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7 films that champion women's voices at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival.

Revelation Perth International Film Festival
Thanks to our brand partner, Revelation Perth International Film Festival

A modern-day Satanist.

A devoted taxidermist.

A famed trailblazer in a feminist fairytale.

These are the people you don’t meet every day. And you won’t necessarily find them while scrolling Netflix for the umpteenth time.

These are the kinds of women whose voices rise to the top of this year’s genre-bending, boundary-pushing Revelation Perth International Film Festival 2019.

Over 22 years, Revelation or “Rev” as it’s affectionately known, has become a highlight of the WA arts calendar and is renowned as one of Australia’s most beloved independent film festivals for good reason. In 2018 alone, more than 20,000 people came to watch 200+ films from around the world.

Now, as the festival comes around from July 4 to 17, 2019, the purpose is stronger than ever: to champion thought-provoking and entertaining indie films driven by themes of social justice, diversity, equality, accessibility and individuality.

In a line-up that really does offer something for everyone, one thing that stands out is the diversity in women’s stories on screen and behind the camera. Here are some notable highlights:

Hot Mess
After debuting to acclaim at the Seattle International Film Festival and earning comparisons to Lena Dunham’s breakthrough Tiny Furniture, Hot Mess marks the arrival of a fresh, unique voice on our film scene in first-time director Lucy Coleman. Coleman says she has a “drive to write stories that dig deep into the gutteral truths of the female experience” and give her audiences “a good bloody laugh along the way”.

In Hot Mess, 25-year-old Loz (award-winning musical comedian Sarah Gaul, On The Fringe) is an aspiring playwright whose work isn’t really taking off. Or her love life. Or her sex life. Or anything, really. But things are about to change for Loz… just maybe.

Metal Heart
This Irish comedy could be a good one to see with your sister, or your sister from another mister, or maybe even your daughter. Fraternal twin sisters Emma (Jordanne Jones) and Chantal (Leah McNamara) are as different as they can be – one is self-conscious and dreams of starting a band, the other is beautiful, outgoing and knows exactly where her life is going. When their parents go away for the summer and a new guy moves in next door… well, we won’t spoil any of it for you.

Set in Dublin, this coming-of-age tale will be familiar to anyone who’s had teenage angst. Or a sister.

Metal Heart
Jordanne Jones in Metal Heart. Image: Supplied.
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Stuffed
You know you wanted a film about the taxidermy and here it is. Honestly, this stuff (excuse the pun) is a mystery to most of us, but US director Erin Derham takes our hands and introduces us to real-life taxidermists and shows us what they actually do.

Having its Australian premiere at Rev, this documentary examines the vastly unique lives of taxidermists in their various forms, from artists to taxidermists who work in natural history museums to those obsessed with the cryptozoological. What even is that? It's a pseudoscience that studies the potential existence of mythological creatures like Bigfoot. Mind-blowing stuff.

Under The Wire
Seven years after her death while covering the siege of Homs in Syria in 2012, The Sunday Times foreign correspondent Marie Colvin's courageous legacy lives on. You may know her face – she wore an eyepatch after an injury from an ambush in Sri Lanka – but this gripping documentary invites you to really grasp her courageous spirit.

Colvin was filmed by her long-time friend and photographer Paul Conroy during the Syrian conflict as they made a terrifying, dangerous journey to document a devastating moment in history. Colvin's extraordinary life was also distilled in the Golden-Globe nominate drama A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike.

Marie Colvin
Photographer Paul Conroy and war correspondent Marie Colvin in Under The Wire. Image: Supplied.

The Juniper Tree
Did you know music icon Björk made her screen debut back in 1986 in her home country of Iceland? Late filmmaker Nietzchka Keene's rarely seen 1990 medieval fantasy drama The Juniper Tree has been restored and has been described by The New Yorker as "a major rediscovery".

In this feminist adaptation of a dark Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Björk is Margit, a young woman who goes with her sister Katla (Bryndis Petra Bragadottir) to live with a farmer (Valdimar Orn Flygenring) after their mother killed for her involvement in witchcraft. A mysterious story of magic and family and the glorious Icelandic landscape make this a must-see.

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The Juniper Tree
Björk in The Juniper Tree. Image: Supplied.

Hail Satan?
Described as "a perfectly pitched portrait of those contemporary Satanists who are dedicated to reason, empathy, and freedom", Hail Satan? may not be quite as devilish as you might first assume.

US director Penny Lane scored candid access to the followers of The Satanic Temple, a nontheistic religious and political activist group based in Salem, Massachusetts (ooh, more witchy history!).

She joins them as they embark on campaigns like erecting a statue of Baphoment (who?) in response to a statue of the Ten Commandments.

It's a sly, smart and surprising antidote to Trump's conservative vision of America.

The Wind

Directed by Emma Tammi, this supernatural thriller set in the Western frontier of the late 1800s tells the story of Lizzy (Caitlin Gerard, Insidious: The Last Key) and her husband, Issac (Ashley Zukerman, Fear the Walking Dead) as they try to establish a new life in their small, lonely wooden farmhouse. When a young couple, Emma and Gideon Harper (Julia Goldani Telles, SlenderMan and Dylan McTee, Roswell, New Mexico), move in close by, Lizzy feels the empty loneliness of their existence might be at an end - but, of course, there are other factors at play.
The Wind is atmospheric and powerful, giving a new energy to the classic genre.

***

The Revelation Perth International Film Festival also has an immersive element this year: XR: WA, the state's largest exhibition of screen-based technology and content creation. Be sure to get involved in the VR, gameplay and other hands-on experiences across Perth.

And look out for a host of free events for families during the school holidays, as well as industry discussion sessions, live performances, masterclasses, and visual art exhibitions. Happy Rev!

Tickets are available online at www.revelationfilmfest.org or at the box office at Luna Leederville, Cinema Paradiso and Luna on SX. Many events and exhibitions are also free.

Revelation Perth International Film Festival

Revelation Perth International Film Festival celebrates its 22nd birthday from 4-17 July.
From humble beginnings it is now a mainstay of the WA arts calendar, attracting over 20,000 patrons viewing over 200 international films.
Revelation also includes industry discussion sessions, live performances, masterclasses, visual art exhibitions, an academic component and XR:WA, an exhibition of screen-based technology.
Revelation doesn't try to be all things to all people, but does have something for everybody. If individuality and identity, passion and politics, creativity and conversation are important to you, then don’t miss the 2019 Revelation Perth International Film Festival.
www.revelationfilmfest.org

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