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Incoming Artistic Director Megan Spencer is energised by taking the reins for the 10th Revelation Film Festival, of which she has always been a big fan. She tells Urban Cinefile about her dedication to this milestone event, which champions risk taking filmmakers.

Why I took the gig:
I've always been a huge fan of Revelation - it's been my favourite Australian film festival for many years - largely because of its unique program and programming agenda. Revelation has strenuously fought to keep alive a certain outlaw independent spirit, one that is rapidly diminishing at some of the larger film festivals (and certainly within the mainstream exhibition and distribution environment), as commercial imperatives creep in and threaten to strangle the life out of them!

To me Rev has always been the outlaw festival, its spirit defined by creative risk-taking and free expression. It’s where the outrageous is adored, the outlandish is celebrated and the innovative justly rewarded. It's a space that has been hard won and hard fought, that honours the best that has 'gone before' and welcomes the best 'now' has to offer. How could I say no to programming a festival like that!

I think Rev holds a very important place within the national cinema landscape - and the international film environment. Having been a part of many previous Revelations as either a filmmaker, guest and/or critic/reporter, I'd seen close up the great work that Festival Director Richard Sowada had done for the nine years previous to this. I hope to contribute to that legacy and to continue this great work, this year.

What I'm trying to do with it:
Again, I'm trying to continue the great work that has come before, to honour its spirit and pioneering work in introducing some seriously spectacular films to both the local and national audience, and to further develop the conversation Rev has with audiences about the state of independent film in Australia and overseas.

Plus I'd like to assist the Festival to grow. Along with Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, Revelation is one of the major international films festivals on the Australian annual circuit. Especially in this its 10th anniversary milestone year, I'd like to assist with raising its profile so that it is acknowledged for what it is; one of the best, most progressive and exciting film festivals in the country!

And also to shine a spotlight on some of the innovative and important work going on in WA screen culture - the Revelation Screen Conference has been really beefed up this year, to include some of WA's best filmmakers, academics and speakers. They will take part in sessions that explore film, music video, gaming, machinima, short films, features, performance for screen and much, more more.

It's a big job but it's one that I'm very ready - and proud - to take on. Plus it's going to be a lot of fun!

Over 50 guests will be involved in the speaker sessions, attending from WA, interstate and overseas, including Brent Hoff (USA) from Wholphin Magazine (see www.wholphnidvd.com), Tray White (USA), director of documentary Impaler (www.impalerthemovie.com), and Australians Jeremy Sims, Kriv Stenders, Reg Cribb and director of Bondi Tsumani, Rachael Lucas, who will launch her new book at Revelation (Ultimate Bondi Tsunami Guide to Rock N' Roll Filmmaking).

Others include cinematographers Toby Oliver (Lockie Leonard, Last Train To Freo) and Toby Ralph (Streetsweeper), anime expert, filmmaker and sound artist Philip Brophy (AUS), the FFC’s Scott Meek and Australian Director’s Guild CEO Richard Harris.

The program includes 29 features, 27 documentary features and 20 shorts gleaned from 12 countries; Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, South Africa, USA, France, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Israel and Iceland. It boasts 31 Australian premieres, 6 World premieres and a kids program and retrospective on legend anime director, Osamu Tezuka.

Three major international shorts showcases are featured: Best of British Animation – BAA 06, brand new UK Music Videos from the British Council, and for the very first time in Australia, Wholphin! - the world’s most amazing short film showcase premieres with never-before-seen films packaged specially for Rev, featuring work by filmmakers including Steven Soderbergh, Dennis Hopper, David O. Russell , Spike Jonze, Errol Morris and Alexander Payne.

Published July 5, 2007

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Megan Spencer

Revelation International Film Festival, Perth, 2007:
July 12 – 22


Burke & Wills

Jack Smith & The Destruction of Atlantis


Luna Cinemas Leederville
Luna SX Fremantle
Rev Club @ The Bakery Artrage Complex

Conference/ Seminar Venues:
The Bakery Artrage Complex
Art Gallery of Western Australia Theatrette

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