Aussie tsunami sharksploitation film off to Venice Film Festival

Only one Australian feature film has so far made it into official selection for the 69th Venice International Film Festival.

Disaster-shark film Bait 3D, directed by Kimble Rendall, will screen out of competition at the prestigious film festival, it was announced overnight.

The film sees a group of shoppers trapped in an underground supermarket after a tsunami strikes the coast which has sent a school of sharks into the building.

The film, produced by Gary Hamilton and Mike Gabrawy, was shot on the Gold Coast at Village Roadshow Studios in 2010. It stars Xavier Samuel, Julian McMahon, Sharni Vinson and Dan Wylie. Arclight Films is the international sales agent. The film will be distributed in the US by Anchor Bay Films.

The Out of Competition section is billed as ‘important works by directors already established in previous editions of the festival.’

While no Australian feature film made it into competition in the prized Venezia 69 program, two Australian short films will screen in competition in the Orizzonti program, billed as being for ‘new trends in cinema’ with both short and feature films.

Marla, written and directed by Nick King, and produced by Sophie Wiesner and King for Storehouse Films with cast Eddie Ritchard, Dale March and Lani Tupu. The 15 minute film is billed as ‘the strangest love story you’ve seen’ about the meeting of Marla and Sam in the restroom of a bar.

Also in the Orizzonti program is I’m The One, written and directed by Paola Morabito, and produced by Tara Riddell for production company Curious Film. The 14 minute film is about seventeen-year-old Wolf who after rejecting a boys night invitation from his dad, must confront his feelings for his dad’s new girlfriend. With cast James Fraser, Maya Stange and Alan Dukes, it was funded in part by Screen Australia and executive produced by Jane Campion. Morabito has also directed ads for Olay, Vodafone and Guide Dogs for Curious.

The film had to be pulled from the Melbourne International Film Festival line-up to be a world premiere at Venice, which runs from 29 August to 8 September.

Curious, a trans-Tasman production company had New Zealand short film Night Shift by Zia Mandviwalla compete at Cannes International Film Festival.

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