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Revelation Film Festival is now in its 20th year and the programme for 2017 is a mass of hotly anticipated flicks sure to entice your inner film buff. Scoop spoke to festival founder and director Richard Sowada about making it to the big 2-0 and what his top five picks of the programme are for this year

How did Revelation start?

There wasn’t really a film festival in WA at the time, and there weren’t many films being made, but I was coming across works that were so different and so fresh that I thought it would be great if audiences and filmmakers could be exposed to them. When the opportunity came along to be able to consolidate them and put them all into one programme, I did.

I had a very ‘do it yourself mentality’. 20 years is a long time, but it takes a while for things like this to develop, so that’s how it came to be. Our audiences should be very proud of just giving it a go and supporting a new idea, particularly when it was in its formative stages. Even 20 years on, it never stops becoming something new.

Which country do you feel is producing really great films just now?

Iceland is incredible. They don’t produce a huge amount of films, but when they do they’re so unlike everything else. They have a different way of looking at the world, the physical world, where the landscape is full of spirits and meaning to them.

If you’re in Perth, where is your favourite place to catch a film?

If I can be allowed two, then the Luna in Leederville and Cygnet in Como, simply because they just two of very few old-style cinemas in the country and the architecture is fantastic. You don’t see buildings like that anymore still working as cinemas. But it’s also about the place and meaning that they have within the community; they have such a personal feel and identity about them which is very rare.

Richard’s top 5 films of Revelation Film festival 2017

1. Watch the Sunset
A new Australian feature film that is incredible. The whole thing is filmed in just one shot, but it’s very well done. You watch it and think, ‘wow these guys really know what they’re doing’.

2. Dave Made a Maze
A new independent American feature film that is very cool. It’s so inventive and fresh, but definitely one of those films where you wonder where exactly in someone’s brain it came from.

3. Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
A really stunning documentary about architecture that looks at the way people live in urban environments. It brings out this really beautiful philosophy about the way our urban spaces need to be about people, not money.

4. Meal Tickets
Another documentary that’s going to sell out for sure, so if you want to see it then book soon. It’s a local film following the life of a local WA rock band that took ten years to make. It touches on everything nightmarish that you ever thought could happen in a rock band.

5. Free Fire
I really love this film. It’s directed by Ben Wheatley who just an incredible filmmaker; he’s broken through recently as he’s such in incredible director.
The whole film is one gunfight in one space. Considering how contained it is, it’s still action-packed, funny and clever.  It takes the one thing that you want to see in an action movie, the gunfight, and that becomes the whole film.

Revelation Film festival 2017 runs from 6-19 July 2017.

Get the full programme and tickets.

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