Adelaide Film Festival reveals 2018 program

AFF Hotel MumbaiAdelaide Film Festival has revealed its 2018 program with more than 130 features, documentaries, animation, shorts, VR, installation and moving image works to be screened this October.

From the hotly anticipated to the visually sublime, the effortless comedy to the edge-of-your seat thrillers, the auteurs and masters to the emerging voices of world cinema, ADL Film Fest’s #youmustsee program is a curated selection of cinematic delights.

The program is positively brimming with premieres – 17 World Premieres, 30 Australian Premieres, 75 South Australian Premieres – and action-packed with zombies, artists, comedians, divas, musicians, liars, adventurers, dancers, climbers, ghosts, terrorists, lovers, the world game… and dogs. A long-time champion of Australian cinema, 44% of the films are Australian, and 22 were created in South Australia.

“It is thrilling to unveil this exceptional program of films and screen works #youmustsee,” said ADL Film Fest Artistic Director and CEO Amanda Duthie. “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% 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.”

Closing night features a formidable choice between two powerful women with both Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation and Melissa McCarthy’s Oscar-buzz Australian Premiere screening of Can You Ever Forgive Me? on offer – with a joint after-party to remember!

With the festival well-placed to secure highlights of the Venice, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals, ADLFF will present the Australian Premieres of Venice Award winners ROMA, Gold Lion (best film) by Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Joel and Ethan Coen’s Best Screenplay winner The Ballad of Buster Scruggs both in Adelaide’s feature Competition, plus Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate for which Best Actor went to Willem Dafoe for his career-defining performance as Vincent Van Gogh.

ADL Film Fest FUND film The Nightingale by Jennifer Kent, was named the Venice Film Festival Special Jury Prize winner and was also presented the Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actor for Baykali Ganambarr from the internationally acclaimed Djuki Mala dance group in his feature film debut. This is the second ADL Film Fest film to win the Venice Special Jury Prize following Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country last year and one of only two films to win two awards in 2018.

The 2018 festival opens on October 10 with Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, direct from its triumphant world premiere at Toronto on Friday night. The ADL Film Fest FUND thriller stars Armie Hamer, Dev Patel and Adelaide’s own Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and from its World Premiere at Telluride Film Festival, the Australian premiere of Robert Redford’s retirement swansong, The Old Man and the Gun.

Adelaide’s International Feature Fiction Competition sponsored by University of South Australia School of Creative Industries features a world-class competition and includes the Australian Premieres following the Toronto debuts of Beautiful Boy, exquisitely written by Australia’s Luke Davies (Lion, Candy), sensitively directed by Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) and starring Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) and Steve Carell; and Australia’s own Emu Runner by Imogen Thomas and starring Wayne Blair which premiered in Toronto on Friday night.

Also in competition is Indonesian auteur Garin Nugroho’s sensual dance-filled journey, Memories of My Body – which premiered in Venice’s Orrizonti Program – will mark its Australian premiere in Adelaide, alongside Berlin Crystal Bear and Asia Pacific Screen Awards winner The Seen and Unseen – a magical, beautiful and ultimately heart-rending tale set in Bali, directed by his daughter Kamila Andini. This Australian first sees the festival competition feature the work of both generations of these acclaimed Indonesian filmmakers.

Also in contention for the festival’s top prize is Australian film, Ben Hackworth’s Celeste starring Radha Mitchell, and  three Cannes selection titles – masterful psychological drama Burning by Korea’s top auteur, Lee Chang-dong, which won the highest acclaim ever recorded by the Screen International critics’ panel at Cannes, Nadine Labaki’s Cannes Jury Prize winner Capharnaüm and Lukas Dhont’s Un Certain Regard Camera D’Or, Queer Palm and Best Performance winner Girl.

The International Feature Fiction Jury is comprised of filmmaker and selector for Venice and selection committee for Cannes Directors Fortnights, Paolo Bertolin; renowned South Australian director, Emmy, Peabody and multiple AFI award-winner Scott Hicks; and Sarah Perks writer, curator, film producer and Artistic Director of HOME in Manchester.

The Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition will be determined by an all female, all award-winning Jury of filmmakers: lawyer, writer and filmmaker and Larissa Behrendt (After the Apology), multi-award winning editor Tania Nehme (Tanna, Ten Canoes) and award-winning writer, producer and director Madeleine Parry (Nanette).

The ten films in Feature Documentary Competition have all premiered at the world’s leading film and documentary festivals: Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s América (CPH:DOX), Anja Kofmel’s Chris the Swiss (Cannes), Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s The Cleaners (Sundance), Mark Cousins’ The Eyes of Orsen Wells (Cannes), Luiz Bolognesi’s Ex Sharman (EX-PAJÉ)(Berlin), Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth (SXSW), Genevieve Bailey’s Happy Sad Man (MIFF), Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Tribeca), Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses (Karlovy Vary) and Daniel Zimmermann’s Waldon (Karlovy Vary).

Established as Australia’s first competition of its kind, AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition features 10 titles including the Australian premieres of, direct from Venice, Borderline (Israel), Kobold (Germany), Rooms (Germany), and The Unknown Patient (Australia).

The Festival’s themed programming strands return with the popular Australian Showcase, Screen Worship, Up Late, Music & Art, Animation, Made in SA Shorts, with new sections this year – A Singular Vision, Love and It’s Wild Out There and a focus on Arab Women Directors.

Other Australian Premieres across the program include: a dazzling essay about the pressure to conform in acclaimed UK multimedia artist Rachel Maclean’s Make Me Up; Marco Proserpio’s The Man Who Stole Banksy – narrated by Iggy Pop; the fresh, vibrant and visually inventive Japanese zombie comedy bloodbath One Cut of the Dead; Tom Volf’s stunning portrait of the great opera singer in Maria by Callas; and  Matthew Victor Pastor’s edgy and inventive Melodrama/Random/Melbourne!

Plus there’s also repeat screenings of some of our audience favourites including winners of the top 3 Australian films: The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding (special Sing-A-Long Edition), Samson & Delilah, Sunday Too Far Away and Look Both Ways with Justine Clarke & producer Bridget Ikin in attendance!

The 2018 Adelaide Film Festival runs 10 – 22 October. For more information and full program details. visit: for details.

Image: Hotel Mumbai (supplied)