96 Abbott St Cairns

End Credits Unseen Cinema Program 2016/17

4:30pm Sunday February 05

Dir. Feng Xiaogang - China (M) 128 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles

I Am Not Madame Bovary tells the satirical story of Li Xuelian (Fan Bingbing), a village woman accused of being an adulterer. After a ruling is made against her in her divorce case, she begins an annual “journey of petition” to Beijing in order to prove that her divorce was a sham and to redeem her reputation.
The film is an adaptation of Liu Zhenyun’s 2012 novel “I Am Not Pan Jinlian.”
The translators decided to find an equivalent character in Western literature for the English name of the film, settling on Madame Bovary.
Besides a critical story, Feng, the director employed revolutionary circular and square framing during filming and production. Circular (Fang) and Square (yuan) combining together in Chinese means ‘Renqing’ and rules , which obscurely transcends the meaning of the film, to ‘judge the contemporary society of China.

7:30pm Friday February 03

Dir. Ding Shen - China (M) 118 mins
Mandarin with English subtitles

Set in 1941, during World War 2, Jackie Chan’s latest action-packed comedy tells a story about a railroad worker, Ma Yuan (Chan), who leads a team of freedom fighters to derail the Japanese war effort by using his deep knowledge of the train network. His ragtag group find themselves on the wrong side of the tracks when they decide to ambush a heavily armed military train filled with desperately needed provisions.

Ambushing soldiers and stealing supplies and provisions to help poor and starving locals, this legendary team of partisans on the rail tracks become known by the Chinese people as the “Railroad Tigers” .

Harkening back to Jackie Chan’s classic Hong Kong films, the dazzling set pieces and action scenes rival anything seen on the big screen before.

JULIETA 4:30pm Sunday December 18

Spain (M) 99 mins

Straight from its Cannes Competition berth, Pedro Almodóvar’s new film is a dramatic, emotional story of a woman’s loves and regrets told in the master’s distinctive style.

Adapted from Alice Munro’s short stories, Julieta (Adriana Ugarte) is about to leave Madrid to live in Portugal when she runs into Bea (Michelle Jenner), the childhood friend of her daughter Antía. This chance meeting sets off a range of emotions in Julieta, and she begins to write a long and revealing letter to her daughter – one filled with regret, guilt and love. With a sense of mystery, an expressive score and his trademark use of vibrant colour, Almodóvar has made a film of spellbinding beauty.

“It might be familiar territory for Almodóvar, but only a master of his art could make it look so easy. Extremely moving. “
Dave Calhoun – Time Out London


4:30pm Sunday December 11
Italy (M) 86 mins

Not many films can boast the near equivalent of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ three-week ticket sales in its first weekend, but that’s exactly what Where Am I Going? achieved when it opened in Italy earlier this year. Indeed this hilarious comedy now stands as the highest-grossing film in Italian cinema history, earning over 60 million Euros.

The story takes a not-so-subtle dig at the Italian obsession of pursuing a cushy public service job-for-life, with a generous pension and the seeming impossibility of termination, once secured.

Co-writer Luca Medici stars as his much-celebrated comic character, Checco Zalone, a middle-aged slacker from Southern Italy who goes to great lengths to hold onto his pen-pushing position – even if it means being sent to the North Pole or Africa.

Love, however, just might be his undoing… Striking a delicious balance between non-stop gags and some very pointed cultural criticism, the phenomenal success of Where Am I Going? is proof that 90 minutes of hilarity is the perfect antidote to the world’s doom and gloom.


4:30pm Sunday November 27
France/Australia (M) 96 mins

Dir. Sophie Mathisen

It’s over a year since Anna split with John and life in London seems only to be getting harder. She isn’t landing auditions and the pressure from family to make it work or call it quits is ever increasing. Dreading a future as uncertain as the present, Anna travels to Paris and to the home of her best friend Jean.

Life for Jean seems stable. He’s given up acting and is settling down with his French partner Philippe. The timing of Anna’s arrival isn’t great however; Philippe’s mother is dying and it’s taking its toll on them both. Thankful for an excuse to escape, Jean dedicates his time and attention to Anna who herself is devoted to another task entirely.

DRAMA is a story of the selves we once were and the selves we long to be. Most importantly, it’s an honest portrayal of people at their worst, trying to do their best.


4:30pm Sunday November 13
Iran (M) 102 mins

Dir. Vahid Jalilvand,

Why would someone give money away? What sort of consolation can that offer? On May 9, Jayal Ashtiyani, a teacher, has
offered to provide a significant sum of money to a worthy person in need. His advertisement in the local Tehran newspaper has encouraged people to come to his office and make a convincing appeal. But how will he, and the police, deal with the throngs of needy candidates who assemble? How does he decide who’s actually the most worthy? Creating tension at every turn, Wednesday, May 9 draws its audience deep into the tangled web of the predicaments it raises.
Stars Niki Karimi.

Winner of the FIPRESCI Award, Venice Film Festival 2015

“Jalilvand and his fine cast create considerable tension…
so effective” – David Stratton, The Australian

“The humanism of the finest Iranian cinema shines through”
– The Hollywood Reporter


4:30pm Sunday October 23
Spain/Argentina (MA) 109 mins

When theatre actor Julián (Ricardo Darín) receives an unexpected visit from his childhood friend Tomás (Javier Cámara), the encounter is bittersweet.

This reunion is their first meeting in many years, triggered by Julián’s diagnosis with a serious illness. Tomás is baffled by his friend’s decision to forgo continued treatment and instead focus on putting his affairs in order: distributing possessions, reconciling past disputes, and, most importantly, finding a home for his beloved Staffordshire terrier, Truman.

It’s this task that is causing Julián the greatest concern. Over four days, as the two men walk the streets of Madrid visiting bookshops, restaurants, doctors, and veterinarians, they examine their lives, speculating on what the future holds.

In this gem of a film that swept the 2016 Goya Awards, Cámara and Darín convincingly depict the ease and rapport that only a life-long connection allows. With characteristic sensitivity, director Cesc Gay finds great dignity and humour in ordinary lives, delivering a funny, moving and hugely entertaining reflection on male relationships.

4:30pm Sunday September 25
JAPAN (M) 128 mins

We have experienced bromance and soromance in the cinema, and now it is time for some siblingmance in this new movie from Hirokazu Kore-eda, adapted by him from the manga by Akimi Yoshida. It’s a family drama in the classic Japanese style, which Kore-eda has done so much personally to revivify.

Three sisters - Sachi, Yoshino and Chika - live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father - absent from the family home for the last 15 years - dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them.

Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings...Boasting a narrative of extraordinary complexity and density, stuffed with irony, humor and tales-within-tales. It is impossible not to be touched and beguiled by it.

4:30pm Sunday September 11

“The greatest film ever made about the Amazon. The dichromatic palette sets the film firmly in the past—one with just a hint of real history, like a brittle old issue of National Geographic come to life. The mysteries keep piling up through the final frames, when black-and-white film can’t contain the story any longer and it bursts with unworldly color. You won’t want to wake up.”

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT tells the epic story of the first contact, encounter, approach, betrayal and, eventually, life-transcending friendship, between Karamakate, an amazonian shaman, last survivor of his people, and two scientists that, over the course of 40 years, become the first men to travel the Northwest Amazon in search of ancestral knowledge. Inspired by the journals of the first explorers of the Colombian Amazon, German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grunberg and American botanist Richard Evans Schultes.

Karamakate, a powerful Amazonian shaman, last survivor of his people, dwells deep in the jungle, in voluntary isolation. Decades of solitude have turned him into a chullachaqui, an empty shell of a human, devoid of memories and emotion. His hollow life is shaken with the arrival of Evan, an American ethnobotanist in search of the Yakruna, a powerful sacred plant, capable of teaching how to dream. Together they embark on a journey into the heart of the Amazon in which past, present and future are intertwined, and in which Karamakate will slowly begin to regain his lost memories.

"Visually and emotionally stunning."
Stephen Romei - The Australian


4:30pm Sunday August 21
JAPAN (M) 113 mins

AN was the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section at last years Cannes Film Festival as well as screening at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

An is a sweet bean paste served between two small pancakes, a traditional snack called dorayaki in Japan.

The film centres on Sentaro, a dorayaki seller played by Masatoshi Nagase, once the coolest guy in Japanese cinema. Jim Jarmusch used him in 1989 in Mystery Train.

Here, he lives alone above his tiny shop, in a corner of Tokyo. In April, the neighbourhood is briefly transformed by cherry blossom, from a street of magnificent old trees.

That’s when he meets an old lady, Tokue (Kirin Kiki), who notices the Help Wanted sign in his window. Is there really no age restriction, she asks? There is none, but he did not expect a 76-year-old woman with bent-up hands to apply.

Through the friendship of the old lady and the withdrawn younger man, director Naomi Kawase looks hard at what it means to be Japanese in the modern era.

ROCKS IN MY POCKETS 7:30pm Thursday August 18
US (M) 88 mins

Director Signe Baumane is the 2016 special guest of The Australian International Animation Festival - Brisbane and she stops off in Cairns for this special pre-festival Q& A screening of her multi-award winning feature animation.

Rocks In My Pockets is a story of mystery and redemption. The film is based on true events involving five women of Signe Baumane’s family, including herself, and their battles with depression and suicide. It raises questions of how much family genetics determine who we are and if it is possible to outsmart one’s own DNA. The film is packed with visual metaphors, surreal images and a twisted sense of humor. It is an animated tale full of art, women, strange daring stories, Latvian accents, history, nature, adventure and more.

...told with remorseless psychological intelligence, wicked irony and an acerbic sense of humor.
—Nicholas Rapold, NEW YORK TIMES


4:30pm Sunday August 7
ITALY (M) 107 mins

Winner - Ecumencial Prize - 2015 Festival de Cannes

Acclaimed Italian auteur Nanni Moretti returns to brilliant form with his semi-autobiographical and award-winning new dramedy MIA MADRE, with the stunning Margherita Buy starring as a director struggling to balance life and art.

Margherita (Buy) is directing a new social drama, set against the backdrop of an industrial dispute. Try as she may to remain professional, the emotional turmoil of her private life is taking a toll: an affair with one of her actors (Enrico Ianniello) has come to an end, her adolescent daughter (Beatrice Mancini) is failing Latin, but most troubling is the recent hospitalization of her formidable, beloved mother Ada (Giulia Lazzarini). Whilst her brother Giovanni (Moretti) gradually allows himself to be engulfed by his mother’s last days, taking extended leave to prolong his bedside vigil.

Margherita’s tough schedule makes more than a daily visit tricky. Meanwhile, the famous American actor Barry Huggins (the fabulous John Turturro) has arrived, a needy and capricious personality whose brash presence on set sees things go from bad to worse, and whose general ineptitude might finally push Margherita over the edge...

With characteristic openness to life’s big questions, Moretti’s mature and hugely entertaining film skillfully manoeuvres between pathos and comedy as it considers the uneasy relationship between artistic ambition and everyday life, the real and the imagined. Widely acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival as Moretti’s best film since the Palme d’Or winning The Son’s Room, MIA MADRE is another rich and affectingly humanist work from one of world cinema’s true masters.


4:30pm Sunday July 3
ICELAND (PG) 89 mins

WINNER Cannes International Film Festival 2015, Un Certain Regard

WINNER Zurich International Film Festival 2015, Best International Feature Film

Who would have thought that a tale about sheep in rural Iceland could bring tears to your eyes? Grímur Hakonarson’s RAMS does just that.

Majestically shot in a spectacular, weather-swept valley, this wryly observed fable about two brothers who are more obstinate than the sheep they breed begins as a droll comedy about rural life and grows into a graceful and mythic tale about family, community and legacy.

Their world is upended when the valley comes under threat from infection. While neighbours abandon their land, each brother tries to stave off disaster: Kiddi by taking action, and Gummi by using his wits.

As the authorities close in, there’s every reason for them to set aside a lifetime of hostility to save their special breed, and their unique way of life, from extinction. But can they?

The hugely-popular winner of the Un Certain Regard Best Film Prize at the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival (awarded by a Jury led by Isabella Rossellini), and greeted with a thunderous 10 minute standing ovation at its premiere, Hákonarson effortlessly balances humour and pathos to tell a tale that feels both intimate and epic, a loving portrait of both culture and family in a place where change doesn’t come easily.



4:30pm Sunday June 5
AU (MA) 86 mins

In the old pawnbroker's in the heart of Melbourne's Footscray, world weary Les Underwood (John Brumpton) watches as the lives of people who come through his door collide, change and unravel. From blossoming romance to desperate last gambles, these twelve people's stories represent the best and the worst of one day in the life of this mixed up suburb.

“The quintessential modern Australian tale.” - The Age

“PAWNO is a gem. Funny, smart and surprising. It’s a ripper!” - Mick Molloy

“Nothing less than perfect” - Cinema Australia

“Pawno a slice of inner-west life” …makes a virtue out of a single distinctive locale…this ruminative slice of inner-west life moves from one distinctive character to the next - Sydney Morning Herald – Craig Mathieson

“A mesmerizing Australian story. Full of superbly drawn unforgettable characters and humour. Superbly directed.” - Steve Vizard

“A bolt from the blue. Who said Aussie cinema was dead. It lives in Footscray.. I loved this film, loved it, loved it!” - Margaret Pomeraz


4:30pm Sunday May 29
NZ/SAMOA (PG) 89 mins

A grassroots comedy about what it takes for a New Zealand born Samoan to transform into a 'real island guy.'

Adam ( Neil Amituanai ) is a 22 year old New Zealand born Samoan guy who falls for Mary ( Gloria Ofa Blake.) On a 'chance' encounter he learns that Mary only wants to go out with a 'real island guy' - not a plastic one.

Adam realizes that to get rid of his 'plastic' ways and impress Mary, he'll have to travel to Samoa and have his cousins teach him how to be a real island guy.

For some it's a nostalgic trip back to the islands, and for others a first time glimpse into true Samoan culture on the big screen.

The self-funded film by first time writer-director-producer Stallone Vaiaoga-Ioasa has been the surprise hit of the new Zealand summer as audiences overdosed on island humour..

Fresh TV's Mr Lavalava series stars Vito Vito, and Fesuiai Viliamu play the "wise cousins" from Samoa, Tavita and Mose.


4:30pm Sunday April 24
IR (M) 82 mins

A taxi driver is driving through the vibrant streets of Tehran.
Diverse passengers enter the taxi, each candidly expressing their views while being interviewed by the driver who is no one else but the director Jafar Panahi himself.
His camera placed on the dashboard of his car, transforms the car into a mobile film studio, and captures the spirit and contradictions of Iranian society through this comedic and dramatic drive.
Banned from travelling and making films in 2010, Jafar Panahi has astonished audiences with his award-winning films including The White Balloon and The Circle, and now Tehran Taxi.

Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.


4:30pm Sunday April 10
US (MA) 124 mins

Fred (Michael Caine) and Mick (Harvey Keitel), two old friends, are on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps.
Fred, a composer and conductor, is now retired. Mick, a film director, is still working. They look with curiosity and tenderness on their children’s confused lives, Micks enthusiastic young writers, and the other hotel guests. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. But someone wants at all costs to hear him conduct again. YOUTH is a beautifully crafted study of age, memory, love and yearning directed by Paolo Sorrentino (THE GREAT BEAUTY).

"We watch films in the hope that we get to have experiences like this"
Jarrod Walker - FILMINK - Full review .


4:30pm Sunday March 20
FRANCE (M) 106 mins

A captivating new star is born in THE BÉLIER FAMILY, Eric Lartigau’s fabulous, heart-felt comedy hit about a young girl whose close bond to her hearing-impaired family is challenged by the discovery of an extraordinary talent for music.
In the Bélier family, everyone is deaf, except dutiful sixteen-year-old Paula (beautiful newcomer Louane Emera). She acts as an indispensable interpreter for her parents and younger brother, especially in the running of the family dairy farm.
Though her salt-of-the-earth father (François Damiens) has decided to run for mayor – spurred on by her vivacious but over-involved mother (indelibly portrayed by Karin Viard) – Paula’s attentions are very much elsewhere. She’s witnessed the handsome new boy at school sign up for the choir, and impulsively joined too. It’s not long before her music teacher (Éric Elmosnino) discovers her considerable talent, however his encouragement only exacerbates the matter of Paula’s independence…
Building to a heart-soaring and emotional finale, THE BÉLIER FAMILY is a feel-great triumph. Emera, making her screen debut after being discovered on the French edition of The Voice, is a genuine revelation – she lends both sincerity and joy to this deeply moving film that has been a word-of-mouth phenomenon across Europe, achieving over 10 million admissions to date and becoming France’s most popular film of 2015

* * * * * * * * *

WINNER – 2015 LUMIERE AWARDS – Best Actress (Viard), Best Female Newcomer (Emera)
WINNER – 2015 CÉSAR AWARDS – Best Female Newcomer (Emera)
NOMINEE – 2015 CÉSAR AWARDS – Best Film, Best Actress (Viard), Best Actor (Damiens), Best Supporting Actor (Elmosnino), Best Female Newcomer (Emera), Best Original Screenplay
NOMINEE – 2015 EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS – Best European Comedy
- Link to ticket and session information


7:30pm Friday March 11 and 12
AU(M) 92mins


Celebrating its landmark 25th year, Flickerfest, Australia’s leading Academy® Award accredited and BAFTA-recognised Short Film Festival, and the country’s largest Australian & International short film competition, screening the best of shorts from Australia and around the world for our 2016 Festival.

Flickerfest screens for 10 days under the summer stars at Bondi Beach in January 2016, with selected highlights touring Australia on a 50+ venue national tour from Jan - May 2016. Flickerfest remains a platform for celebrating the most entertaining and innovative short filmmaking from around the world.

Flickerfest Tour 2016 arrives at CoCA, Friday 11 March opening with Best Of Australian Shorts (7:30pm), and continues on Saturday 12 March with the Best Of International (4:30pm) and Short Laughs Comedy programs (7:30pm).

Don't miss a one-off chance to see these amazing shorts before they continue their journey around the world; curated from the Flickerfest in competition screenings at Bondi, expect to experience the best in short filmmaking Australia (& the world) has on offer.
- Link to Ticket and session information


4:30pm Sunday February 21
CH/HK/TAI (M) 104mins

An Official 2016 Chinese New Year event in association with CADCAI, (Cairns and District Chinese Association Inc.)

Shu Qi plays the eponymous killer in this ravishingly beautiful foray into historical martial-arts territory from Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien.

The Assassin is a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie that boldly merges stasis and kinesis, turns momentum into abstraction, and achieves breathtaking new heights of compositional elegance: Shot for shot, it’s perhaps the most ravishingly beautiful film Hou has ever made, and certainly one of his most deeply transporting. Centered around a quietly riveting performance from Shu Qi, the film is destined for an audience to which gore-seekers with short attention spans need not apply.

- Link to ticket and session information

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