'Red Dog' sequel is here.

Indie film lovers, prepare yourselves. The annual Sundance Film Festival is around the corner (January 2017) and we have at last been drip fed the full program.

Each year, this mountain-top festival in Utah presents an exploration of the best of independent cinema, showcasing world-first premieres across short film, documentary, American and World narratives and New Frontiers.

In 2017, we're seeing a range of new voices bringing tales of dysfunctional families, post Gulf war vetarans and subsequent Inconvenient Truths.

Joining approximately 200 international titles, here's what's to come from Australia.

1. Casting JonBenet

Australian filmmaker Kitty Green -- behind 'Ukraine Is Not A Model', a feature documentary about topless Ukrainian feminist movement FEMEN -- is bringing us the world premiere of a true story based on the unsolved death of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey. The story of this American child beauty star remains one of the world's most sensational child murder cases and Green spent 15 months in Ramsey's hometown unravelling it.

Getty Images
Director Kitty Green and fellow activists from 'Ukraine Not A Model' at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.

2. Berlin Syndrome

Selected for the 'World Cinema Competition' category, 'Berlin Syndrome' is premiering at Sundance. From director Cate Shortland, this psychological thriller follows the plight of Australian photojournalist Teresa Palmer who wakes up in a room in Berlin after a one-night stand.

3. Red Dog: True Blue

It was Australia's top-grossing film in 2011 and warmed hearts across the country. Now, its sequel, to be released theatrically in Australia on Boxing Day, is making its North American premiere. Director Kriv Stenders reunites with producer Nelson Ross and writer Daniel Taplitz in the remote region of Pilbara to bring us 'Red Dog: True Blue'.

4. Slapper

In a suburban wasteland in rural Australia, a rebellious teen is rustling up money for a morning-after pill. Director Luci Schroder is representing Australia in the short film category with 'Slapper'.

5. Killing Ground

Making its international premiere, director and screenwriter Damien Power brings us 'Killing Ground'. Arriving at an isolated campsite, a couple find a SUV, a tent and an abandoned child -- and are subsequently tested to breaking point.

6. Orbitral Vanitas

Featuring in the 2017 Sundance edition of 'New Frontiers', 'Orbitral Vanitas' presents a surreal, sci-fi meditation of death through virtual reality. Lead artist Shaun Gladwell and collaborator Leo Faber have places viewers in the Earth's orbit before a strange, enigmatic formation begins to veer towards them.

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