Laila Dickson on the Oz Film Festival

Screenjabber's Stuart O'Connor chats with Laila Dickson, director of the Oz Film Festival – which this year features an eclectic mix of new and significant Australian features, documentaries, comedies and dramas at London's Regent Street Cinema over the first weekend in July.

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The 2017 Oz Film Festival

Kicking off on Friday June 30 at the Regent Street Cinema in central London, the weekend-long Oz Film Festival features a range of stunning new Australian films as well as a pair of classics that this year celebrate anniversaries.

The opening night film (now sold out) is Jasper Jones, a riveting and moving Australian coming of age story set over the scorching summer of 1968 and starring Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving and Angourie Rice. Based on the bestselling novel by screenwriter Craig Silvey, Jasper Jones is the story of Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town's mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie's life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. 

Saturday sees the return of two favourites: Strictly Ballroom, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and Dogs In Space, celebrating its 30th. Saturday night sees the screening of Hounds of Love, a stunning debut from filmmaker Ben Young. Loosely based on a pair of real serial killers who haunted Perth in the 1980s, Hounds of Love stars Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings and Stephen Curry.

Sunday July 2 has three UK premieres. First is the profoundly moving LGBT documentary Remembering the Man, narrated by the author of the internationally bestselling biography Holding the Man. Then comes Red Dog: True Blue, a prequel to the highly successful Red Dog (2011) – a delightful family film about the making of a legend through the love of a boy, in the harsh Australian outback. And closing the festival is The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, a fascinating feature tat exploresthe life and loves of a unique individual. Otto Bloom is going backwards in time – his body is aging normally but his consciousness is doing the reverse.

• For full programme details and to buy tickets head to the Regent Street Cinema

• You can follow @OZfilmfest on Twitter

oz film festival dogs in space hounds of love june 2017 embed

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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