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WITASWAN Features Australian Film “Look Both Ways” in 2006 Program










Chicago, IL (PRWEB) March 13, 2006

Australian director Sarah Watt will show her new film “Look Both Ways” at the 2006 WITASWAN program on Saturday, March 18 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema (2828 North Clark Street in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood).

Sarah Watt is an award-winning filmmaker who has been working as a writer, director and producer of animation for 15 years. Her acclaimed animation “Small Treasures” (1995;15mins) brought widespread international attention, winning amongst its many honors the “Baby Lion” for Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival. That year “Local Dive” and “Living with Happiness” followed, both of which screened widely at festivals and theatrically, winning many Australian and international awards.

Sarah’s hand-painted animated films are distinguished by her comic exploration of personal status set against Australian landscapes. “Look Both Ways” is her debut feature. Unlike her short films, “Look Both Ways” is live-action, interspersed with animated sequences. Set over a long, hot weekend, the film presents seven people who are trying to deal with unexpected events. As their paths intersect, they create an intriguing picture which is both intimate and universal.

“I set out to make a romantic comedy,” said Watt, “but the stuff of most people’s lives includes what we think of as tragedies, so ‘Look Both Ways’ ended up a bit of both, I guess… I tried to keep everything as ‘real’ as I could, to allow people to receive the film as a part of their own experience, to bring their own lives to it and enjoy it that way.”

“Look Both Ways” has already received praise from the Australian Film Institute, including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Support Actor awards, in addition to the Discovery Award from the Toronto International Film Festival jury. It was also named the 2005 “Film of the Year” by the Australian Catholic Film Office.

“Look Both Ways” was shown in Chicago last October as a part of the 41st annual Chicago International Film Festival. Kino International, the film’s US distributor, will be opening the film theatrically in Los Angeles and New York in April, with additional engagements planned around the United States this spring.

The 2006 WITASWAN program was organized by the members of AAUW-Illinois (the American Association of University Women) and IWPA (the Illinois Woman’s Press Association), with the proud support of the Australian Consulate-General Chicago.

This is the second WITASWAN program, timed for Women’s History Month. The first program was held on March 19, 2005 at the Chicago Cultural Center. The acronym WITASWAN stands for “Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now.”

WITASWAN is an Illinois-based initiative dedicated to building international support for women filmmakers. WITASWAN members believe that “Look Both Ways” is an excellent choice for Women’s History Month, because it captures the vision and voice of an important new female filmmaker. The Australian Consulate-General in Chicago is supporting this event by arranging for Sarah Watt to speak to the group, introducing each film and then taking questions from the audience at the end. She will talk about women in the film industry in general as well as specific topics germane to her craft.

For more information, visit http://www.films42.com/witaswan/march-06.asp.

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