The full program for the 2018 Adelaide Film Festival is here, and it is flat out amazing! More than 130 features, documentaries, animation, shorts, VR, installation and moving image works, including 17 World Premieres, 30 Australian Premieres, and 75 South Australian Premieres.
Having already garnered rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, Hotel Mumbai is this year’s opening night film. Directed by Anthony Maras and starring Armie Hammer, Nazanin Boniadi, Anupam Kher, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Jason Isaacs, Suhail Nayyar and Natasha Liu Bordizzo. it tells the remarkable story of those who were trapped in the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the 2008 Mumbai attacks. With hundreds of lives at risk, a handful of hotel staff show extraordinary heroism, risking everything to attempt an epic evacuation to save the lives of their guests.
At the other end of the festival, two powerful women close out this year’s event: Joan Jett in the documentary Bad Reputation, an electrifying account of the rock queen’s incredible life and career; and Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me, the true story of one of the greatest literary hoaxes ever committed.
Another powerful feminine voice joining the ADL chorus is Jennifer Kent, whose long-awaited follow up to The Babadook, the Venice conquering The Nightingale, is making its Australian premiere at the festival. Set in 1825, the film follows Clare, a young Irish convict woman, who chases a British officer 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, who is also marked by trauma from his own violence-filled past.
Other highlights this year include the Australian Premieres of Venice Award winners ROMA by Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Joel and Ethan Coen’s Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate, which sees Willem Dafoe give a career-defining performance as Vincent Van Gogh.
ADL Film Fest Artistic Director and CEO Amanda Duthie said “It is thrilling to unveil this exceptional program of films and screen works #youmustsee. 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.”
Competitors for this year’s International Feature Fiction Competition include Beautiful Boy, written by Australia’s Luke Davies (Lion, Candy), directed by Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) and starring Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) and Steve Carell; Emu Runner by Imogen Thomas and starring Wayne Blair; Indonesian auteur Garin Nugroho’s dance-filled journey Memories of My Body; The Seen and Unseen, a magical, Bali-set tale directed by Kamila Andini (Nugroho’s daughter coincidentally); Ben Hackworth’s Celeste starring Radha Mitchell; the Korean psychological drama Burning by Lee Chang-dong; 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.
A jury comprised of filmmaker Paolo Bertolin; renowned South Australian director Scott Hicks; and writer, curator, and film producer Sarah Perks is charged with selecting the winner.
The documentary field this year is equally as impressive, with titles vying for the Flinders University Feature Documentary Prize including Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s América, Anja Kofmel’s Chris the Swiss, Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s The Cleaners, Mark Cousins’ The Eyes of Orson Welles, Luiz Bolognesi’s Ex Shaman, Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth, Genevieve Bailey’s Happy Sad Man, Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts, Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, and Daniel Zimmermann’s Walden.
An all-woman jury, consisting of lawyer, writer and filmmaker Larissa Behrendt (After the Apology), multi-award winning editor Tania Nehme (Tanna, Ten Canoes) and award-winning writer, producer and director Madeleine Parry (Nanette) will select the winner.
The third and final juried competition, the AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition, will be determined by AFTRS Head of Cinematography Kim Batterham, Google Creative Lab’s Mathew Tizard and internationally acclaimed artist and VR creative Sue Austin.
Of special interest to fans of classic Australian films is this year’s #youmustsee screenings, which were determined by heated public ballot. Emerging victorious from the entire swathe of Australian cinema past and present are The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding, and Samson & Delilah, which will receive special retrospective screenings, along with Sunday Too Far Away and Look Both Ways.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To kick things off the festival is offering 24% off for 24 hours only on all gold passes and both 5 and 10 session multi passes until midday on September 13. Head to the official site to book.