‘Emu Runner’, which debuted at TIFF, will screen as part of Adelaide’s feature competition. (Photo: Asher Milgate)

Adelaide Film Festival launched its full program today, including a variety of highlights direct from Venice, Toronto and Telluride.

Among the films announced today are Venice’s Golden Lion winner ROMA, from director Alfonso Cuarón; the Coen Brothers’ best screenplay winner The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate, for which Willem Dafoe won best actor.

Overall this year’s program includes more than 130 features, documentaries, shorts, virtual reality and installation works, including 17 world premieres and 30 Australian premieres.

Almost 45 per cent of the films in the line-up are Australian. They include, as previously announced, some of the most anticipated local films of the year, such as Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, which just won Venice’s Special Jury Prize and the Marcello Mastroianni award for star Baykali Ganambarr; Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai which just debuted at Toronto and will open the festival, and Hilary Swank-starrer I Am Mother, from director Grant Sputore.

Screening in this year’s Australian Showcase strand are documentaries Backtrack Boys, Dying to Live, Finke: There & Back, I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story, as well as Matthew Victor Pastor’s Melodrama/Random/Melbourne!, Paul Gallasch’s Love in the Time of Antidepressants and Soda Jerk’s Terror Nullius.

Television highlights include the premiere of the third and final season of SBS/Matchbox Pictures’ The Family Law, joining the previously announced premiere of Screentime’s Pine Gap, a co-commission by the ABC and Netflix.

This year’s feature competition will see two local films, Ben Hackworth’s Celeste and Imogen Thomas’ Emu Runner, fresh from TIFF, vie against Felix van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy, written by Lion scribe Luke Davies; Garin Nugroho’s Memories of My Body and Berlin Crystal Bear winner The Seen and Unseen, directed by his daughter Kamila Andini; Lee Chang-dong’s Burning; Nadine Labki’s Capharnaüm, and Camera d’Or winner Girl, directed by Lukas Dhont.

Local docs Genevieve Bailey’s Happy Sad Man and Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts will compete in the feature documentary competition against Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s América; Anja Kofmel’s Chris the Swiss, Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s The Cleaners, Mark Cousins’ The Eyes of Orsen Wells, Luiz Bolognesi’s Ex Sharman, Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses and Daniel Zimmermann’s Waldon.

Competing in the AFTRS virtual reality competition are local titles Carrieberrie, Parragirls Past, Present: unlocking memories of institutional care and Michael Beet’s The Unknown Patient, which just screened Venice. Other projects vying for the award are Borderline, Dinner Party, Kobold, The Real Thing, Rooms, The Whale and Your Spiritual Temple Sucks.

Among the VR jurors is multimedia, performance and installation artist Sue Austin, who will also present her underwater live art event ‘Creating the Spectacle’ and VR project Flying Free, Fledgling Flights.

‘Creating the Spectacle!’ was originally commissioned in 2012 for London’s Cutural Olympiad, for which Austin created the world’s first self-propelled wheelchair with diving experts and then staged scuba performances. Audiences will be able to watch the performance in scuba gear or poolside, and Adelaide Dance Company Restless Dance Theatre will perform.

This year, two films will close the festival: Kevin Kerslake’s documentary about Joan Jett, Bad Reputation and Melissa McCarthy-starrer Can You Ever Forgive Me?, directed by Marielle Heller.

Other previously announced projects set to screen in Adelaide include Erica Glynn’s portrait of her mother and Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA)/Imparja TV founder Freda Glynn, She Who Must Be Loved and special screenings of The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding and Samson & Delilah, which were voted the top three Australian films of all time in a poll run by the festival. There will also be screenings of Sarah Watt’s Look Both Ways and a NFSA restoration screening of Ken Hannam’s Sunday Too Far Away.

Among the industry events is a panel/discussion about writing for immersive and interactive works, which will be followed by speed networking and drinks.

“It is thrilling to unveil this exceptional program of films and screen works #youmustsee. We have the big winners from Venice, the newest works from auteurs and big stars, and new and innovative experiences for our audience. The festival will feature not only the world’s most anticipated films but will also provide a platform for local emerging filmmakers and excitingly, 44 per cent of the films are directed by a woman showcasing a breadth of screen storytelling voices. I am particularly proud of the ADL Film Fest FUND films including The Nightingale and Hotel Mumbai which this week, have already proven their world-class standing,” said Adelaide Film Festival artistic director and CEO Amanda Duthie.

Adelaide Film Festival runs October 10 – 21. 


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