Adelaide Film Festival 2017 Highlights & First Competition Titles Announced

2 August 2017

Adelaide Film Festival unveils the first batch of highlights of the upcoming October program, a carnival of creative freedom that celebrates the mavericks, the auteurs, the screen visionaries, and all that embodies the spirit of the 2017 festival: Vive Le Punk!

With its new home in Adelaide’s West End, at the revamped GU Film House Hindley Street, the first look at 2017 ADL Film Fest features World Premieres, a taste of Competition with a punked up Nicole Kidman from Cannes, three new films from the incomparable ADL Film Fest Fund in partnership with Screen Australia and the SAFC including Martin Freeman in zombie tear-jerker Cargo, Warwick Thornton’s Venice-selected Sweet Country, and some hand- picked gems which celebrate the 40th anniversary of the punk movement.

ADL Film Fest screens October 5-15, 2017 with tickets for the announced highlights on sale from midday Wednesday 2 August.

Celebrating South Australia’s own maverick film industry, the first three titles announced were produced with production investment from Screen Australia, the South Australian Film Corporation and the Adelaide Film Festival Fund.

The World Premiere of highly-anticipated feature CARGO, the directorial debut of Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling. Martin Freeman stars alongside Natasha Wanganeen and the legendary David Gulpilil in a story of an infected man trying to protect his daughter in the aftermath of a violent pandemic. Salvation may lie with an isolated Aboriginal community… World Premiere.

The new work from Adelaide’s innovative Closer Productions, F*!#ING ADELAIDE funded through the ABC/Screen Australia ‘Long Story Short’ initiative. Pamela Rabe, Tilda Cobham-Hervey and Kate Box star in a comedy drama told from six different perspectives of a family who reunite in Adelaide when mum plans to sell the family home. Any sense of togetherness quickly crumbles to reveal how f*!#ed and glorious it is to be home. Created by Sophie Hyde who won the directing award for world cinema at Sundance 2014 and the Crystal Bear at the Berlinale 2014 for 52 Tuesdays. World Premiere.

Australian Premiere of Warwick Thornton’s SWEET COUNTRY, direct from its World Premiere In Competition at the 74th Venice Film Festival. Thornton’s first fiction feature since Samson & Delilah (2009), Sweet Country is a western set in the 1920s on the Northern Territory frontier, a stunning cinematic vision and soundscape in the desert of the magnificent MacDonnell Ranges around Alice Springs in central Australia. Australian Premiere.

The World Premiere of Larissa Behrendt’s shocking and insightful documentary, supported by the ADL Film Fest Fund and Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department. AFTER THE APOLOGY exposes the rate of Indigenous child removal has increased since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the apology to the ‘stolen generations’ in 2008. Four women, who have all lost their grandchildren to the system, find each other and start a national movement to place extended families as a key solution to the rising number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care. They are not only taking on the system, they are changing it… World Premiere.

The first International Competition titles revealed are both Australian Premieres.

ADLFF celebrates punk in its Best International Feature Film Award, with the first Competition title announced, fresh from the 70th Cannes Film Festival, HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES. Combine the fevered imaginations of sci-fi genius Neil Gaiman and Sundance maverick John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), throw in Elle Fanning and peroxide priestess Nicole Kidman, add enough pure punk to clear your sinuses and you’ve got the perfect primer to understanding the popular culture of the last forty years. Australian Premiere.

Screening In Competition for the Flinders University International Documentary Award is DOLPHIN MAN, the life story of Jacques Mayol, the greatest free-diver in recorded history, whose life became the inspiration for Luc Besson’s cult-movie The Big Blue. Mayol did more than anyone to establish the sport of free diving to enormous depths without an oxygen supply. This visually stunning tribute shows a man’s quest to be at one with the vastness of the ocean and to have no fear of the abyss within, where lurks serenity, freedom and finally, death. Australian Premiere.

Art on Screen – a collection of short films in one feature session which celebrates artists on screen – artists as filmmakers, artists as performers and art on screen. They are:

REMEMBERING AGATHA from acclaimed visual artist, writer and director Emma Magenta, and featuring Andrea Demetriades and Alex Dimitriades. For Agatha, Christmas triggers sadness. She yearns for freedom laced with imagination, when magical creatures were part of a game played with friends in the forest. World Premiere.

Funding partners: HIVE. Adelaide Film Festival Fund, ABC Arts, Screen Australia, Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW.

In ODDLANDS, Des and Tam are members of a clean-up crew in a strange toxic wasteland. It’s a lousy job, but it’s the best they can get, and it may just get them what they want. A story about two unlikely heroes who manage to find a little hope in the strangest of places, directed by Bruce Gladwin, Artistic Director of Back to Back Theatre.

World Premiere. Funding partners: HIVE. Adelaide Film Festival Fund, ABC Arts, Screen Australia, Australia Council for the Arts, Film Victoria, Thyne Reid Foundation, Anthony Costa Foundation and City of Greater Geelong.

Benjamin Dowie’s short documentary BRUMLEY’S SUITCASE follows three musicians from Adelaide, Dan Crannitch, Taasha Coates, Kelly Menhennett, who are brought together with musicians from Austin, Texas, for a once in a lifetime journey of discovery, bringing to life a suitcase of never-before seen songs half written by the legendary Albert E. Brumley, one of the world’s greatest songwriters. World Premiere. Funding partners: Adelaide Film Festival, SAFC, Arts South Australia.

In 2017 & 2018 ADL Film Fest will run alongside a new sister event Hybrid World Adelaide, an interactive tech based event, for the digitally curious and the screen obsessed, at Tonsley Innovation Precinct from 4-8 October. For more information, go to

Adelaide Film Festival would not be possible without the support of Major Government Partner Arts South Australia and the long-standing support of Principal Partner Channel 9 and Major Partners Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide City Council, Flinders University, NATION and INex.

Ticketing is now open for all titles and passes released today. Audiences are to take note; for 24 hours only there is a special launch offer of 20% off all passes, including Gold and Multi-passes, the sale ends Thursday 3rd at 12 noon sharp,
Booking information available at


Minister for the Arts Jack Snelling said “I am thrilled that the first look at the 2017 ADL Film program includes a selection of bold and compelling films backed by South Australia and produced here with investment from both the SAFC and the ADL Film Fest Fund. The film festival is an important platform to premiere this work to the world.”

ADL Film Fest CEO and Artistic Director Amanda Duthie said “Three words – Vive le Punk. Adelaide Film Festival is proud to be presenting the mavericks, the outliers, the auteurs, the radicals, the ratbags, the artists and the supreme creatives at this year’s festival. This is just a tease of the soon to be released full program. We wish to acknowledge the opportunity to collaborate with incredibly talented filmmakers and the privilege of presenting their work in Adelaide.”

South Australian Film Corporation CEO Annabelle Sheehan said “SAFC is pleased to have financially supported the production of Cargo, Sweet Country, F*!#ing Adelaide and Brumley’s Suitcase, triggering all the advantages that come with SAFC production investment in our great state – world-class crews, the newest studio and post production facilities at Adelaide Studios and visually stunning locations. We are extremely proud of all the South Australian key creatives who brought their capacity for creative innovation and irony that permeates the SA screen brand and is celebrated worldwide.

Richard Harris, Screen Australia’s Head of Business and Audience said: “Adelaide Film Festival continues to lead the way in terms of programming and commissioning exciting new Australian work, and we are proud to once again be involved both as an co-investor in many of the program highlights and as a supporter of the festival. Adelaide has always been a little bit punk as a festival so it’s great to see this being celebrated in an overt way, and to see such an incredible range of talent showcased from Warwick Thornton’s Venice-selected Sweet Country to Sophie Hyde’s short drama series F*!#ing Adelaide.”

Channel 9 South Australia’s Managing Director Sean O’Brien said: “As fellow content creators, we are excited about our third ADL Film Fest as Principal Partner. Amanda Duthie is always able to capture the zeitgeist and bring it to the big screen. We’re anticipating the release of the full program and if the highlights are anything to go by, this festival is going to be the biggest and most entertaining yet.”

GU Film House Area General Manager Anthony Kierann:
“GU Film House is thrilled to be partnering with the one of Australia’s most innovative and creative Film Festivals celebrating the tapestry of extraordinary films from across the world with a passionate focus on Australian stories and content. To be able to participate at venues in Hindley Street and Glenelg celebrating culture, film craft and how this translates to our lives by some of the most innovative storytellers on screen today is very exciting. GU Film House is especially looking forward to the festival HUB and events that will occupy the home of the festival at Hindley Street Adelaide.”



Key dates:
October 4-8 Hybrid World Adelaide – interactive tech-based event: October 5-15 2017 ADL Film Fest: Vive Le Punk!

Launched 14 years ago, the ADL Film Fest has secured a major reputation as an essential screen culture event and has been named in Variety Film magazine’s 50 Unmissable Film Festival lists and continues to be regarded as a destination for new and exciting Australian screen projects from the industry and national audiences. Adelaide Film Festival is, once again, thrilled to work with long-standing Principal Partner Channel 9 since 2013, sharing our love of all screen storytelling.

Cathy Gallagher: 0416 227 282 e: [email protected]
Alicia Brescianini: 0400 225 603 e: [email protected]