Baykali Ganambarr in ‘The Nightingale’.
After its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, writer-director Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale is due to make its local debut at the Adelaide Film Festival this October.
Set in 1820s Tasmania, The Nightingale follows a young Irish convict (Aisling Franciosi) as she chases a British officer (Sam Claflin) through the rugged Tasmanian wilderness, bent on revenge for a terrible act of violence he committed against her family. On the way she enlists the services of an Aboriginal tracker named Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), who is also marked by trauma from his own past. The film, funded in part by the Adelaide Film Festival Fund, marks Kent’s follow up to The Babadook, and was produced by Causeway Films’ Kristina Ceyton and Made Up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea and Steve Hutensky.
Adelaide Film Festival also revealed today it will host a gala work-in-progress screening of Grant Sputore’s Adelaide-shot I Am Mother, which stars Hilary Swank, and will play home to the world premiere of the first two episodes of the ABC/Netflix series Pine Gap, produced by Screentime.
These titles join director Anthony Maras’ previously announced Hotel Mumbai, which will open the festival direct from its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Both Maras and producer Julie Ryan will be in attendance on opening night, with additional special guests expected to be announced soon.
Sputore’s I Am Mother is a sci-fi thriller that follows a lonely teenage girl, the first of a new generation of humans to be raised by Mother – a kindly robot designed to repopulate the earth after the extinction of mankind. Their unique bond is threatened when a blood-drenched woman (Swank) inexplicably arrives at the bunker, begging for help. Another Adelaide Film Festival Fund film, it is based on an original concept by first-director Sputore and writer Michael Lloyd Green, whose script made the 2016 Black List. It was produced by Kelvin Munro and Timothy White and co-produced by Anna Vincent and Lloyd Green.
Pine Gap, which stars Parker Sawyers, Jacqueline McKenzie, Steve Toussaint and Tess Haubrich, is set in the enigmatic US/Australia joint defence facility in central Australia. Shot in Adelaide, the show was created by showrunner Greg Haddrick and co-writer Felicity Packard, produced by Packard and Lisa Scott, and was directed by Mat King.
She Who Must Be Obeyed, director Erica Glynn’s documentary about her mother Freda Glynn, who co-founded the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) and Imparja TV, will also make its world premiere at Adelaide. The film details what drove Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to stake their claim on the Australian media landscape.
The festival’s Art on Screen strand, a series of works that celebrate artists, will premiere three shorts: The Woman and the Car, directed by Kate Blackmore and produced by Bridget Ikin; The Goatman, from director Pia Borg, and short doco The Art of The Game, which explores the making of photographers Trent Parke and Narelle Autio’s VR work Summation of Force, which opened last year’s festival. On the the Made in SA shorts program is Victoria Cocks’ Davi and Luke Wissell’s A Stone’s Throw.
Director Molly Reynold and producer Rolf de Heer’s virtual reality installation The Waiting Room will also screen at Samstag Museum of Art from mid-September until the end of November in conjunction with the festival.
“You Must See is the tagline for the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival,” said Adelaide Film Festival CEO and artistic director Amanda Duthie.
“The highlights released today are just a glimpse of the multitude of YOU MUST NOT MISS delights coming to you in the full program. It has been a pleasure working with all these filmmakers and it is exciting to present them to audiences for the first time.”
Adelaide Film Festival runs October 10 – 21. The full program will be announced in September. Tickets are on sale now.