4 August 2023

Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) has announced the return of the AFF EXPAND Lab in Adelaide from 21 – 27 October 2023 and is now inviting Expressions of Interest from Australian creative practitioners to participate in the lab.

AFF EXPAND Lab is a development initiative bringing together 30 Australian visual artists, filmmakers, video artists, writers, and other creatives working with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Together, they’ll learn from and work with a team of renowned industry mentors to develop bold new moving image projects for Australian audiences and beyond.

Following the EXPAND Lab, shortlisted teams will present concepts for the $100,000 EXPAND Moving Image Commission, made possible through Principal Partner The Balnaves Foundation, Adelaide Film Festival and Samstag Museum of Art. This is one of Australia’s most significant Moving Image Commissions, as it ensures that artists can advance their careers and create impactful moving image works.  The recipients will be invited to present their work with the Samstag Museum of Art during the 2025 Adelaide Film Festival.

The mentors for 2023 AFF EXPAND Lab are time-bending digital artist DANIEL CROOKS, theatre maker & media artist ROBERT WALTON, highly-respected moving image & film producer BRIDGET IKIN with video artist and filmmaker AMOS GEBHARDT joining as a mentor for the first part of the lab.

Adelaide Film Festival’s CEO and Creative Director Mat Kesting said: “The inaugural AFF EXPAND Lab in 2022 was a great success. We received over 100 applications for 30 places and supported the participation of practitioners from across Australia. The collaborative team of Susan Norrie (NSW), Emmaline Zanelli (SA) and Matthew Thorne (SA) were awarded the inaugural EXPAND Moving Image Commission of $60,000. AFF EXPAND Lab will again bring together practitioners from a range of backgrounds to test and try out ideas and concepts with visionary mentors.”

Kat Bell, participant in the 2022 AFF EXPAND Lab commented about her experience: “It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and challenge our artistic and creative thinking. The chance to conjure up a great idea and pitch it to industry groups was brilliant, it’s not every day you get to test your creative thinking skills in a pressure-cooker environment. It is brilliant opportunity for anyone in the arts and film industry to meet new people and expand their creative thinking and practice.”

Hamish Balnaves, CEO of The Balnaves Foundation, said: “The Balnaves Foundation is proud to once again, support the audacious and innovative AFF EXPAND Lab in 2023, to grow the opportunities for moving image art in Australia. With the exceptional calibre of ideas that resulted from the 2022 Lab, we are excited to see what this year’s participants will conceptualise.”

2023 AFF EXPAND Lab is open to Australia-based participants, with 15 places available for South Australian practitioners and 15 places for practitioners from other States and Territories. It is free to attend EXPAND Lab and each participant will receive a basic stipend to cover daily costs. National and regional SA participants will receive financial support towards travel and accommodation.

AFF EXPAND Lab is an initiative of Adelaide Film Festival with Samstag Museum of Art, Art Gallery of South Australia and Illuminate Adelaide. It is supported by Principal Partner The Balnaves Foundation and Arts South Australia.

Expressions of Interest are now open and close at midnight, Sunday 27 August 2023.

For further details and to apply for EXPAND Lab click here.