Film & TV

Interview: Alice McShane

Still from movie Amateurs

Palace Cinemas National Festivals Coordinator Alice McShane, is in her dream job.

Palace Cinemas National Festivals Coordinator Alice McShane, is in her dream job.

There’s nothing else like what Palace offers in terms of international film festivals, anywhere in Australia, and pretty much anywhere in the world. I love being surrounded by festivals and I love being surrounded by world cinema!

Having taken over the position 18 months ago, Alice is reveling in the almost year-long program of festivals offered by Palace Cinemas across Australia. Like a good mother, she hates to admit to having favourites, but actually does.

My particular favourite is the Scandinavian Film Festival. I love Scandinavian cinema so much! Scandinavia has great film-schools and great government funding programs. So the support structures are there, and talent is really nurtured. And since the rise of Nordic Noir we’ve seen an exponential increase in a global appetite for Scandi cinema. Much of the work is quite informed by the landscape: it’s cold, it’s icy, it’s slow-burn, it’s moody. It’s also very plot and character-driven.

This year’s program is chock-a-block with cinematic treats. But Alice has some highlights to recommend.

I’m really excited by Amateurs from Sweden. It’s really energetic and by an up-and-coming female director. I’m also really looking forward to Border, which just won Un Certain Regard at Cannes. I also can’t wait to see While We Live again. This was funded unconventionally by private money, outside of Denmark’s film-funding structure, and was made for under $500 000 US! It was a huge box-office hit in Denmark.

Every film in this year’s festival is a treat, and a testament to the health, vitality and diversity of the Scandinavian film industry.

I find it so refreshing to see a line-up that has almost equal representation of men and women [in major creative roles]. The Scandinavians are quite conscious of ensuring that different voices are represented on screen. They’re not afraid of delving into darker territory or of giving new voices a chance, thereby showcasing stories that we don’t often get to see.

The 2018 Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival opens on July 18th with screenings at Palace Nova Eastend and Prospect.
See the full program here.

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