Adelaide Film Festival launches moving image development lab, expands visual arts program

'Hello Dankness'. (Photo: Soda Jerk)

Building on the tradition of the HIVE lab, Adelaide Film Festival has launched a new initiative which aims to link visual and media artists with film and XR practitioners to create new moving image works.

Separately, the festival has also announced it is expanding its visual arts programming from this year. In addition to the previously announced Hello Dankness from Soda Jerk, the 2022 festival will also launch Gerry Wedd and Mark Patterson’s Wave and Richard Bell’s Embassy.

The AFF EXPAND Lab will see two projects selected for development, and then one commissioned to aims to be presented at Samstag Museum of Art as part of the 2024 Adelaide Film Festival.

The lab is a collaboration between the festival and Samstag with Illuminate Adelaide and the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA), and is supported by Arts SA and The Balnaves Foundation. Up to 30 people will be selected to participate – there are 20 places for South Australians and 10 for practitioners based elsewhere in Australia.

Prior development labs conducted by Adelaide Film Festival include HIVE, which aimed to link visual artists and filmmakers and resulted in films like Spear and Girl Asleep, and Film Lab New Voices, which saw emerging practitioners develop low-budget feature film script – with Monolith recently entering production.

AFF CEO and Creative Director Mat Kesting said the AFF EXPAND Lab would bring together practitioners from a range of backgrounds to test and try out ideas and concepts.

“We are thrilled that internationally renowned visionary artists will be mentoring the lab to provide inspiration, know-how and challenging thinking to our participants.
“We are also proud to be presenting an expanded visual arts program which each take the screen form in surprising and thrilling new directions.”

Wave will be an immersive 360-degree installation in the Elder Wing of the AGSA, and feature SA artist Gerry Wedd’s ceramics and drawings are brought to life with an evocative soundscape composed by Gabriella Smart. Wedd and Mark Patterson, with digital production by Jumpgate VR.

Richard Bell’s Embassy will be presented by Tarnanthi, the AGSA’s continuous celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. The work is inspired by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the protest camp set up 50 years ago on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra. The installation will be exhibited on the AGSA forecourt and will feature film screenings and talks providing a platform to challenge preconceived ideas and stereotypes about Aboriginal people, art and culture. 

The previously announced Hello Dankness is the 11th co-commission between Adelaide Film Festival and the Samstag Museum of Art. Soda Jerk’s third feature, it is set in the American suburbs and described as “a bent suburban musical that bears witness to the psychotropic cultural spectacle of the period 2016 to 2021”.

Expressions of interest for the AFF EXPAND Lab are now open and close at midnight on Monday 22 August. 

Adelaide Film Festival runs October 19-30.