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Films continue until 14 April, 2013

Now showing at Joondalup Pines: The Patience Stone

Now showing at Somerville: I Wish

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4 March 2013


As the highly acclaimed 2013 Perth International Arts Festival drew to a close on Saturday, Perth celebrated success in all areas of its biggest ever program.

Perth was the place to be this summer as 750 artists from Australia and the world joined hundreds of Western Australia’s most talented artists in a program that included three world premieres, 31 Australian premieres, 25 Australian exclusives, three commissions, 5 co-commissions and more than 820 events and 250 film screenings.

Over the 23 days of the Festival and with six weeks of the Lotterywest Festival Films still to run, we have exceeded our box office target of $4,800,000 and anticipate a paid audience of about 190,000, with half a million people engaging with the Festival this year.

Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway said he was delighted by the sheer numbers of people who engaged with this Festival.

“More important to us, however, has been the quality of the response to the 2013 program and the journeys people have taken through the Festival,” he said.

“People have responded with standing ovations and incredibly positive feedback to some of the most significant stories of our times.

“They range from world capitalism in The Threepenny Opera and Mission Drift, to the nature of modern Australia and reconciliation in Archie Roach’s Into the Bloodstream and The Secret River, from mapping our place in the world in A History of Everything and Of All the People in All The World: Time Zone GMT +8, to celebrating who we are today in BPM Bombs Per Minute and La Marea.”

For the full story please see the attached release and don’t hesitate to contact:

Rania Ghandour  
+61 8 6488 8618 / 0403 025 535  
[email protected] 

Miranda Brown   
+61 3 9419 0931 / 0411 568 781 
 [email protected]

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25 September 2012


Perth International Arts Festival is delighted to announce at last night’s Helpmann Awards in Sydney we won a Helpmann for Best Special Event forLotterywest Festival Celebration: Place des Anges.

Lotterywest Festival Celebration: Place des Anges, performed by French troupe Les Studios de Cirque, and affectionately know as “the feathers” was recognised by the Helpmann judges as an event which brought impressive numbers to the city of Perth on the opening weekend of the 2012 Perth Festival, the first of four under Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway.

In addition to Perth Festival’s Helpmann, a further two winners were featured in the 2012 Perth Festival program.

Orla Boylan won Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera for Elektra, a co-production of West Australian Opera, ThinIce, Perth International Arts Festival and Opera Australia.

Musica Viva Australia’s Tafelmusik The Galileo Project: Music of Spheres picked up the award for Best Chamber and Instrumental Ensemble Concert.

Perth Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway warmly congratulates all the winners and nominees in all categories.

“In reality, the response of the Perth audience on the night and the reaction we have had to Place des Anges since was reward enough, but it’s thrilling to have won a Helpmann Award for Perth,” Jonathan said.

 “As we finish plans for 2013 ahead of our launch on 7 November, last night was a great lift at the right moment for everyone involved.”

For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Rania Ghandour  
+61 8 6488 8618 / 0403 025 535  
[email protected] 

Miranda Brown   
+61 3 9419 0931 / 0411 568 781 
 [email protected]



Perth Festival is delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural BHP Billiton Audience Award is The First Grader.

Affectionately known as the “Golden Deckchair,” the audience award saw more than 8000 people join in the Festival conversation by voting for their favourite film from the 26 Lotterywest Festival Films which screened in the 20-week season. Votes were taken in person at the venue or online afterwards.

Perth Festival Film Program Manager Madeline Bates said: “This award is an important opportunity for filmmakers and audiences to connect through a shared love of cinema, and I'm delighted that the first year of the award has been such a success.”
“After winning multiple audience awards from around the world, we're delighted that The First Grader has caught the imagination of Perth audiences as well.”

The First Grader director Justin Chadwick said winning the award meant a lot to him.
“We made the film with a very small crew in a remote village with children that had never seen a TV or a film with a crew mainly made up of Kenyans,” he said.
“To have the film acknowledged by audiences at your film festival gives me great hope for films from all over the world at a time when the multiplexes are so saturated with such a narrow range of films.
“Film festivals are so important for film makers to tell their stories. Thank you so much for acknowledging us. I hope I am able to return with my next film!”

The First Grader is an inspiring and heart-warming film which had won seven audience awards at festivals around the world before it took out the 2012 Golden Deckchair. It is the true story of 84-year-old liberation fighter Maruge who, when the Kenyan Government offers free universal education, arrives at a primary school eager to learn.

Chadwick will receive the award by post as he is currently in South Africa filming his next feature Long Walk to Freedom, the official Mandela movie which he said came about because of The First Grader.


A nationally respected leader in the Australian arts sector – Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares – has been appointed Chair of The University of Western Australia’s Perth International Arts Festival.

The announcement by UWA Chancellor Dr Michael Chaney and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson follows the retirement of Mr Michael Smith after eight years as Festival Chair.

Dr Chaney said the University’s governing body, Senate, acknowledged Emeritus Professor Seares’ long and distinguished career in the arts.

“Emeritus Professor Seares is extremely well placed to lead the Board to ensure that this fantastic community festival – founded by UWA more than half a century ago – remains one of the most significant annual events on Australian and international arts calendars,” Dr Chaney said. 

“In her previous role at UWA as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Seares was unstinting in her advocacy and support for the Festival, serving on its Board since 2009,” he said.

Emeritus Professor Seares has held positions as Chair of the Australia Council for four years and Chief Executive of the Western Australian Department for the Arts (now the Department of Culture and the Arts).  She has been a member of a wide range of boards and councils in the government, not-for-profit and arts sectors.  In 2003, Professor Seares was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work for the arts and education.

Michael Smith joined the Festival Board in June 2002 and was appointed Chair in August 2004.  In that time, the Festival’s reach has increased from audiences of 120,000 to more than 200,000 annually. 

Paying tribute to Mr Smith, Professor Johnson said these impressive results revealed a deepening connection between the Western Australian community and the Perth International Arts Festival.

“Michael Smith has been a passionate advocate for the transformative power of the arts and the positive contribution they make to Western Australia’s sense of identity and the liveability of our community,” Professor Johnson said.