The Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) has announced its first films for the 2023 Festival, including the Australian premiere of Goran Stolevski’s Housekeeping for Beginners, a special preview of the South Australian docu-drama Speedway and this year’s Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall.


Both Housekeeping for Beginners and Speedway received production funding from the innovative Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund, which will receive an additional $2 million in investment funds over four years from the South Australian Government.


Housekeeping for Beginners heads to AFF direct from its World Premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.


Goran Stolevski’s third feature, filmed in his birth country Macedonia, is about a lesbian woman in Macedonia who is forced to raise her dead partner’s two daughters.  Causeway Films’ Kristina Ceyton and Sam Jennings, who produced Stolevski’s first two films, You Won’t Be Alone and of An Age, co-produced Housekeeping for Beginners with producers Marija Dimitrova, Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Ankica Jurić Tilić, Beata Rzeźniczek, Milan Stojanovic and Blerta Basholli.


Stolevski’s You Won’t Be Alone premiered in official competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, while Of an Age, opened the 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival before winning the $100,000 CinefestOz prize for Best Australian Film. Variety named Stolevski’s one of its 10 Directors to Watch. 


The film was produced by List Production, Madants, Kinorama, Sense Production and Industria Film. Film I Väst, CommonGround Pictures and Causeway Films co-produced, in association with Tango, New Europe Film Sales and the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund. Housekeeping for Beginners was also backed by the North Macedonian Film Agency, Croatian Audiovisual Center, Film Center Serbia, Polish Film Institute and Kosovo Cinematography Center.  Focus Features is handling US distribution and Universal Pictures rest of world.


Housekeeping for Beginners is a blackly comic drama that’s something like a cross between the films of Almodovar and David O’Russell. I can’t wait to share this film with Adelaide audiences. Extraordinary, rich and nourishing cinema, Stolevski’s Housekeeping for Beginners is essential festival viewing,” Mat Kesting said.


Filmed across five years between USA and Australia, Speedway is a pulsating true crime documentary that skilfully pursues the truth behind the unsolved quadruple “Burger Chef” murders that occurred in Indiana in 1978. Marking a gripping and stylish feature debut from writer/directors Luke Rynderman and Adam Kamien, Speedway is an Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund film and was produced in South Australia by Bonnie McBride, Anna Vincent, Louise Nathanson and Lisa Scott.  Speedway will be presented as the Festival’s opening weekend gala.


Adelaide Film Festival CEO & Creative Director, Mat Kesting, said: “Speedway is a gripping true crime docu-drama that will have you guessing until the end. In the same way AFF supported Talk to Me and Monolith, which both premiered at last year’s Festival and have since gone on to worldwide acclaim and success, support for this exceptional directorial debut from Rynderman and Kamien continues to demonstrate the Festival’s commitment to celebrating new cinematic voices and for being a hotbed of new and exciting talent.


Speedway was developed and produced by Ringleader Films, produced with Hianlo, and produced in association with Highview Productions, with Principal Production funding is provided by Screen Australia, in association with The South Australian Film Corporation and the Adelaide Film Festival.  Altitude Film Entertainment are the global sales agents, with Umbrella Entertainment as the Australian and New Zealand distributor.


Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall is a compelling psychological thriller set in the French Alps, where a woman is brought to trial after the mysterious death of her husband. Directed by Justine Triet and written by Triet and Arthur Harari.


AFF will also screen the Cannes favourite Monster, by acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda. Monster is co-presented in partnership with the Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival.


Mat Kesting said: “Monster was among the very best of the Cannes Film Festival line up this year. Kore-eda is undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest living directors and his films are always deeply satisfying experiences.”


Following premieres at Tribeca Festival (New York) and Melbourne, Adelaide filmmakers Indianna Bell (writer/director/producer) and Josiah Allen (director/producer/editor) return home for the local premiere of their internationally acclaimed thriller You’ll Never Find Me starring Brendan Rock and Jordan Cowan. Cowan also produced the film alongside Bell, Allen and Christine Williams. 


Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund film Rewards for the Tribe is a playful documentary that follows the collaboration between a group of abled and disabled contemporary dancers from acclaimed contemporary dance companies Restless Dance Theatre and Chunky Move, as they create a performance that challenges ideas of creative and physical “perfection”. The film is directed by Rhys Graham and produced by Molly O’Connor and Philippa Campey.  


Rewards for the Tribe received principal production from Screen Australia, AFFIF, VicScreen and SAFC and is supported by the Australian Cultural Fund.


A focus on Indonesia’s burgeoning film industry sees the Australian premiere of Galang, winner of multiple international awards including at Amsterdam’s CinemaAsia Film Festival.  Directed by Adriyanto Dewo (Homecoming), written by Tumpal Christian Prata and produced by Syaiful Wathan and Amanda Iswan, Galang is about a teenage boy who, after leaving and losing his sister in a riot that occurs at an underground music concert, tries to join the group to find reasons and answers for his guilt. 


First Nation’s filmmakers and stories will be represented strongly at Adelaide Film Festival, which has a history of premiering powerful First Nation stories.  This year sees the World Premiere of the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund film Her Name Is Nanny Nellie about a trio of nameless statues made to record a ‘dying race’ buried in the archives of the Australian Museum that trigger a great granddaughter’s quest to honour her ancestors and reclaim their life stories; a powerful story of family and reclaiming representation.  Director is Daniel King, producers are Ben Pederick and Andrew Arbuthnot and story consultant is Beck Cole.  Her Name Is Nanny Nellie will be presented by the Adelaide Film Festival in partnership with the 2023 Tarnanthi Festival, presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia.


Her Name Is Nanny Nellie received principal production funding from Screen Australia and NITV in association with AFFIF, Vic Screen and the Australian Museum. 


Also an Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund film is Isla’s Way, by South Australian filmmaking team director Marion Pilowsky and producer Georgia Humphreys, which is a delightful tribute to a remarkable woman, Isla Roberts, who, at 88 years of age, is a carriage driving champion, grandmother and all-round legend. Isla’s Way is being distributed in Australia by Corner Table and Wallis Releasing.


Mat Kesting said: “The Adelaide Film Festival invites audiences back to cinemas to ‘See in the Dark’ and embrace the richness of cinema.  This amazing line-up of first films illustrates how films can illuminate our world and deepen our understanding of our own and other cultures. And there’s lots of fun to be had in the line-up too!  I’m especially proud that we are presenting such a significant number of films by South Australian screen talent and directorial debuts, alongside the very best of world cinema.”


Minister for the Arts, Andrea Michaels, said: The Malinauskas Labor Government is committed to supporting our state’s talented film makers and screen industry and in addition to providing an additional $2 million to make the Adelaide Film Festival an annual event, we are now boosting the Film Festival’s investment fund with an extra $2 million over four years.”


“It’s incredibly exciting to see the first films for this year’s Adelaide Film Festival announced with many more to come.