Kick starting the film festival

Film festival swings into action with Daniel Radcliffe in Jungle.
Film festival swings into action with Daniel Radcliffe in Jungle. HECTOR ALVAREZ A

THE event movie lovers thrive on has come around and is starting with a heart-racing adventure film on the big screen.

Screenwave International Film Festival will feature more than 70 films from more than 20 countries set to screen in nearly 90 sessions in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen across three weeks.

On Wednesday, January 10, the festival will open at the Jetty Memorial Theatre with Jungle, an Australian production directed by acclaimed home-grown director Greg McClean and starring Daniel Radcliffe.

It tells the true story of Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, who was separated from his trekking-mates in the Bolivian jungle and forced to survive alone for more than three weeks.

Pitted against the brutality of nature as well as his own inner demons, it is a gripping survival drama shot in remarkable locations, including Queensland's Mt Tambourine.

Kate Howat, Screenwave's artistic director and the curator of the films program, said, "I think we're all innately fascinated by survival stories because it's in our nature to hope that it will turn out for the best.

"Although there's plenty of action and thrills, the scenes that stood out to me in Jungle were the understated scenes with Yossi on his own and isolated, and forced to deal with the elements. You feel like you're there alone with him, experiencing all of that.

"It sets the tone for the types of unusual films that will be in the festival that might just surprise you.”

Program strands during the festival include world cinema, documentary, Australian cinema, call of the surf, women of action, hear me out (the LGBTQI+ program) and short films from young finalists unearthed by this year's statewide REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival.

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