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Australian Film Festival Starts

Rush is one of the stars of the Bollywood-style musical “Bran Nue Dae.”

Australian film talents went on display Wednesday as the 9th annual Australian Film Festival started with the psychological thriller “Lantana” at the Khudozhestvenny theater.

The festival, which runs through Sunday, features a constellation of distinguished Australian actors such as Geoffrey Rush and Heath Ledger. The nine films on show are a mix of old and new, both art house prizewinners and box office hits.

“The variety of which mirrors the diversity of Australian society and geography,” said Australian Ambassador Margaret in an embassy press release.

“Two Hands,” a 1999 crime movie, gives viewers the chance to see one of the first successes of Heath Ledger, while “Bran Nue Dae” is an Aboriginal musical with Bollywood-style dance numbers that was a box office hit in Australia.

Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush stars as a priest in the film.

Two films focus on the nation’s love of sport: “Australian Rules,” about one of the country’s versions of football, and “Year of the Dogs,” which follows the Footscray Bulldogs team through a season of Australian rules football.

All of the movies are shown in English with Russian subtitles.

The Australian Film Festival runs March 16 to 20 at the Khudozhestvenny theater, 14 Arbatskaya Ploshchad. Metro Arbatskaya. Tel. 691-0247,

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