SWIFF Co-Director Kate Howat's top films
Now that the festival line-up is out, you can feel a little spoilt for choice with which films to pick – which is why the SWIFF Festival Team provide their favourite films of the upcoming festival.
Here are Festival Co-Director and Curator, Kate Howat’s Top 6 picks of the fest to fill up your first pass.
A slick and stylish romance between a young woman – played by one of France’s hottest exports, Noèmie Merlant, fresh from her leading role in Portrait of a Lady on Fire – and a flashy new Tilt-A-Whirl, carnival ride. Based on real life cases of objectaphilia, where people find themselves sexually attracted to animate subjects, Jumbo is a one-of-a-kind tilted romance that spins a sweet combination of lust and desire with an understated tenderness.
AND THEN WE DANCED
A remarkable, intimate, forbidden romance about the political and the personal, led by a mesmerizing performance from newcomer Levan Gelbakhiani, with youthful exuberance and electrifying dance numbers. Becoming the most controversial film to ever hit Georgian theatres, with screenings met by violent mass protests from the far right, And Then We Danced is a landmark work of art with real political power, a “love letter to Georgia”, from director Levan Akin: ‘a Georgia that can evolve and change for the better’.
FILM INFO AND TICKETS HERE
MADDY THE MODEL
A true inspirational story that’s close to my heart. Brisbane-born Madeline Stuart has walked the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, graced the cover of international fashion mags, and has over 700,000 followers on social media. But Maddy’s journey to fame is quite unique, as this talented young woman is also the world’s first professional supermodel with DS (Down Syndrome). Maddy and her mum Rosanne will be here for the festival to share with SWIFF audiences together their stories of advocacy and Maddy’s inspirational life journey, that has only just begun.
THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF
A completely unexpected and honest documentary about human connection and friendship between an artist and the criminal who stole two of her works. Already a captivating tale, we have the privilege of witnessing the lives and vulnerabilities of these two souls who come to recognize themselves in the other—the darkness, wounds, compulsions, and self-destructive behaviour. Told across multiple years, The Painter and the Thief is an incredibly moving and fascinating portrait of compassion and forgiveness.
FILM INFO AND TICKETS HERE
One of the most exciting genre films I’ve seen in the last 5 years. I was completely dumbfounded upon discovering it was only the first film from UK director, Rose Glass. A darkly comic, surrealist horror film (I’m hesitant to use the word ‘horror’ in case it scares people away, but seriously, see this film), about a pious nurse who becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient. Saint Maud was pushed due to the pandemic, then pushed again, then disappeared from the release schedule entirely; finally, it’s hitting SWIFF screens this April and is well and truly worth the wait. A film that deserves to be seen in a cinema with a full house, with its unnerving diegetic sounds, hallucinogenic visuals, and incredibly immersive storytelling. It’s a five-star film.
DINNER IN AMERICA
There are so many quotable one-liners in this hilarious and lovable, punk rock comedy with a killer original soundtrack – a love letter to early 90’s punk Americana and an underdog love story about two very different, marginalised misfits who find their fit with each other. “It’s a rebel yell of a movie is as if Valley Girl was accidentally shunted into a teleportation machine alongside Sid & Nancy and the whole soupy stew beamed into the 90s. Funny and fucked up like some speed-snorting comic on an all-time bender, there’s a hypnotic lure in watching two worlds slowly inch towards an inevitable beautiful collision”. A perfectly messy recipe that makes for a great date night flick.