Perth Festival Lotterywest Films: Season Two Line Up Revealed

The line up for the second season of the Perth Festival’s essential Lotterywest Films run has been announced, and it’s a stunner. How do you manage to follow up a first season which had brilliant films like Good TimeThe SquareFaces PlacesGods Own Country and Thelma? Well, you throw in a bunch of acclaimed films like the BAFTA Award nominated I am Not a Witch, the Oscar hopeful Foxtrot, and a documentary focused on the late great Dr G. Yunupingu, Gurrumul. Those three would be my picks for ‘must see’ films at the second part of the festival.

For the full rundown, read the press release below and mark down those dates in your calendar.


Our second season of films fills up our summer with an eye-popping, globe-crossing tour – all from the seats of Perth’s very best outdoor cinemas.

Your journey under the stars begins on 12 February on Australia’s remote Elcho Island with the sublime musical heroism of Gurrumul and ends in the lofty Swiss Alps as women win their right to vote in The Divine Order .

In between, you will fall in love with young actor Charlie Plummer starring with Steve Buscemi and Chloe Sevigny in Lean on Pete, the heart-rending drama about a homeless Oregon teenager and his adopted horse.

Before the Lotterywest Films season ends on 15 April, you will share some cinematic magic with Juliette Binoche and Gerard Depardieu in the wry Parisian comedy-of-manners Let the Sunshine In.

Experience the bizarre futility of Israeli military life in Foxtrot and watch hell break loose in Iceland when suburban neighbours go to war over a tree that needs pruning in Under the Tree.

Follow a backpacker’s quixotic African adventure in Gabriel and the Mountain, spend time with a young girl in Zambia’s real-life witch camps in I am Not a Witch, and take a gentle ramble with a disillusioned architect reunited with his childhood elephant companion in the moving Thai-Singaporean mid-life drama Pop Aye.

Season Two of Lotterywest Films showcases a fresh array of international cinema, including four Australian premieres, at UWA Somerville and ECU Joondalup Pines.

‘Come and explore the world with us under the stars at our beautiful outdoor cinemas,’ said Lotterywest Films Program Manager Tom Vincent.

‘We are honoured to have Gurrumul opening the Season Two program. This film is a beautiful celebration of the life and career of one of our greatest musicians, the late Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Opening night on February 12 is set to be a truly magical evening, with special guests Johno Yunupingu and Michael Hohnen presenting a live musical accompaniment and director Paul Williams introducing the film.’

For the first time, all the short films that precede selected features are Western Australian.

Carnal Privilege, produced by filmmakers at the WA Screen Academy, follows a staunchly vegan punk band on their way to their first big break where they face some ethical dilemmas.

There are four evocative short documentaries created by State high school students from Perth and Karratha, with the help of some of our state’s finest filmmaking talent. Inspired by Perth Festival’s Museum of Water, The Source,Small Flowers are Better for This Occasion, Water Odyssey and Air Bersih explore why water is important to us.

To coincide with a focus on architecture at Writers Week, our Living Architectures retrospective delves into how the built environment can makes us feel. Filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine take us through great buildings where we meet the quirky people that live with them.

As part of the Perth Works program of works-in-progress showings, director Richard Todd and 2018 AACTA award winning editor Lawrie Silverstin will give a glimpse into the creative process with rough cuts of scenes from Dying to Live, a documentary about organ and tissue transplants.

Festival favourites in the Lotterywest Films program include:


Foxtrot is director Samuel Maoz’s daring, extraordinary film that moves deftly between a family’s grief and the almost surreal life of guarding the northern Israeli border. It’s the kind of intelligent, razor-sharp filmmaking that has earned it a serious shot at an Oscar. Australian Premiere.

“One of the year’s best… a film that can swing between absurdist humour and brutal gut-punch sadness in a way that’s rare [and] truly profound.” – The Playlist


Fresh from the Venice Film Festival, Under the Tree was an audience and critics favourite. This is black Scandi comedy pushed to Viking-like bloody extremes as two middle-aged neighboring couples keep raising the stakes in their dispute over a tree, taking no prisoners from either side of the suburban fence. Australian Premiere.

Near-perfect calibration between family drama and black comedy,’ The Hollywood Reporter


After a minor incident in her superstitious village, nine-year-old Shula is exiled to a camp to live with fellow ‘witches’. Full of satirical humor and strange beauty, I am Not a Witch director Rungano Nyoni combines the qualities of strange fairytale and real-world exploration for one of the most striking debut films of recent years.

‘A magic realist fable set in present-day Zambia that has plenty to say about gender and superstition.’ The Times


Middle-aged Thanna is feeling out of sorts in the city. A chance encounter reunites him with his beloved childhood elephant companion Pop Aye. Thrilled, Thanna immediately takes Pop Aye to connect with their shared past.

‘They say the journey is often more meaningful than the destination, but both prove moving in Pop Aye.’ IndieWire


Despite the feminist upheavals of the previous decade, it’s 1971 and the women in affluent, cozy Switzerland still do not have the right to vote. In a small alpine village, demure housewife Nora bands together with a rabble of hippies, grannies and other outsiders, and a surprising suffrage movement is born. Petra Volpe’s feel-good social comedy-drama won the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award for its quirky take on a key social and political moment.

‘Radiates an infectious admiration for the courage shown by its heroines in the face of immense obstacles.’ Variety 


                            UWA SOMERVILLE    ECU JOONDALUP PINES


12 – 18 Feb Gurrumul  Thelma
19 –  25 Feb Lean on Pete Gurrumul
26 Feb – 4 Mar Let the Sunshine In Lean on Pete
Mon – Sun, 7.30pm Tues – Sun, 7.30pm
5 – 11 Mar Foxtrot Let the Sunshine In
12 – 18 Mar Under the Tree Foxtrot
19 – 25 Mar Gabriel an the Mountain Under the Tree
26 Mar – 1 Apr I am Not a Witch Gabriel and the Mountain
2 – 8 Apr Pop Aye The Divine Order
9 – 15 Apr The Divine Order Pop Aye
Andrew has been a film lover all of his life. For a while now he's been talking about how great films are and usually that's been directly to his wife, Bernadette. Now with AB Film Review everyone else in the world can listen to what Andrew has to say to his wife. Bernadette grew up renting videos from a Plains Video. She mostly hired out Cry Baby and wore the tape thin learning the lines to the John Waters classic. After a series of arguments in the car ride home with her husband, Andrew, the two decided to record their arguments and launch them into the world for everyone to listen to.