A mother’s death brings together her three estranged daughters (Radiance); elsewhere, a mixed-media film combining animation and live action tells a very Australian story, with a global appeal (Look Both Ways). Neil Armstrong’s legendary landing has an anticlimactic twist (The Dish), and two lovers on the run, in the course of their romantic adventure, start suspecting each other of being murderers (Kiss or Kill).

Take a trip Down Under with the Australian Film Festival showing in Chennai till 31 May and in New Delhi from 31 May to 6 June.

The 2010 edition of the annual festival brings a selection of films that have been lauded critically at international film festivals. The festival is being brought to India under the joint initiative of the Australian government and Screen Australia. The films are part of the Embassy Roadshow package that takes Australian films to different parts of the world.

Still from movie the Radiance

“In recent times, however, the trend has taken a swing for the better, as most of our stars like Nicole Kidman, Baz Luhrmann and Russell Crowe, having developed their expertise in Hollywood, are making a foray back towards our own industry," says Huggins. “Australian cinema has a distinct Australian voice and Australian mannerisms that you will only know when you see these films," he adds.

The inaugural film of the festival, Look Both Ways (2005), written and directed by Sarah Watt, is a multiple-award winning low-budget film that details the lives of four people over a weekend, and addresses the themes of love, loss, life and death, and how these elements bring the characters together in that span of time. “The story, the voices and the audience it’s meant for is very Australian, and yet the themes it addresses are largely universal," adds Huggins.

Another film to look out for, especially in the context of the continuing global financial situation, would be The Bank (2001), which is about innovations of the World Bank and the inner workings of banking which ultimately brings about a personal crisis for the central character.

The 2010 Australian Film Festival will be held in Delhi at the India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Road, and is on in Chennai at the South Indian Film Chamber Theatre, 606, Anna Salai. Passes in New Delhi are available at the Australian High Commission, Chanakyapuri; and in Chennai at the Indo Cine Appreciation Society, Cathedral Garden Road. Click here for more information

By shreya.r@livemint.com