It’s been a while since our last message. Saying that a lot has happened in the world since then would certainly be an understatement.
Although most cinemas around Canberra have already re-opened in some capacity, the ANU Film Group unfortunately isn’t quite like our commercial counterparts. While that’s often a great thing (lower costs, no ads, not for profit), we also operate on the ANU’s campus and are therefore beholden to their rules and regulations.
In this case, the ANU has made the decision to continue restricting all non-essential activities involving external visitors until the end of Semester Two in order to mitigate the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus. Regretfully, this means that we are now unable to resume screenings until November 2020.
While this news is no doubt disappointing for our members, it is equally disappointing to all of us involved in the running of the ANUFG. We volunteer our time freely to program films, manage screenings and keep the Group going all year round, for no material benefit to ourselves, but purely to foster a love and appreciation of film. Not being able to do this at a time when we could all use an escape to the movies is an additional blow. But this is just an intermission – not a curtain call – and we sorely look forward to resuming our activities as soon as we are allowed to.
In light of the ongoing restrictions, we will continue automatically extending all current Annual or Season memberships until screenings resume. The exact length of the extension will be determined by when restrictions lift, but rest assured that you will not be out of pocket if you decide to continue supporting us.
If you don't anticipate being able to attend screenings once they resume later this year, or your financial circumstances require it, we are still able to offer pro-rata membership fee refunds. If you require a refund, please send an email to email@example.com with your name and membership number and we'll be in touch.
Thank you to all of you for your continued understanding and support over the past few months. We will continue to keep our ANUFG@Home recommendations going at www.anufg.org.au/athome as well as on our Facebook page so please keep in touch and continue watching movies. In the immortal words of The Terminator, we’ll be back... not right now, but soon!
While there’s nothing quite like seeing a movie together at the ANU Film Group, we've started ANUFG @ Home to keep our members entertained and connected from the safety of your own homes. Each Thursday, we'll be putting out a list of five film recommendations comprising old favourites, new releases, hidden gems, double features, themed weeks – you name it!
The majority of our featured films will be from FREE (and legal) streaming platforms where possible, but there may some that are only available to rent/purchase for a fee or via a paid subscription service.
The first of our weekly recommendations is an Easter-themed* edition with a spotlight on Kiwi writer-director Taika Waititi. From 2019's JOJO RABBIT to his 2004 Oscar-nominated short, there's no shortage of offbeat laughs and irreverent humour to be found in his films – something we could all do with a bit of these days!
So head on over to www.anufg.org.au/athome to check out this week's recommendations, along with little blurbs and links on where to find each film. We'll also be highlighting our picks on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ANUFG) throughout the week.
And if you have any suggestions you’d like to share, please feel free to send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org along with some details on why you think the film should be selected. Happy viewing, and be sure to stay home, stay safe and stay connected over Easter!
* Yes, we admit that it's only Easter-themed as far as one of his films having RABBIT in the title.
We know nothing beats seeing a movie at the ANU Film Group, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still catch some great movies at home while we’re out of action. In addition to paid services like Netflix, Stan, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Foxtel, there are also a number of free, legal alternatives with a terrific selection of films at no cost (though you may have to sit through some ads):
• SBS On Demand: Catch-up streaming service offering local and international content from the various SBS channels, including many foreign and independent films that you’ll often find at the Film Group. There is no cost to view, but registration is required and content includes advertising. Find out more by going to www.sbs.com.au/ondemand
• Kanopy: provided by Libraries ACT, this on-demand streaming services features a wide-ranging collection of Australian, indie and classic films, downloadable and accessible on multiple platforms. Registration using an ACT Library card is required and viewing is limited to eight titles a month. Find out more by going to actcanberra.kanopy.com
• 7plus: The Seven Network’s on-demand service features mostly TV shows for catching up but also includes a selection of new movies for free viewing (with ads). Find out more at 7plus.com.au
• ABC iview: ABC’s free catch-up service features mostly TV content from their various channels but also a number of new and notable local documentaries worth a look. Find out more at iview.abc.net.au
• Classic Cinema Online: Wish there were more old movies at the Film Group? Then this is the streaming site for you – with a whole range of movies, serials and silent films from the Golden Age of Hollywood, all legally accessible and free of charge. Find out more at www.classiccinemaonline.com
It’s hard to believe that it’s been only a week since our screenings got cancelled by the ANU’s COVID-19 preventative measures. A lot has happened since that makes the decision seem sensible in hindsight: with cinema chains closing, others reducing their capacity and sessions, film festivals being postponed and distributors pulling most of their films from release, it is simply not a great time to be a moviegoer.
And while going to the movies pales in comparison to everything that’s going on right now, we are sorry that we can’t be there to give you an escape from reality. There’s nothing quite like sitting in a dark room with strangers laughing, crying, screaming – and getting lost in what's on screen – together. It may be a while until we are able to do this again, but the ANU Film Group *will* be back.
And when we do return, we want to ensure that our members aren’t out of pocket from this 14-week intermission, so we will be automatically extending all currently valid Annual or Season memberships by two full seasons (approximately 20 weeks) at no extra charge.
This means that if you have a current Autumn season membership, your membership will now expire in early October 2020. And if you have an Annual membership purchased this year, it will be valid until late July 2021. Annual memberships purchased during our Winter, Spring or Summer 2019 seasons will also be similarly extended.
Should the ANU’s ban on events continue beyond June 20th, we will continue to be flexible and advise members of any further changes or extensions.
We understand there may be some members who do not see themselves attending screenings into this extended period, or who would prefer their money back as a result of personal hardship. While our preference is to extend memberships, we are also prepared to offer pro-rata refunds if circumstances require it. If you would like a refund on your membership, please send an email containing your full name and membership number to email@example.com and we will be in touch.
Thank you once again for your understanding and support in these difficult times. We look forward to being back to doing what we – and you – love before too long. In the meantime, please keep safe, stay healthy and look after each other!
On the afternoon of Friday March 13th, the ANU announced that they will be implementing a series of precautionary measures to minimise the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading on campus. This includes the cancellation of all non-essential public events and social activities – which unfortunately will include ANU Film Group screenings.
As a result, all ANU Film Group screenings from MONDAY 16 MARCH to SATURDAY 20 JUNE have been CANCELLED until further notice.
Due to the short notice period, this week’s upcoming screenings of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (Friday 13 March), DOLITTLE and CATS (Saturday 14 March) will still be proceeding as planned.
In light of this cancellation, we will be automatically extending all currently valid Annual or Season memberships by two full seasons (approximately 20 weeks) at no extra charge. More information about these extensions can be found in this news article HERE.
We thank you for your understanding in this difficult time – and apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by these unprecedented circumstances. Please keep an eye on this mailing list or visit our website (www.anufg.org.au) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ANUFG) for the latest information and updates as they become available.
From 2020, the Entertainment Book will be transitioning into a completely digital product with their Digital Memberships. You’ll still get the same discounts from the same great restaurants, cafés, shopping, attractions, travel, accommodation and more – valued at over $20,000 – but from the convenience of your own mobile device.
As always, 20% of the cost of each Entertainment Digital Membership purchased through us goes towards ANU Film Group fundraising, so you can get yourself a good deal while supporting us too!
As an added bonus, if you buy yours before March 31st, you’ll get up to 3 months of extra membership and a free $10 JB Hi-Fi eGift card just by entering the promo code GIFTME at check out.
To order yours, simply go to www.anufg.org.au/entbook. Memberships start at $69.99 for single-city membership, with multi-city and multi-year memberships also available.
Find out more about the Entertainment Book at www.entertainment.com.au
WHAT’S ON THIS WEEK
This week, the ANU Film Group brings balance to the force with the concluding chapter of the legendary Skywalker saga, an acclaimed crime drama from Colombia and a globe-spanning documentary from Austria.
Of course, balance cannot exist without the dark side – and we’ve got a doozy of a double of duds coming up on Saturday!
First up is Robert Downey Jr. talks to animals in the kid-friendly DOLITTLE, then Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster musical is brought to life by an all-star cast. With some of the worst reviews in recent memory, will these be pawful disasters or so bad that they’re good? Only one way to find out…
• WED 11 MAR @ 7:30 PM: EARTH (115 mins)
A globe-spanning look at mankind’s drastic impact on the physical state of our planet through mining, excavation and construction. Presented in partnership with the Embassy of Austria.
• THU 12 MAR @ 7:30 PM: BIRDS OF PASSAGE (MA, 125 mins)
In 1970s Colombia, a young indigenous Wayuu man is seduced into joining the burgeoning drug trade, which brings wealth to his people but at the cost of their traditional way of life.
• FRI 13 MAR @ 7:30 PM: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (M, 142 mins)
Rey, Finn, Poe and the surviving members of the Resistance make their final stand against Kylo Ren and the First Order in the concluding chapter of the legendary Skywalker saga.
• SAT 14 MAR @ **5 PM**: DOLITTLE (PG, 101 mins)
When the Queen becomes ill, the eccentric Dr. Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) embarks on an epic adventure – accompanied by the animals that he speaks to – to a mythical island to find a cure.
• SAT 14 MAR @ 7:30 PM: CATS (G, 110 mins)
Once a year, a tribe of alley cats must decide which one of them will ascend to heaven in this star-studded feature film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit Broadway musical.
** NO GUESTS SCREENINGS THIS WEEK: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER **
Due to two unexpected changes, we have had to make some last-minute adjustments to our programming for next week on both Thursday 19 March and Saturday 21 March.
Firstly, our scheduled screening of THE RHYTHM SECTION at 7:30 PM on Saturday 21 March cannot proceed as planned as its distributor has decided to no longer release the film in Australian cinemas. In its place, we will instead be screening Clint Eastwood’s latest film, RICHARD JEWELL, originally on our programme for Thursday 19 March.
SONIC THE HEDGEHOG will still screen as scheduled at 5 PM on Saturday 21 March.
On Thursday 19 March, taking the place of RICHARD JEWELL, we will be co-hosting with the ANU a special Q&A screening of acclaimed Australian documentary THE FINAL QUARTER. This event will be preceded by a reception with canapés, and then followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with director Ian Darling and other special guests.
THE FINAL QUARTER is one of two documentaries released last year about AFL footballer and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes. Like THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM (which we screened last season), the film focuses on the final chapter of Goodes’ playing career when he became the centre of a heated public debate that divided the nation – a powerful and confronting demonstration of the racism that still exists within Australia today.
The film’s director, Ian Darling, is an ANU alumnus whose production company aims to create social documentaries that have an impact beyond the screen. His director and producer credits include PAUL KELLY – STORIES OF ME, 2040, THE HUNTING GROUND, THAT SUGAR FILM and more.
Please note the earlier start times for this special event:
• 5:30 PM – Pre-screening reception and canapés
• 6:00 PM – Film starts
• 7:15 PM – Panel discussion and audience Q&A
All ANUFG members and guests are invited to attend this free event, but registration is required for catering purposes. Please secure your tickets online via Eventbrite at THIS LINK
We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these screening changes, and hope that you will be able to make it along to the Q&A event screening of THE FINAL QUARTER next Thursday and RICHARD JEWELL at its new time next Saturday.
Can you believe it’s already March? We get the ball rolling on the new month with a week of acclaimed, powerful and thought-provoking films that touch on social issues such as the #MeToo movement, miscarriages of justice, corruption and poverty. Plus, the return of Shaun the Sheep for the kids or kids at heart.
• TUE 3 MAR @ 7:30 PM: THE TROUBLE WITH YOU (M, 108 mins)
The young widow of a local police chief on the French Riviera discovers that her late husband was not the hero that everyone believed him to be – and sets out to right his wrongs. Presented in partnership with Alliance Française Canberra in celebration of the 2020 French Film Festival, which screens in Canberra from March 12 to April 8. Find out more at https://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org/
• THU 5 MAR @ 7:30 PM: SORRY WE MISSED YOU (MA, 101 mins)
A down-on-his-luck British man takes a chance on self-employment as a delivery driver in an attempt to solve his family's financial woes in director Ken Loach’s powerful social drama.
• FRI 6 MAR @ 7:30 PM: JUST MERCY (M, 137 mins)
A young defence attorney (Michael B. Jordan) takes on the incendiary case of an African-American man (Jamie Foxx) who has been wrongfully sentenced to death for murder. Presented in partnership with ANU Law Reform and Social Justice, followed by a panel discussion with experts discussing miscarriages of justice in Australia. See below for more details.
• SAT 7 MAR @ **5 PM**: A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON (G, 87 mins)
When a mysterious alien crash lands near their farm, Shaun the Sheep and his flock must find a way to get her home before a sinister organisation can capture her and use her powers for evil.
• SAT 7 MAR @ 7:30 PM: BOMBSHELL (M, 109 mins)
A trio of women set out to expose Fox News founder and CEO for sexual harassment, inciting a movement that reverberates around the world. Starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie.
** NO GUESTS SCREENINGS THIS WEEK: BOMBSHELL **
‘JUST MERCY’ – POST-SCREENING DISCUSSION PANELLISTS
This Friday’s screening of acclaimed legal drama JUST MERCY, presented in partnership with ANU Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ), will be followed by a panel discussion with commentators discussing similar miscarriages of justice and innocence projects here in Australia.
The panel of experts assembled by LRSJ will include:
• Professor Lorana Bartels, Program Leader and Professor of Criminology at the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, whose research focuses on courts, sentencing and prisons.
• Associate Professor Anthony Hopkins, Director of Law School Clinical and Internship Courses at the ANU College of Law, who is also a practicing criminal defence barrister.
• Associate Professor Mai Sato, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), who has studied the effect
of information and deliberation on support for the death penalty around the world.
We hope you can stick around after the film for what is sure to be a fascinating and insightful discussion.
We’ve got a big week in store for you, with no fewer than two Best Picture nominees screening: Sam Mendes’ one-shot war epic 1917 and Greta Gerwig’s new take on the classic LITTLE WOMEN. Plus, return to the world of Jumanji, uncover secrets with Keira Knightley, learn about the life of the world’s greatest opera singer, and stick around for an AACTA-winning Australian dark comedy-drama.
• TUE 25 FEB @ 7:30 PM: OFFICIAL SECRETS (MA, 112 mins)
A British whistleblower (Keira Knightley) uncovers and exposes an illegal American spying operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Also starring Matt Smith and Ralph Fiennes.
• THU 27 FEB @ 7:30 PM: 1917 (MA, 119 mins)
During WWI, two British soldiers are tasked with an urgent mission to deliver a message deep into enemy territory in order to prevent a deadly ambush on their own troops. Winner of 3 Oscars, including Best Cinematography.
• FRI 28 FEB @ 7:30 PM: PAVAROTTI (M, 114 mins) + JUDY & PUNCH (MA, 106 mins)
In PAVAROTTI, director Ron Howard takes an intimate look at the life and work of Luciano Pavarotti, the son of an Italian baker who went on to become one of the world’s greatest operatic tenors and musical talents.
Then, in JUDY & PUNCH (at approx. 9:30 PM) a 17th century couple (Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman) attempt to resurrect their marionette puppet show but their ambition sets off a twisted chain of tragedy, violence and revenge.
• SAT 29 FEB @ **5 PM**: JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (PG, 123 mins)
When one of their own goes missing, a group of friends must return to the dangerous video game world of Jumanji to rescue him – but they quickly discover that the game has changed. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Awkwafina.
• SAT 29 FEB @ 7:30 PM: LITTLE WOMEN (G, 135 mins)
In the years after the American Civil War, Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) reflects on her relationship with her three sisters, each determined to live life on their own terms. Also starring Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep.
** NO GUESTS SCREENINGS THIS WEEK: 1917, JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL, LITTLE WOMEN **
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – NEXT MONDAY @ 6 PM
Don’t forget that the ANU Film Group’s Annual General Meeting will be taking place next Monday (March 2) from 6 PM in the Kambri Cinema. This is your opportunity to hear how we did in 2019, ask any questions you might have about the running of the Group, or even get involved yourself by joining our committee of volunteers.
All members are welcome to attend, with the agenda for the meeting as follows:
2. Business Arising
3. President's Report
4. Treasurer's Report
5. Questions and Answers
6. Constitutional Amendment: Allowance of Fixed Term Memberships
7. Election of Executive and General Committee
8. General Business
If you have any questions about the meeting or wish to find out more about running for the committee, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first week of our new season is in full swing, with Guy Ritchie’s latest star-studded crime caper, a highly acclaimed French romance, a 1993 comedy classic, and the newly crowned highest-grossing animated film of all time.
And it gets even bigger next week with highly anticipated hits including 1917, LITTLE WOMEN and JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL. Not yet a member? Now is definitely not the time to be missing out – join up (or renew) prior to any screening or online at www.anufg.org.au/join
• THU 20 FEB @ 7:30 PM: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (M, 121 mins)
In 18th century France, a young aristocrat who is about to be wed enters into a forbidden love affair with the female artist who has been secretly commissioned to paint her portrait.
• FRI 21 FEB @ 7:30 PM: THE GENTLEMEN (MA, 113 mins)
When a London-based American drug lord (Matthew McConaughey) decides to quit the business, an assortment of low-lifes rise up to take over his empire in director Guy Ritchie's latest.
• SAT 22 FEB @ **5 PM**: FROZEN II (PG, 103 mins)
After a mysterious voice calls out to her, Elsa – accompanied by Anna, Olaf and Sven – embarks on a journey to discover the origin of her magical powers and save their kingdom.
• SAT 22 FEB @ 7:30 PM: COOL RUNNINGS (G, 98 mins)
Four Jamaicans form their country's first-ever bobsled team and set out to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics with the aid of a disgraced coach (John Candy) in this 1993 comedy classic.
** NO GUESTS SCREENINGS THIS WEEK: FROZEN II **
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ON MONDAY 2 MARCH + NEW DOORPERSON NEEDED
Want to make a difference in the world, save lives or raise heaps of money for charity? If so, you’re probably better off volunteering your time elsewhere. But if you’re interested in helping out with the running of a cinema and Australia’s largest film society, this message is for you!
In case you didn’t know, the ANU Film Group is run by a dedicated and hard-working group of volunteers. Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on MONDAY 2 MARCH at 6 PM is where we report back to our members on how we did in the year just past, and what our plans are for the future. All members are welcome to come along and find out about the inner workings of the ANUFG or ask us any questions you might have.
The AGM is also an opportunity for members to get in on the action themselves by volunteering to join the ANUFG’s committee, as we select a new administration to guide us through the next 12 months. Being on the committee allows you to be involved in everything from film selection and booking to marketing, graphic design, communications, social media, fundraising, event planning and much more. It’s hard but rewarding work – and somebody’s gotta do it!
We are also on the lookout for a new doorperson to assist us at screenings. Doorpeople are the friendly faces of the Group who greet you as you enter, and scan your membership card. If you are a current member, punctual, have a cheerful disposition and are skilled in the fine art of card scanning, this may be for you!
As with committee positions, this is a volunteer position but doorpeople receive a free membership for the following season as a token of our thanks after satisfactorily completing a required number of sessions.
If you are keen to volunteer, have any questions or would simply like more information about the AGM or volunteering opportunities within the ANUFG, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com