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.”


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

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