Possible Worlds 2009 opened with the Australian premiere of Michael McGowan's road movie ONE WEEK, starring Joshua Jackson, and closed with the Australian premiere epic WW1 drama PASSCHENDAELE.
Special guests included inuit actor Natar Ungalaq, who flew all the way from Igloolik near the Arctic Circle, documentary filmmakers Ron Mann and Najeeb Mirza as well as festival director Darryl Gold.
Six documentaries were screened at the Festival that year: Kevin McMahon's environmental expose WATERLIFE, Astra Taylor's philosophical conversation EXAMINED LIFE, Ron Mann's enlightening KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS, Hockey-verite JUNIOR, FIERCE LIGHT - WHEN SPIRIT MEETS ACTION, and THE SWEETEST EMBRACE: RETURN TO AFGHANISTAN.
New works from celebrated filmmakers had their Australian premiere at the Fest, including Atom Egoyan's ADORATION and Deepa Mehta's HEAVEN ON EARTH.
Philippe Falardeau's IT'S NOT ME I SWEAR and Richie Mehta's AMAL charmed audiences, while BEFORE TOMORROW opened our eyes to a moving story of solidarity and survival in the harsh Arctic. The winner of the audience award for best film was Benoit Pilon's THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE.
As usual, the Festival hosted some memorable parties. DARRYL'S HARD LIQUOR & PORN FILM FESTIVAL presented a selection of naughty short films during a wild night in which pole dancing featured heavily. Ron Mann, meanwhile, was the guest of honour at a carnivalesque psychedelic party following the screening of his mushroomentary KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS.
Our education program benefited from the participation of the Association for Canadian Studies in Australia & New Zealand (ACSANZ), the University of Notre Dame and the Centre for Canadian Australian Studies. Audiences responded warmly to the diverse program, increasing a whopping 40% over the previous year.