Nine films from Australia coming next month to Palm Springs event

FESTIVAL: Some stars known to American audiences will be among those highlighted.

10:00 PM PST on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Special to The Press-Enterprise

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is bringing a little bit of the outback to the desert.

New this year to the annual film festival is a program spotlighting Australian cinema.

The program, "G'Day USA: A Showcase of Australian Cinema," will be shown on Jan. 9 and will showcase nine films. And a good number of the films star actors known to American audiences.

Anthony LaPaglia, who was on the CBS drama "Without a Trace," stars in "The Balibo Conspiracy" about five Australian journalists who were murdered by the Indonesian army during the invasion of East Timor.

"Brothers and Sisters" actress Rachel Griffiths stars in "Beautiful Kate" about a man who returns to his childhood home in the Australian outback to find out how his family's dysfunctional past.

"Last Ride" stars "The Matrix" actor Hugo Weaving as a man who takes his son on an unknown journey through the desert dealing with not just the elements but each other.

Weaving's "Lord of the Rings" co-star Miranda Otto is in "Blessed" which is a film broken into two parts: one from the view of troubled children wandering the streets and then the point of view of the mothers who are struggling at home. Hugh Jackman's wife Deborra-Lee Furness also stars.

The other films being shown include "In My Father's Country," "My Year Without Sex," "Lucky Country," "Samson & Delilah" and the 1971 thriller "Wake in Fright" starring Donald Pleasence of "Halloween" fame.

Other programs at this year's film festival are the screening of 41 of 65 of the Best Foreign Language Oscar award with "Awards Buzz," "New Voices/New Visions Award" which will honor one international talent making their first or second film and the "John SchlesingerAward" for Outstanding First Feature or Documentary.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs from Jan. 5-18 at various locations in Palm Springs. For more information about the festival, including ticketing and a full list of the films screening,


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