WHEN LIFE IS STRANGER THAN ART: MY PAINTING IN ‘HANNAH ROSENTHAL’ AT THE GIRONA FILM FESTIVAL

 Poster for ‘Hannah Rosenthal’

Poster for ‘Hannah Rosenthal’

I WROTE MOST OF THIS A FEW WEEKS AGO, AND NOW IS THE PERFECT MOMENT TO PUBLISH.

I am a passenger in the car on the way to Barcelona, and am ashamed to admit that I am checking my Facebook notifications. There is one entry that catches my breath. I see that I am tagged in a post by the Melbourne actor and film director Naomi Lisner.

A bit of back story:

Last year she wrote and directed a short film called 'Hannah Rosenthal' in which she also plays the lead role.

When filming was taking place in the home of a Melbourne art collector, the entire crew were astounded to see that the large painting of a woman which happened to be hanging behind the dining table as part of the set, was the spitting image of the lead actress sitting in front of it. Naomi Lisner, who is the also the writer and director, found herself stunned to be confronted by what was, in effect, her portrait. 

'Hannah Rosenthal' was completed late in 2017 and entered into several international film festivals.

 Naomi Lisner in front of 'Island' by Chris Aerfeldt, 140 x 120 cm, oil on linen, private collection, Melbourne

Naomi Lisner in front of 'Island' by Chris Aerfeldt, 140 x 120 cm, oil on linen, private collection, Melbourne

Back to now:

The Facebook post announces that Hannah has made the official selection for the Girona Film Festival, a longstanding and prestigious European event.

So where is Girona? 

Well, by another coincidence, we are passing right alongside it at exactly the time that I am reading the post.  Girona is an hour north of Barcelona and home to the ex Prime Minister of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont (remember the Catalan independence referendum and the political fallout last year, except now he's escaping the Spanish authorities and living in Belgium).

Of course, I need to find out more, so Naomi and I get chatting online in a series of messages over the next few weeks. Yes, she is coming over for the event, yes I am invited to the screening, and yes of course I will be there for the showing on September 28. I've never been to an official film competition before, and of course am totally excited about this turn of events.

So finally the time is almost here.

Naomi is already in Barcelona, and we will be meeting for the very first time in person. I have discovered that in Girona I will be entitled to a ‘talent’ pass - meaning access to all the festival events and screenings! Am even more excited.

It just happens, however, that I will need to spend much of the same week in another part of Catalonia working on setting up my own show ‘The Heroine’s Journey’ at the Muxart Museum in Martorell (thirty minutes west of Barcelona). My agenda has had to be finely tuned to fit it all in.

So the week after Hannah Rosenthal screens in Girona, Naomi will be coming to the opening of my own exhibition on October 4.

PS: If you would like to see photos and videos of Naomi and I and the next week’s events as they unfold in Geron, as well as the setting up of my own show in Martorell head to my Instagram feed at aerfeldt_art.