Tag Archives: Festival

Art and About on Sydney streets

Sydneysiders may have come across a touch of artistic flair  throughout the city streets in the last few weeks and, the good news is, you’re not losing your mind! The collaborative arts festival, Art & About, is currently underway in town and it’s brought a riot of colour along for the ride.

Sydney Life – large-scale photographs of this year’s 22 finalists.

Up till October 21, locals can revel in an array of arresting art and inspiring creativity that utilises unconventional public spaces as its canvas. The theme for 2012 is Colour! How artists play with varying shades and the influence it has on how we experience the space around us, is celebrated with a curious collection of exhibitions and events.

Open street art.

Whether it’s city laneways, busy streets, popular galleries or public gardens, no space is off limits for this dynamic festival. This year’s line-up includes a house that rains on the inside, ghosts of bohemian Sydney, eerie faces in the park, an urban jungle cube and free vintage bus rides.

By the Pool by Louise Whelan from Sydney Life.

Head to Hyde Park where 3D images projected onto trees will unveil the faces, past and present, who shaped the natural haven, or visit The Hotel Australia that will be revived through a large-scale video installation to its former glory of entertaining the ‘who’s who’ of society before it’s demolition in the 70s.

Last drinks: one more round at The Hotel Australia.

An inspired feast for the senses; the visual fun is combined with a month of music in unusual spaces with Modular and the City of Sydney co-presenting a series of secret lunch-time gigs. Art & About Facebook followers will be privy to gig details featuring some of Sydney’s best up-and-coming bands with one mission – to enliven the city’s most popular haunts!

Always was, always will be by Reko Rennie.

“A uniquely Sydney experience, Art & About rethinks the way contemporary art is presented to the public, engaging artists to produce projects across all artistic forms in unusual locations – projects that allow us to see the city and ourselves differently, and that inspire thought, emotion and change,” says Gill Minervini, Creative Director/Producer – Events, City of Sydney.

Ed and Ruby rates: Night, lunchtime, weekend and children itinerary suggestions for the festival. Check them out here.

Visit Art & About for more details.

Have you experienced Art & About? If so, what’s been your favourite event?

I wish you hadn’t asked by James Dive and The Glue Society. Photography by Nicolai Lorenzen.

Friendly billboards! These cheeky installations from Sydney-based artist, Jasper Knight, and architect, Isabelle Toland, are popping up in various city locations encouraging you to take rest at a comfy chair nearby or simply indulge you with a wink or smile!

Now and Then: creating a window into the past.

Spring to life by paper engineer, Benja Harney.


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Interview: Fabrizio Maltese, international photographer/SFF Hub main attraction

This June, the Sydney Film Festival will play host to international photographer Fabrizio Maltese. He’s the star attraction at the new Film Festival Hub, which we’ve spoken about recently here. He’s renowned for his film-related photography, snapping some of the world’s most famous faces including Woody Allen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Fassbender, Jeff Bridges and more.

Locals can now revel in the Paris-born photographer’s mesmerising large-scale photographic portraits of iconic film stars and filmmakers at the festival’s Hub. Here we chat to Fabrizio about his work and inspirations.

Fabrizio Maltese

What is it about the Sydney Film Festival that appeals to you?

I’ve never been to Sydney or even Australia, so that’s exciting for a start. I love exploring new cities and new festivals and, on top of that, the Festival Hub is something new to the Sydney which is very exciting to be a part of.

Describe your photographic style in three words?

I would have to say that the right answer to this question should come from the critics, not the photographer. But if I had to choose three words, I would say: intimate, cinematic, and inquisitive.

How did you get involved in professional photography and photographing celebrities?

I started out photographing the student unrest in my native Italy in the 1980s. I would take portraits of my classmates as well as demonstrations in the street. I came back to photography later and started doing celebrity portraits because I was involved with the film festival circuit so, naturally, the most interesting people to portray were the filmmakers and actors themselves.

What made you pick up your first camera?

One of the strongest influences on my developing visual sense as a youngster was Woody Allen’s film Manhattan, with its gorgeous widescreen black and white photography by Gordon Willis, who also shot the Godfather films. I’ve it so many times and it never fails to impress. My interest in portraits was fuelled by the intrigue in exploring and suggesting the character of a person portrayed in a still image. Portraits allow the viewer to enter into the intimate space of the person portrayed.

Have you ever been star struck when photographing celebrities?

I work with famous artists for a living but I don’t tend to be impressed very much by the fact that they are famous. I wouldn’t be able to do my job, otherwise! Of course there are certain subjects whose work I admire more than others but, even then, for me it’s always very specific. I like the work of actress X in film Y, which makes it much easier to deal with, as I’m impressed with a specific performance rather than the person per se.

What are you inspired by at the moment?

I’m inspired by performances and the mechanisms that lead to a strong performance. The transformation of one person into another is fascinating to me and, as a photographer, a rich source of inspiration since I need to try and peel back the layer of performance to try and capture something of the person.

Is there a key element you try to capture in your work?

In the case of actors, specifically, I try to pierce what you could call the ‘performance barrier’, to get them to not perform as the ‘actor in public’ they so often seem to play when promoting a film. I try to find and put something of their own personality in the portraits I shoot. The results depend a lot on the person and their mood, which can be fragile or defensive, but I always try to establish some kind of connection between the person I’m portraying and myself, behind the camera, to capture something previously unseen that I can then share with the audience.

What has been your favourite photographic assignment to date?

I get this question a lot and each time my answer is different! I shot Gary Oldman in Venice last year for the world premiere of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I was a big fan of the novel the film’s based on when I was a youngster, so I was intimately familiar with the character Gary portrayed so well in the film. We talked a lot before the shoot, and then when it was time to actually take the pictures, things were very easy and straightforward. It was all very natural.

If you could shoot anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

I don’t have a place-specific wish list but I do love to discover new places and absorb the essence of them. I love open spaces, abandoned places and metropolitan areas, they all have interesting textures and opportunities for unexpected compositions. Any place can become a new favourite place; it’s my job to quickly assess from which angle to capture it!

Fabrizio will photograph Sydney Film Festival guests throughout the event, adding new work to the exhibition daily.

Sydney Film Festival

Where: SFF Hub – Lower Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney 2000
When: 7-17 June, from 5-10pm
How Much: FREE

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R-16 Korea – Urban Arts Festival & World B-Boy Championships

R-16 Korea is an international festival and competition held in Korea showcasing the world’s top-class break dancers. It’s proudly presented by the Korea Tourism Organsation and sets the stage for the world’s top dancers, musical performers and graffiti artists.

Created and produced by Cartel Creative Inc., R-16 began in 2007 as somewhat of an experiment to promote and celebrate the growth and creativity behind the urban youth culture. Becoming a success and receiving an abundance of international attention, R-16 has now become an annual event.

The festival’s main feature showcases 16 of the world’s top b-boy crews battling it out in two categories: best crew performance and best crew battle. Making the selection for the top 16 crews isn’t easy, each group must compete and place at a R-16 preliminary tournament in their region if they’re to make the festival’s cut. During the month of May, R-16 tournaments will be held in West Europe, Thailand, Central Asia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia to unveil the best of each region. South East Asia, the Middle East and North America will follow shortly after.

R-16 World Championships will be held July 6-8. More details closer to the date.

Image: R-16 Korea

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Interview: Matt Ravier, director, The Festivalists (programmers of SFF Hub)

For the first time ever, The Sydney Film Festival will feature a festival ‘Hub’ at Lower Town Hall. It’s planned to be an alternate way to engage with the event, featuring exhibitions, screenings, talks, panels, parties, live music, performances and DJs from 5pm-10pm, 7-17 June. The free pop-up event is just another highlight in Sydney’s dynamic cultural calendar. The hub’s headline attraction will be an exclusive photography exhibition by the renowned European photographer, Fabrizio Maltese, who has been published in Elle, Sunday Telegraph UK, De Filmkrant, Grazia and soon edandruby.com (stay tuned).

We chat with Matt Ravier, director of The Festivalists (programmers of the Film Festival Hub) for more details.

What are you most excited about at the Sydney Film Festival this year?

Like most film lovers in Sydney, I await the festival’s program reveal with bated breath! Among the few titles revealed so far, two have captured my imagination: the gorgeous looking Sundance winner Beasts of the Southern Wild and Miguel Gomes’ black & white Tabu, which seems informed by the power and magic of cinema, past and present.

I’m particularly interested to discover which films make up the Official Competition, which celebrates filmmakers that aren’t afraid to take risks. In an era when commercial imperatives limit the diversity of what makes it onto our screens, these films challenge us to take a chance on something different and ponder the transformative power of cinema.

In the Festival Hub, we’ll be unveiling a brand new exhibition by Paris-based photographer Fabrizio Maltese, who travels to some of the world’s most prestigious festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and for the fist time, Sydney) to take portraits of actors and directors. I can’t wait to share Maltese beautiful work with Sydneysiders.

What can visitors expect from the new Sydney Film Festival Hub?

It will be the ideal place to catch up with friends for a drink before or after a screening. It’s a chance to break down the barriers between Festival guests, local film industry and film lovers who attend the Festival, and get everyone to mingle and have a good time. Events will range from serious panel discussions to not so serious performances, such as Cinema Burlesque, in which some of Sydney’s most talented burlesque artists will take to the stage with acts inspired by their favourite cult movies.

What will the hub look like? 

The Hub takes over Lower Town Hall on George St in Sydney: a thousand square meters transformed into a bar, theatrette, art gallery and live music venue. Justin Nardella from Bright Young Things will design the space, but revealing too much about it now would ruin the element of surprise. Come see for yourself from June 7th!

What: Sydney Film Festival Hub – Where: Lower Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney 2000 – When: 7-17 June, from 5pm-10pm – How much: FREE – More info: www.sff.org.au

Don’t miss our interview with photographer Fabrizio Maltese, SFF Hub’s headline attraction – coming soon.

Matt Ravier with SFF enthusiasts

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