Armie Hammer in ‘Hotel Mumbai.’
Anthony Maras’ debut feature Hotel Mumbai will open the Adelaide Film Festival on October 10 after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The thriller based on the 2008 terrorist attacks on the Taj Mahal hotel, which killed 160 people and injured many more, will be among 30 titles screening as special presentations at TIFF in September.
Co-scripted by John Collee and Maras, the film starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher and Tilda Cobham-Hervey was backed by the Adelaide Film Festival Fund, the SAFC, Screen Australia and Screenwest.
Patel plays a newly promoted waiter, Hammer and Boniadi are wealthy new parents and Isaacs is a Russian businessman. On Twitter Boniadi, who is a regular in the Showtime series Homeland, said: “So excited to finally share this stunningly powerful film with you.”
The first of its kind in Australia and now in its ninth round, the Adelaide Film Festival Fund has supported 86 projects including Sweet Country, Charlie’s Country, 52 Tuesdays, Girl Asleep, Snowtown, Tracks and Mrs Carey’s Concert.
Icon is scheduled to release the film produced by Basil Iwanyk, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Julie Ryan, Andrew Ogilvie and Jomon Thomas in January, pending the US release.
As IF reported in June, the producers are shopping for a new distributor in the US after a court-approved settlement with The Weinstein Co., which has been bought by private equity group Lantern Capital. WME and Verve are negotiating a US deal alongside Arclight Films.
Maras said: “I am forever grateful for the unwavering support the Adelaide Film Festival has offered our project since day one. It could not be more fitting to premiere the film at AFF, so soon after the world premiere at the Toronto international Film Festival.”
Amanda Duthie, CEO/artistic director of the AFF and film fund, hailed Hotel Mumbai as an extraordinary directorial debut with an array of exceptional local talent on and off the screen.
Julie Ryan said: “Having collaborated with Anthony Maras on his short film The Palace it was great to work with him in bringing Hotel Mumbai to life. I wholeheartedly agree with Variety that he really is a director to watch.
“I am incredibly proud of this film, which is a life-affirming story of hope and compassion. It was a truly international collaboration in which Adelaide played a key part and I can’t wait to share with audiences at the opening night of the Adelaide Film Festival.”
TORONTO SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2018
Ben is Back, Peter Hedges, USA
Burning, Lee Chang-dong, South Korea
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Marielle Heller, USA
Capernaum, Nadine Labaki, Lebanon
Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski, Poland/United Kingdom/France
Colette, Wash Westmoreland, United Kingdom
Dogman, Matteo Garrone, Italy/France
The Front Runner, Jason Reitman, USA
Giant Little Ones, Keith Behrman, Canada
Girls of the Sun (Les filles du soleil), Eva Husson, France
Hotel Mumbai, Anthony Maras, Australia
The Hummingbird Project, Kim Nguyen, Canada
Maya, Mia Hansen-Løve, France
Manto, Nandita Das, India
Monsters and Men, Reinaldo Marcus Green, USA
Mouthpiece, Patricia Rozema, Canada
Non-Fiction, Olivier Assayas, France
Old Man & the Gun, David Lowery, USA
Papi Chulo, John Butler, Ireland
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico/USA
Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan
The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard, USA/France/Romania/Spain
Sunset, László Nemes, Hungary/France
Through Black Spruce, Don McKellar, Canada
The Weekend, Stella Meghie, USA
Where Hands Touch, Amma Asante, United Kingdom
White Boy Rick, Yann Demange, USA
Wildlife, Paul Dano, USA