Antenna Festival: The first of its kind in Australia

Antenna International Documentary Film Festival, the first of its kind in Australia, will debut this year at Sydney’s Chauvel Cinema 5th to 9th October. With 28 feature documentaries, film competitions with three prizes totalling $10,000, special events and international guests, the event will pay homage to the pursuit of capturing and offering insight into untold human stories. Gathering the best documentaries from around the world, Antenna promises to engage and intrigue audiences from beginning to end.

“I have seen the impact that documentary film festivals have in other countries, not just in the development of new audiences for documentary but also in the quality of the films being produced. We thought a festival dedicated exclusively to documentary would be a great contribution to Australia and we hope Antenna will become a fruitful platform for presenting the complexities of the world we live in. We look to present films that will challenge audiences, while also being relevant,” said Antenna Founding Director, David Rokach.

Rokach and festival Co-Director Alejandra Canales have aimed to create a diverse program of documentary films from Australian and international filmmakers, tackling topics from nuclear waste to a pool party to matchmaking mayors. Antenna opens with the Australian premiere of Robert Nugent’s Memoirs of a Plague, the intriguing story of the ancient relationship between humans and the dreaded locust.  Other festival highlights include award-winning documentaries such as Michael Madsen’s Into Eternity (Finland, Sweden, Denmark), Robin Hessman’s My Perestroika (UK, USA, Russia) and Sounak Chakravorty’s The Bengali Detective (India, UK, USA).

17 of the documentary feature films in the festival are in competition, with awards given in two categories, the SBS Award for Best International Documentary and Award for Best Australian Documentary. The awards accompany generous cash prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.  Antenna will also hold a special competition for student films in association with the Australian Television and Radio School (AFTRS), with a prize package valued at $2,000.

06_myperestroika_red_kidsThe festival program will feature special events, including a free screening of celebrated French filmmaker Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil in honour of his 90th birthday. The experimental documentary, which will be shown in collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archive and Alliance Française Sydney, is a meditation on the nature of human memory and the screening will be followed by a lecture about his work, which is open free to the public. The festival will also host a panel discussion with OzDox and The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

Full program details will be released closer to the event and you can check the website for updates.

Festival dates: Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th October, 2011
Venue: Chauvel Cinema, Paddington
Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd

Festival tickets are available through Chauvel Cinema box office, online at or by calling the box office on 02 9361 5398.

Single sessions: Adult $16.00/ Concession $13.00

Multiple Passes:
3 film pass: $42.00/ $35.00
5 film pass: $65.00/ $55.00
10 film pass: $120.00/ $100.00

Group tickets are available for groups of 10 or more people. For more information email

Opening Night Film & Party – Australian premiere of Memoirs of a Plague by Robert Nugent, followed by opening night party: Adult $30.00/ Concession $25.00

For more information, visit:

Pip Maclachlan – 02 8399 0699 –
Edweana Wenkart – 02 8399 0699 –