Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR160108- Celebrate Australia 2008: Celebrating all the best from Down Under

Celebrating all the best from Down Under

This January, the Australian Embassy Manila presents Celebrate Australia 2008 showcasing the very best of Australian music, art and film. The festival marks the commemoration of Australia’s National Day (26 January), where Australians from all walks of life gather together to celebrate and recognise Australia's unique national identity, shaped by its multiculturalism and Indigenous heritage. In the Philippines, the Embassy brings together a series of activities to share Australia’s rich and unique culture with Filipinos.

Celebrate Australia 2008 opens with “The world in painting”, an international touring exhibition presented by Asialink in partnership with the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne. The exhibit profiles the diversity of current contemporary Australian artwork, and positions Australian urban and Indigenous artists side by side as each presents their own personal worlds. These artists, from different generations and varying cultural perspectives, are exhibiting together for the first time, presenting works across a diversity of practices and ideas.

The eight artists hailing from both metropolitan and regional areas, are: John Citizen (Gordon Bennett), Brisbane; Amanda Davies, Hobart; Diena Georgetti, Brisbane; Raafat Ishak, Melbourne; Boxer Milner, Balgo (WA); James Morrison, Sydney; Nancy Naninurra, Balgo (WA); and Elizabeth Newman, Melbourne.

The exhibition has toured Thailand and will travel to Vietnam after its Manila leg. Curated by Zara Stanhope, Senior Curator & Deputy Director at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, the exhibition is part of the Museum’s three-year focus on furthering international programs, partnerships and opportunities. The world in painting runs from the 24th of January until the 13th of February at the Yuchengco Museum. Admission fee is Php100 for adults, Php50 for students and Php25 for children and senior citizens.

The celebration continues with Cinema Australia, a film festival at the UP Film Institute Videotheque from 23 to 25 January. This year, Cinema Australia showcases the first films of six highly acclaimed Australian filmmakers.

Film enthusiasts will get the rare opportunity to watch the cult classic The Cars that ate Paris by Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show, Master and Commander, and Witness); The Devil’s Playground by Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees of Separation, Evil Angels, Plenty, and The Russia House); and Mad Max by Dr George Miller (Happy Feet, Babe: Pig in the City, The Witches of Eastwick, Lorenzo’s Oil).

Not to be missed are The Adventures of Barry McKenzie by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), Tail of a Tiger by Rolf de Heer (Ten Canoes, The Tracker) and Backroads by Phillip Noyce (Dead Calm, Patriot Games, The Bone Collector, Sliver, Clear and Present Danger, and The Quiet American). Organised in partnership with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the UP Film Institute (UPFI), screenings are scheduled at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. Admission is free.

Highlighting the festivities are the energetic performances of Tetrafide Percussion, one of Australia’s most exciting percussion groups. Funky, spunky and a touch outrageous, the ensemble fuses classical music together with urban grooves for a unique experience of high-action percussion choreography and irresistible dance rhythms.

Tetrafide's music draws from all over the world, including Africa, the South Pacific, South America, and Japan. Its eclectic mix of percussion reflects the feel of Australia’s lifestyle and multicultural people.

The group has performed at the Perth International Arts Festival, Australian National Percussion Symposium, The Totally Huge New Music Festival, The City of London Festival, with symphony orchestras and has recording credits with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Audiences can catch Tetrafide on the 24th of January at Greenbelt 3 Park at 8pm, and the 26th at 7pm at the Mall of Asia. The ensemble will also perform at the 2008 Street Children’s Festival on the 26th of January at 3:00 PM at the Museo Pambata grounds. Organised by Bahay Tuluyan, Pilak, and the Australian Volunteers International, the festival aims to draw attention to the plight of street children, improve street children’s understanding of their rights, and provide them with information and services. For more information, contact Bahay Tuluyan at 715 8019.

The annual Celebrate Australia festival is organised by the Australian Embassy in cooperation with Mandarin Oriental, Greenbelt, SM Mall of Asia, UP Film Institute, Musica Viva, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Asialink, Yuchengco Museum, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Australia Council for the Arts, Gordon Darling Foundation, 2nd Avenue, NU 107, Jam 88.3, Wace 89.1 and Max 103.5. For more details, contact the Australian Embassy, Manila at 757-8135 and 757-8173 or visit the website