Adelaide Festival Film Fund Project ‘David Stratton: A Cinematic Life’ Selected For 70th Cannes Film Festival

4 May 2017

The Adelaide Film Festival (ADL FF) is pleased to announce that the ADL FF Fund feature David Stratton: A Cinematic Life has been selected to screen at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the world’s premier film event, opening May 17.

David Stratton: A Cinematic Life is the fourth ADL FF Fund feature to be officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival, with three features previously selected for the prestigious Un Certain Regard festival section: Ten Canoes (2006, winner of the Special Jury Prize), Samson and Delilah (2009, Winner Caméra d’Or for best first feature) and Charlie’s Country (2014, Winner Best Actor – David Gulpilil).

The film will screen in the Cannes Classics strand of the festival which presents restored classics as well as recent documentaries on films and the personalities of the world of cinema. A special work in progress version of David Stratton: A Cinematic Life was screened at the ADL FF goes Rogue festival event in October 2016 with David Stratton and writer/director Sally Aitken in attendance.

Cinema has always been an obsession for the English-born Australian critic David Stratton and his love affair with Australian cinema led him to understand himself and his adopted country. David Stratton: A Cinematic Life, the glorious story of Australian cinema and its creators, is told through the very particular gaze of a national treasure and featuring interviews with Gillian Armstrong, Eric Bana, Bryan Brown, Russell Crowe, Rachel Griffiths, Nicole Kidman, George Miller, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Fred Schepisi, Warwick Thornton, Jacki Weaver and Hugo Weaving.

Stratton, Aitken and Producer Jo-anne McGowan will attend the festival, which runs 17 – 28 May. David Stratton has been attending the Cannes Film Festival for over three decades. He has served twice President of FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Juries at Cannes and in 2007 he received the Cannes Film Festival 60th Anniversary Medal, a very prestigious award given out by the festival only every ten years, for his longstanding support of the world’s leading film festival.

David Stratton said “It’s a great honour to have A Cinematic Life featured in the prestigious Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival. I attended Cannes every year from 1984-2014 as a critic, but the experience of appearing in a documentary screened at the Festival will be an entirely new one for me. Above all, Sally Aitken’s film is a wonderful tribute to Australian films and filmmakers, and I’m thrilled that Cannes audiences will be reminded of the amazing films we make in this country.”

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said “We congratulate the Adelaide Film Festival, and everyone who worked on this film, on this fantastic achievement. Adelaide will again shine on a prestigious international stage and we’re proud to support the Festival and the Arts more broadly in South Australia.”

ADL Film Fest CEO and Artistic Director Amanda Duthie, who will also attend Cannes this year said “For so many years Australian audiences have viewed the cinema of the world presented at Cannes through the very unique lens of David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz. Now, it is world’s turn to view Australian cinema through David’s eyes. This is David’s love letter to Australian cinema, and there is no more a fitting a place for it to mark its international premiere.”

Screen Australia’s CEO Graeme Mason said “It is testament to the genuine affection and respect for David Stratton within the screen industry globally that A Cinematic Life has been selected to screen at Cannes. Australia has a unique cinema history, credited with producing the first ever full-length feature film, so it is extremely rewarding that our screen heritage will be showcased through this fascinating documentary at one of the world’s most prestigious film festival.”

David Stratton: A Cinematic Life was directed by Sally Aitken (Getting Frank Gehry) and produced by Jo-anne McGowan (Art & Soul, Between a Frock and a Hard Place) with Executive Producers Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa), Richard Payten, Andrew Mackie and Megan Young. Produced with the support of ADL Film Fest Fund, ABC TV Arts, Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Definition Films, National Film & Sound Archive.

David Stratton: A Cinematic Life is currently in national cinema release in Australia through Transmission Films.