Being a film student is something I enjoy. Being a film student 3000 km from home and going to a soirée where you don’t know a soul is not something I enjoy. I’m not good in these situations at the best of times — just ask anyone who’s attended an LCA networking session with me — but waiting through a 45 minute preshow love-in is my own personal form of purgatory. I just hope the documentaries are worth it.
I tapped the above into my mobile phone while waiting for the Brisbane International Film Festival screening of two jtv docs productions:
Aussie Battlers, a film about the world of Australian MC battling, and
Searching 4 Sandeep, which is better described on its jtv page that what I would do.
Fortunately, they were worth it. I’d already heard good things about
Searching 4 Sandeep from the Sydney Film Festival, and it really is a touching, engaging love story.
Aussie Battlers, on its world premiere (well, that’s what I heard somewhere today) did many things right, but one thing that I’m particularly keen on — after seeing a lot of student documentaries this year — is that it was genuinely funny. The contrasts between the battlers’ on-stage personas and their softly-spoken off-stage interviews were remarkable, and often led to some clever and revealing cuts. There are some shots used during the final battle in the Australian national competition which reveal a lot about the contenders — one in particular — and are juxtaposed beautifully with what’s being said, both in interview and in the
Apparently both documentaries are going to appear on the ABC at some point. I’d recommend them both; they’re both very different films, but they’re really well constructed.