In its first year as an annual event, the Adelaide Film Festival – which wrapped last night – has set a new box office record.
With tickets continuing to be sold to this week’s encore screenings, the Festival has posted a 13% increase on AFF2022 sales and a massive 79% increase on the last pre-pandemic event in 2018.
As a gala closing event last night at Adelaide’s beautifully restored Piccadilly Cinemas, AFF CEO & Creative Director Mat Kesting also announced the Short Film Prize, Audience Award winners and the AFF 2023 Change Award Winner.
The joint winners of the AFF 2023 Short Film Prize are Blame the Rabbit and The Unrequited Life of Farrah Bruce. Blame the Rabbit, funded by the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund, was written and directed by Elena Carapetis and produced by Festival favourite, Adelaide’s Lisa Scott. Another local film, The Unrequited Life of Farrah Bruce was directed by Daisy Anderson. The winners share a cash prize of $3000. The AFF Short Film Prize is presented by Flinders University.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, winner of Golden Lion prize for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, has taken out the AFF 2023 Feature Fiction Audience Award and Bromley: Light After Dark, directed by Sean McDonald, has won the AFF 2023 Feature Documentary Audience Award.
The AFF Change Award, also determined by audience votes, has gone to Black Cockatoo Crisis, directed by Jane Hammond. In 2020 AFF introduced the Change Award forpositive social or environmental impact through cinema expressing a desire to live in new ways. The Change Award celebrates the feature that best demonstrates these values. The winning filmmaker receives prize money of $5,000.
“2023, our first year as an annual Festival, has been an incredible celebration of cinema talent from South Australia, the Asia Pacific region and around the world. I’m incredibly proud of the work of the AFF team in creating a Festival that has been so warmly embraced by audiences and one that nurtures screen culture and builds new audience for the cinema arts. My thanks to the South Australian Government for their continued and passionate support for the festival and to our many other partners and sponsors who have contributed to making AFF23 our most successful yet,” Mat Kesting said.
Minister for the Arts, Andrea Michaels, said: “The first annual Adelaide Film Festival was its biggest on record, smashing last year’s box office sales. This year’s success follows the Malinauskas Government delivering on its election commitment to make our state’s premier film festival an annual event with an additional $4 million investment. The 2023 Adelaide Film Festival has been incredible celebration of cinema with South Australian films firmly in the spotlight and I congratulate Mat Kesting and his team on a fantastic record- breaking event.”