South West films buffs will be exposed to a smorgasbord of “rich” cinema in the new year, with a touring film festival making its way to the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre. Together with Perth Festival, BREC will present Lotterywest Films from January 11-15, showcasing a wide variety of flicks from the US, the UK, Spain, Austria, South Korea, France and Bhutan. From a heart-pounding South Korean thriller to the touching tale of a Bhutanese singer moving to Australia, the specially curated films shed light on unique stories from across the globe, each with potent messages at their core. BREC artistic administrator Stephanie Reeve said diversity of perspective was a high priority in the film selection process. “The South West’s film-loving community will have the opportunity to discover award-winning filmmakers and creators, coming together to celebrate stories from across the globe,” she said. “We’re thrilled to showcase a rich diversity of perspectives, genres and styles with seven outstanding and inspiring international films, and hope our audiences enjoy watching these as much as we enjoyed choosing them.” Of the seven curated films, three are directed or co-directed by women, with most the plots highlighting female-led and feminist narratives. Ms Reeve said ensuring a “diverse offering” was available to the South West community was integral, exposing people to a “rich cinematic experience”. “We always seek to provide our South West audience with a diverse offering and our film selection is no different,” she said. “We want to take our audiences to places they may have never visited and provide them with differing perspectives about cultures, communities and relationships — film has the power to help people connect with humanity and shape how they view the world. “We appreciate the female-strong selection of this year’s Lotterywest Films and have selected three of these films to screen down in the South West. “It is always important to acknowledge the contributions of women in the arts, and selecting three films from female writer-directors is a great way to do that.” Opening the festival will be the Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear award-winning Alcarras, which follows the story of a Catalonian family over one summer as they face eviction from their peach orchard — an emotional but joyful depiction of family survival from Carla Simon. For the comedy lovers, Everybody Loves Jeanne is a witty and chaotic anti-rom-com that combines hand-drawn animation with live action. Equally witty is the Indian-American driven 7 Days, a particularly prevalent film exploring the surprise companionship that can come from the most un-romantic and pragmatic of circumstances — a pandemic lockdown. South Korean psychological thriller Decision to Leave is the latest feature from filmmaker Park Chan-wook of The Handmaiden fame, once again bringing a sensual and striking narrative to the big screen. History buffs will appreciate the lavishly decorated Corsage, written and directed by Marie Kreitzer, who shares the story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria as she rebels against her public image and comes up with a plan to protect her legacy. From Bhutan, Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom shares the inspiring tale of an aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital of Bhutan who dreams of getting a visa to move to Australia. Rounding up the line-up is the documentary My Old School, the stranger-than-fiction true story of a mature-aged school student impostor, reflecting Bunbury’s enthusiasm for consuming captivating true-life stories on the big screen. Tickets for the festival are available now via the BREC website.