All posts by Ben Apfelbaum

My photography began when my father handed me the proverbial brownie box camera as a child. As cameras developed I went through Fujica and Olympus range finders graduating to my first single lens reflex camera, the Minolta SRT101, the latter being the greatest facilitator to my growth as a photographer. Digital photography has only added to this. I was a regular contributor to Camera Craft magazine (Australian Camera ) for over three years. During Australia’s Bicentennial year (1988) I made it a personal project to document the celebrations. This culminated in the creation of a book of my photos which was published in 1989. The book was called CELEBRATING AUSTRALIA and came with an accompanying calendar. My works have appeared in a number of publications including the coffee book entitled MY AUSTRALIA (1989), publisher Robertsbridge Severn. This book had a preface by the then Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke. I was a co-photographer on a book entitled SYDNEY- DISCOVER THE CITY with text written by Robert Treborland. Major Mitchell Press was the publisher. Also for two years I was the photographer for calendars celebrating Sydney’s multicultural communities. The two calendars were entitled MULTICULTURAL SYDNEY. My work appeared in a group exhibition held at Sydney’s Town Hall pertaining to the diversity of life in South America to raise money for orphanages there. I have over one hundred photos stored in the New South Wales State Library archive. I had a solo exhibition held in 2007 entitled Ben’s Lens at the Sydney Jewish Museum which celebrated the vibrancy of the Sydney Jewish community. Some of these photos are on the Museum’s permanent display. I have exhibited internationally firstly at the Spruill Gallery in Atlanta Georgia, united states, and in an exhibition entitled Kosher and Co at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Currently I am a regular contributor to J-Wire and this esteemed publication.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS COMING SOON TO THE ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

The revival of the musical adaptation of Roger Corman’s movie LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, which was a big hit at the Hayes Theatre earlier this year, is returning to a much larger and more accommodating venue, the Roslyn Packer theatre in Walsh Bay. The show is having a short season playing between the 20th and the 28th July.

These are some of my favorite photos from the Media Call before the show’s recent Hayes theatre season to whet your appetite.

Cast (3)
The cast
Esther Hannaford & Brent Hill
Esther Hannaford & Brent Hill
Supreme-esque Trio
Supreme-esque Trio
Esther Hannaford

http://www.hayestheatre.com.au/coming-soon/little-shop-of-horrors.html

 

THE CELEBS @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2016

Sydney Film Festival Number 63 has come and gone again for another year. The Festival attracted many celebrities. These are some of my favourite pics.

Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Grainnie Humphreys, Simo Field, Robert Connolly _ SFF Jurors
Grainnie Humphreys, Simon Field, Robert Connolly- panelists on the Sydney Film Festival main jury
Judy Davis
Judy Davis
Margaret Pomeranz & son Joshua
Margaret Pomeranz & son Joshua
Ursula Yovich
Ursula Yovich
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Ewen Leslie and partner
Jack and Billy Thompson
Jack and Billy Thompson
David Gulpilil
David Gulpilil
David Stratton
David Stratton
Lord Mayor Of Sydney Clover Moore
Lord Mayor Of Sydney Clover Moore
(1)
Simon Baker & Bryan Brown
Leo & Anne Schofield
Josie Lacey & Walt Secord MP
Josie Lacey & Walt Secord MP
Damien Walshe-Howling and Hugo Weaving
Damien Walshe-Howling and Hugo Weaving
Dan MacPherson & Brooke Satchwell
Helen and Michael Caton
Helen and Michael Caton
Gillian Armstrong & Bruce Pleffer
Alex Greewich MP
Alex Greewich MP
Tasma Walton
Tasma Walton
John Jarrett
John Jarrett

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD AT THE SYDNEY WILDLIFE PARK DARLING HARBOUR

Tarzan-second

GoodshotalexanderAlexanderIMGL6622IMGL6664Swedish born actor Alexander Skarsgard, the new Tarzan,  was in Sydney recently promoting his new movie THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, directed by David Yates. The film is a modern retelling of the classic story about a boy raised by apes in the jungle.

The pics are a selection of my pics from the Media Call that took place at the Sydney Wildlife Park in Darling Harbour.

DESTINATION ARNOLD PREMIERE @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2016

Natasha Lawrence, Sascha Ettinger Epstein (director), Kylene Anderson, Jenny Neighbour (producer).
Natasha Lawrence, Sascha Ettinger Epstein (director), Kylene Anderson, Jenny Neighbour (producer).

Natasha Lawrence and Kylene Anderson are two indigenous women who have a dream to make it to the Arnolds – an amateur bodybuilding competition being held in Australia for the first time.

The determined women struggle with diets, exercises and inner demons in their roller coaster efforts to achieve their Arnie inspired goal.

Director Sascha Epstein is building quite a portfolio of work.. Her documentary Painting With Light In A Dark World screened at Sydney Film Festival 2003. Other films include Playing In The Shadows which screened at the SFF in 2008 and Change of Heart which screened in SFF in 2005.
Director Sascha Epstein is building quite a portfolio of work.. Her documentary Painting With Light In A Dark World screened at Sydney Film Festival (SFF) 2003. Other films include Playing In The Shadows which screened at the SFF in 2008 and Change of Heart which screened in SFF in 2005.

Filmmaker Sascha Ettinger Epstein filmed the Sydney duo over two years, making for a warm, affecting and entertaining documentary.

http://www.pursekey.com.au/destination-arnold-two-girls-one-dream/

IRISH FILM ‘SING STREET’ AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

 

Nashan Moodley, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKenna. All pics by Ben Apfelbaum.
Nashen Moodley, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKenna.
Ferdia Walsh- Peelo & Mark McKenna of Sing Street
Ferdia Walsh- Peelo & Mark McKenna of Sing Street

Featured pic-  Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Mark McKenna with their guests. All images by Ben Apfelbaum.

Irish eyes were smiling at the Australian premiere of John Carney’s SING STREET. Actors Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKeena were guests of the Festival and enjoyed the festivities.

John  Carney’s latest film is a beguiling portrait of eighties Dublin, complete with stone-washed denim, wild haircuts and a nostalgic soundtrack of The Doors, Duran  Duran  and The Police.

With this film Carney has mined his own teenage years to deliver a fresh take on the teen musical genre, whilst giving a knowing wink to the decade that style forgot.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3544112/

 

 

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF THE QUEEN OF IRELAND @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

Rory O’Neill and friends.
Conor Horgan, Rory O'Neill and guest at the screening.
Conor Horgan, Rory O’Neill and guest at the screening.Images by Ben Apfelbaum.

Filmmaker Conor Horgan and Rory O’Neill aka Panti Bliss were Festival guests at the premiere.

Horgan’s film is an uplifting documentary about Ireland’s superstar drag queen Panti Bliss who rose from being a ‘giant cartoon woman’ to being one of the highest profile activists in the LBGTIQ community.

THE QUEEN OF IRELAND took five years to make, during which time Horgan’s camera followed Rory around on his journey of self discovery. The film also captures an interesting time in Irish history with the referendum on marriage equality taking place in 2015 with the Irish voting in favour of same sex marriage.

URSULA YOVICH ANNOUNCED AS THE WINNER OF THIS YEAR’S BALNAVES INDIGENOUS PLAYWRIGHT AWARD

Featured photo- Belvoir Artistic Director Eamon Flack, Ursula Yovich and Hamish Balnaves.

In an event held in the foyer of Belvoir Street Theatre celebrated indigenous thespian Ursula Yovich was announced as the winner of the this year’s Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award. The Award is for $20,000 which compromises $7500 prize money and a $12500 commission for a new play. Here are some of my pics from the function.

A beaming Ursula Yovich
A beaming Ursula Yovich
Peter Carroll and Ursula Yovich
Peter Carroll and Ursula Yovich

balnaves poster

Chairman of The Belvoir Board Andrew Cameron and General Manager of the Balnaves Foundation Hamish Belnavis
Chairman of The Belvoir Board Andrew Cameron and General Manager of the Balnaves Foundation Hamish Belnaves.

 

 

PREMIERE OF EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! : RICHARD LINKLATER’S LATEST

Richard Linklater’s follow up to Boyhood  which was a highlight of the 2014 Sydney Film Festival is an infectiously funny ‘spiritual sequel’ to his classic Dazed and Confused  about college kids in the early 80s.

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! premiered at the Sydney Film Festival on Sunday 12 June 2016.

Lead actor Tyler Hoechlin attended the premiere as a guest of the Festival and these are my  pics of him together with Festival Director Nashen Moodley together with a solo pic.

Tyler Hoechlin & Nashen Moodley (2)

Tyler Hoechlin of Everybody Wants Some (2)

MATHIEU BRAND : THE SPIRAL @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Five turntables play samples on an endless loop, inviting audiences to intervene, creating a sonic chaos that is simultaneously cut to vinyl.

MATHIEU BRAND : THE SPIRAL transforms Carriageworks into an experimental sound recording studio and performance space. Visitors can manipulate looping beats and electronic sounds to record tracks on a vinyl-cutting machine.

The person who cuts the record becomes the main attraction, while people can observe the entire process from the seats that form a ring-like area called “The Spiral.”

The work has travelled around the world since 2002, in one form or another, including exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon in France, the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern, London.

I walked through this exhibition and here are some of my photos.

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The Spiral- second

The Spiral- second

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The exhibition continues at Carriageworks until June 13.

http://carriageworks.com.au/

 

SEMI PERMANENT CONFERENCE @ CARRIAGEWORKS

I recently attended the exhibition entitled SEMI PERMANENT at Carriageworks. The exhibition enabled creative thinkers by bringing together internationally renowned leaders across the arts and cultural industries to share their work over three days at Carriageworks between the 26th and the 28th May.

Here are some of the photos that I took whilst walking through the exhibition.

 

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letsmakeitwithvideo

semi-permanent-3semi-permanent-2 semi permanent-1

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SYDNEY WRITER’S FESTIVAL 2016

Featured photo – Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales

The Sydney Writer’s Festival has concluded for another year and was once again a great success. Events were held around Sydney between the 16th and the 22nd May.

Here are some of my favourite portrait photos from the events that I attended :-

 

Ann Goldstein
Ann Goldstein
 (4)
Anna Broinowsi
Carmen Aguirre
Carmen Aguirre
Deepti Kapoor
Deepti Kapoor
Don Watson
Don Watson
Frank Moorehouse
Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest
Mark Tedeschi QC
Mark Tedeschi QC
Stan Grant
Stan Grant
Susie Orbach
Susie Orbach
Vivian Gornick
Vivian Gornick
Ye-Xin
Ye-Xin

http://www.swf.org.au/

SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS AYAD AKHTAR’S ‘DISGRACED’ @ WHARF 1

Disgraced_STC_credit-Prudence-Upton-172

Production photography by Prudence Upton

Playwright Ayad Akhtar won a deserved Pulitzer Prize for this play in 2013. It is in part based on what occurred to him at a dinner party a few years earlier.

I was on the edge of my seat as my mind was bombarded with a cavalcade of ideas and concepts involving Islam, Islamic aesthetics, and the West, Velasquez art, pride and betrayal.

Like Othello in his finery we find Amir, played by Sachin Joab, surveying his kingdom, an upscale split level Manhattan apartment- a striking set by Edith Gadsby, wearing a $600 shirt and an expensive suit. Amir is a successful corporate, this overwhelming pride, his hubris is that he is living the American Dream complete with a blonde Desdemona, his wife Emily, played by Sophie Ross. We just know that Amir is going to fall but the downward tragedy is not as linear as a Shakespearean tragedy.

Continue reading SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS AYAD AKHTAR’S ‘DISGRACED’ @ WHARF 1

HEATH LEATH SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS ANNOUNCED @ PRIMUS HOTEL

left to right Heath Ledger's sister Kate, last year's winner Brenton Thwaites and Heath and Kate's mum Sally Bell
left to right- sister Kate and mother Sally Bell of the late Heath Ledger with last year’s scholarship winner, Brenton Thwaites.
Damon Herriman and finalist Georgia Flood chatting
Damon Herriman and finalist Georgia Flood chatting
The finalists in a jovial mood
The finalists in a jovial mood

These are some pics that I took at the function held recently (10th May) at the Primus Hotel in the CBD when the finalists for the Heath Ledger Scholarship were announced.

The Heath Ledger Scholarship is awarded to an actor that exhibits distinctive and unique potential, with an objective to provide support to further their career. The full nominees for the scholarship’s eighth inception are: Christian Antidormi  (Spartacus: War of the Damned, Home and Away), Mojean Aria (The Bronx Bull), Natasha Bassett (Hail, Caesar!)Chloe Bayliss  (Backtrack), Harley Bonner  (Neighbours),  Shareena Clanton (Last Cab to Darwin),  Ashleigh Cummings (Tomorrow When the War Began, Puberty Blues), Georgia Flood (Anzac Girls, Wentworth, House Husbands), Sean Keenan (Strangerland), Uli Latukefu  (upcoming Alien: Covenant), Sara West (Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, The Daughter) and Meyne Wyatt (Neighbours, Strangerland, The Sapphires).

The winner will be announced on 1st June from a special annual dinner held in Los Angeles.

http://www.australiansinfilm.org/HeathLedgerScholarship

SYDNEY SINGS : AUSTRALIA’S INAUGURAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE VOICE

 

Jonathan O'Dea MP
Jonathan O’Dea MP
Leo Schofield
Leo Schofield

Featured photo- The world renowned Sydney Philharmonic Choir 

These are a few of the photos that I took at the launch of the upcoming inaugural Sydney Sings Festival held in the foyer of the City Recital Hall at Angel Place. The Festival will take place in venues large and small, traditional and unexpected, from the Sydney CBD to Western Sydney.

Leo Schofield AM and Jarrod Carland, together with The Hon Stuart Ayres MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, hosted the event.

The Festival will showcase all genres of vocal performance from musical theatre, to choirs, jazz and liturgical music and solo performances, with more than 700 performers expected to participate.

The Sydney Sings Festival will take place between 28 July and 7 August. This festival is exclusive to Sydney.

http//www.sydneysings.org.au

Editor’s Note – Sadly, since this post was published,  this Festival has been announced that this Festival has been postponed indefinitely. 

 

MY FAIR LADY COMING SOON TO THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Anna O'Byrne
Anna O’Byrne
Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Deidre Rubenstein, Anna O'Byrne, Robyn Nevin, Reg Livermore and Mark Vincent
Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Deidre Rubenstein, Anna O’Byrne, Robyn Nevin, Reg Livermore and Mark Vincent

Featured pic- The leads Mark Vincent and Anna O’Byrne.

These were some of the photos that I took at the recent cast the announcement for the 60th Anniversary revival of Lerner and Loewe’s  My Fair Lady held at the Bennelong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. The production, to be directed by Dame Julie Andrews,  will  play the Joan Sutherland theatre at the Sydney Opera House from 30 August.

An exciting cast has been brought together for the production:- Alex Jennings as Professor Higgins, Anna O’Byrne as Eliza Doolittle, Reg Livermore as Alfred P. Doolittle, Robyn Nevin as Mrs Higgins, Mark Vincent as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Tony Llewellyn Jones as Colonel Pickering, Deidre Rubenstein as Mrs Pearce, David Whitney as Karpathy and a very talented ensemble cast.

https://opera.org.au/whatson/events/my-fair-lady-sydney

XANADU THE MUSICAL OPENS @ THE HAYES

IMG_1270IMG_1286The Hayes Theatre in Darlinghurst is abuzz tonight with the opening of XANADU THE MUSICAL.

Matthew Management in association with Hayes Theatre Co is presenting the musical at the Hayes, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point until the 12th June.,

The musical, book by Douglas Carter-Beane and music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, is a roller-skating musical adventure based on the 1980s cult movie classic which starred Olivia Newton John and Gene Kelly.

XANADU THE MUSICAL originally opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway in 2007 where it ran for over 500 performances. The New York Times described the show as ‘heaven on wheels – outlandishly enjoyable, irresistible’ whilst BroadwayWorld.Com described the show as ‘Ninety minutes brimming with joy, laughter and sequins’.

This production stars Jamie Hadwen as Kira, Ainsley Melham as her love interest Sonny and versatile performer Josh Quong Tart plays Danny, the role played by Gene Kelly in the film.

Above are a few of my photos from the show’s recent Media Call. It looks like it’s going to be a great show.

http://www.hayestheatre.com.au

 

EDDIE THE EAGLE LANDING SOON

I attended the preview of the new film EDDIE THE EAGLE at Event Cinemas in Bondi Junction.

Eddie The Eagle tells the story of Eddie Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

The film has been directed by Dexter Fletcher, screenplay is by Sean Macaulay and Simon Kelton, and stars Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman and Tom Costello.

EDDIE THE EAGLE will open in cinemas on April  21.

Here are some of my favourite snaps from the Gala preview.

Hugh Jackman and wife Deborah Lee Furness
Hugh Jackman and wife Deborah Lee Furness
Lisa Wilkinson
Lisa Wilkinson
Sandra Scully and Rob Carlton
Sandra Scully and Rob Carlton

 

Eddie The Eagle- Rove McManus (7)
Rove McManus
Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones
Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones