20 July 2022
Outdoor Billboard, Adelaide Film Festival 2011

This October, in addition to bringing the very best film from around the world to cinemas across Adelaide, the Adelaide Film Festival will also be premiering an exciting and daring visual arts program.

Presented in collaboration with some of the oldest and most well respected art institutions in the state, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Samstag Museum of Art, this boundary-pushing program of moving image exhibitions, development labs and more will bring together visual artists, media artists, film and XR practitioners from around the country, and continues the AFF’s tradition of delivering acclaimed development programs.

AFF is excited to be launching a new initiative the AFF Expand Lab, to support the next generation of moving images makers alongside the announcement of the festival’s visual art program.

AFF EXPAND Lab will bring together visual artists, media artists, film and XR practitioners in a development lab with a commissioning outcome to be unveiled as part of AFF 2024, continuing the tradition of AFF’s history of delivering acclaimed development programs including Film Lab: New Voices and HIVE. The inaugural AFF Expand Lab is a collaboration between Adelaide Film Festival, Samstag Museum of Art, Illuminate Adelaide, Art Gallery of South Australia and is supported by Arts SA and the Balnaves Foundation.

Expressions of Interest are now invited for participation in the lab which will be held in Adelaide from October 23-28, 2023. Applications are invited from South Australian and national mid-career and established practitioners with at least five years of professional creative and industry experience.

Apply for the AFF Expand Lab here.

AFF has also announced three visual arts projects, Hello Dankness, Wave and Richard Bell – Embassy, that will launch as part of Adelaide Film Festival, 19 – 30 October 2022.

Hello Dankness, a new feature film by Soda Jerk, will open at Samstag Museum of Art on October 18. This 2022 commission is the newest addition to the long-standing biennial Art & Moving Image Co-commission by the Adelaide Film Festival and the Samstag Museum of Art. The Co-commission supports the development and presentation of bold and innovative screen-based works by artists and screen creators. Hello Dankness is the eleventh commission among works by artists that include Lynette Wallworth, Daniel Crooks and Warwick Thornton.

Hello Dankness is a bent suburban musical that bears witness to the psychotropic cultural spectacle of the period 2016 to 2021. Set in the American suburbs, the film follows a group of neighbours through these years as consensus reality disintegrates into conspiracies and other political contagions. Part political satire, zombie stoner film and Greek tragedy, the work is also informed by the encrypted memetics of contemporary internet culture. Hello Dankness is Soda Jerk’s third feature film, and follows their controversial political revenge fable TERROR NULLIUS (2018). It will screen daily at the Samstag Museum of Art within their survey exhibition Open Sauce.

The second commission, Wave unites digital imagery, ceramics and sound in an immersive 360-degree installation in the Elder Wing of the Art Gallery of South Australia. Gerry Wedd’s iconic ceramics and drawings are brought to life with an evocative soundscape composed by Gabriella Smart in this cinematic production directed by Wedd and Mark Patterson, with digital production by Jumpgate VR. Visitors are invited on an epic journey from sea to sky through this new form of storytelling that unites the mythic imagery of Wedd and the sonic intensity of Smart.

The third visual art project is Richard Bell – Embassy presented as part of Tarnanthi, AGSA’s acclaimed continuous celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. Embassy is inspired by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the protest camp set up 50 years ago on the lawns of Parliament House in Canberra. This installation, exhibited on the AGSA forecourt, will feature film screenings and talks providing a platform to challenge preconceived ideas and stereotypes about Aboriginal people, art and culture. Embassy will be exhibited on AGSA’s Forecourt from 22 – 23.

AFF’s CEO and Creative Director Mat Kesting said: “Adelaide Film Festival has a reputation for hosting innovative development labs which enable Australian artists to create exciting new works. AFF EXPAND Lab will bring together practitioners from a range of backgrounds to test and try out ideas and concepts with an exciting commissioning outcome. We are thrilled that internationally renowned visionary artists will be mentoring the lab to provide inspiration, know-how and challenging thinking to our participants.

“We are also proud to be presenting an expanded visual arts program which each take the screen form in surprising and thrilling new directions.”

A major outcome is the commissioning of one new moving image work to be presented at Samstag Museum of Art during the 2024 Adelaide Film Festival.

AFF EXPAND Lab is open to Australian participants, with 20 places available for South Australian and 10 places for national practitioners. It is free to attend the lab and each participant will receive a basic stipend to cover daily costs. National participants will received financial support towards travel and accommodation. Participants must be able to attend each day of the lab, which will commence with a welcome event on Sunday 23 October followed by five-days of full-time commitment. Expressions of interest are open now, and will close 22 August.

The full Adelaide Film Festival program will be announced in September.