International Film Festival


You're probably acutely aware of how our local cinemas have taken a beating from COVID-19, but what you may not have been thinking of iare our beloved film festivals. Already a struggle to put on in the age of Netflix, streaming services and big budget blockbusters, your local film festival is a treasure that fights every day for its survival. But with some restrictions easing up, it is great to see that many of these festivals are coming back to our screens with a vengeance.


So too, then, does the Darwin International Film Festival (DIFF) blaze a post-pandemic trail back to our silver screens, this time rebranded as DIFF 2020: take One, and taking place between 18 and 27 September at Darwin’s glorious outdoor venue, Deckchair Cinema. The DIFF 2020: Take One program covers Australian classics, Academy Award-nominated flicks and experimental gems, with 17 films - 10 of which are curated from the last decade of DIFF. It brings together a retrospective of 4 Australian cult classics and 3 fresh local films from 2020. Each film will be accompanied by DIFF Sunsets; a line-up of pre-screening entertainment from the likes of DJ Kuya James, Amy Hetherington, Stevie Jean, Eric Avery, and many more!

But DIFF 2020 isn't just here to whet your film appetite. Oh no, they are coming right for the stomahc too, as for each night of the Festival, some of the best local chefs will bring flavours from around the world including the legendary Hanuman, classic BBQ grub from Café de la Plage and Organic AG, Middle Eastern flair with Flavours of Damascus, healthy home-style canapes with Dee Bee Catering, and many more.

“We’re incredibly lucky to be able to hold a physical Festival this year, and we don’t take that for granted,” said DIFF Festival Director Blandine Ruffo.

“During a year in which so few films have been made and released, we wanted to take this opportunity to look back and appreciate some of the films we’ve had the privilege of hosting at DIFF in years past. This is about more than just screening old favourites — this is about giving Territorians the escape they’ve been yearning for with new stories, old ones we know they’ll love, filling their bellies with the best local eats and enjoying quality Top End entertainment.”

The Festival will kick off with Exit Through the Gift Shop, an Academy Award-nominated documentary by the infamously mysterious British street artist, Banksy. Spanning almost a decade and several continents, the film follows the rise of artist Thierry Guetta, as he infiltrates the secretive world of street artists and becomes one of their own. 

The full program then includes The Illusionist (2010), On The Road (2012), Mystery Road (2013), Loving Vincent (2017), Monos (2019), Jimmy Shu's Taste of the Territory (2020), The Kneeling Devil (2020), Mad Max 2 (1981) Animal Kingdom (2010) and many more!

Closing the Festival will be the in-cinema premiere of Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky, a brand-new musical documentary exploring an Indigenous perspective on Captain Cook’s arrival on Australian soil. Directed by Steven McGregor (Black Comedy) and presented by Steven Oliver (Black Comedy), the film features a diverse group of Indigenous artists performing original songs that speak directly to the past and future of Australia and asks whether we have a blurred history of Cook in 2020. 

The festival is sure to be an extravaganza of good taste, and tickets are on sale now at www.diff.net.au.