Adelaide Film Festival Program Launches Today

9 September 2015


Some of film’s biggest names, including Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Michael Keaton, Richard Roxburgh, Anthony LaPaglia and Rachel McAdams will light up local screens in October, as the full program for Adelaide Film Festival is announced today.

Over 180 films from home and around the globe will take over locations all across Adelaide from October 15-25.

In its eleventh year, the 2015 Adelaide Film Festival event again promises something for everyone, promising the best of local, Australian and internationally produced films, with an eclectic mix of cinema, television, art and the moving image – plus the one night only reunion of Festival ambassadors and screen favourites, the duelling Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, as they host the Ultimate Quiz night.

The Festival will feature new work from Australian directors including Scott Hicks, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Matt Saville, Sue Brooks, Stephen Page, Matthew Bate, Meryl Tankard and Rosemary Myers and such internationally renowned filmmakers as Todd Haynes, Paul Weitz, Paolo Sorrentino, Peter Sollett and Mark Cousins, plus new work from performance artist and composer Laurie Anderson.

For 10 days, the Festival will take over Palace Nova and Mercury cinemas in the city, roll out the red carpet at Her Majesty’s Theatre, host special events at Port Adelaide, then hit the road for a tour of regional South Australia.

Adelaide Film Festival Director Amanda Duthie today revealed Carol, starring Cate Blanchett, will have its Australian premiere in Adelaide – after receiving a standing ovation and critical acclaim at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Todd Haynes and set in 1950s Manhattan, the wealthy and married socialite Carol (Blanchett) and department store assistant Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) develop a fast bond with that becomes a love with complicated consequences.

Carol will join a stellar line-up of ten Australian premieres competing in the Foxtel Movies International Feature Competition.

The other titles In Competition, all Australian premieres, are:

Freeheld  – Directed by Peter Sollett and based on the incredible true story of police officer Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore). Following her partner Stacie Andee’s (Ellen Page) diagnosis with terminal lung cancer in 2005, Hester repeatedly appealed to the county’s board of chosen freeholders in an attempt to ensure her pension benefits could be passed on.

Looking for Grace – Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell star in this poignant family drama about the big consequences of small choices. When 16 year old Grace runs away from home, taking the contents of her dad’s safe with her, she inadvertently sets off a chain reaction of events that will change her family’s life forever. Directed by Sue Brooks (Japanese Story).

Gold Coast – From director Daniel Dencik, this Danish feature set in 1830 is a story of beauty and brutality, inspired by one of the darkest chapters in European colonial history.

Lamb – Set against the drought-stricken conditions of Ethjopian farm life, a young boy searches for a way home with his best friend, a lamb. Directed by Yared Zaleke, Lamb is colorful, humorous and hopeful.

Neon Bull – This feature marks director Gabriel Mascaro as a the leading figure in a burgeoning new wave movement coming out of Recife in Brazil’s north-east. A man works the macho rodeo circuit, but his head is filled with dreams of sequins, pattern cutting and exquisite fabrics.

Office – The directorial debut of Hong Won-Chan, this film from South Korea is a robust thriller – Mr Kim has had a tough day at the office – and takes it out on his family in a horrific way.

316 – A life told in shoes from director Payman Haghani. Shoes connect us to the earth but they also speak volumes about the way we express ourselves – especially in Iran, where there are severe rules about a woman’s dress.

Father – The tenacity of childhood is a rich subject for filmmakers – from director Visar Morina, it becomes a point of entry for thinking about the refugee influx into Europe, as 10-year-old Nori clings to his father in pre-war Kosovo.

Tanna – Filmed in Vanuatu, directors Bentley Dean and Martin Butler worked with the people of Yakel to develop a story of star-crossed lovers in conflict with Kastom (traditional law) – showing love, not war, takes the most courage and even the oldest of traditions must evolve.

Minister for the Arts, Mr Jack Snelling said today:  “With no fewer than 40 Australian premieres and 24 South Australian features among the 180 films on offer, the 2015 Adelaide Film Festival will bring the best of local cinema as well as stories from right around the world for Adelaide audiences. I urge all South Australians to look at the festival program and take full advantage of the wide variety of films that will be here for us to enjoy next month.”

Adelaide Film Festival Chair, Ms Sandra Sdraulig added: "The Adelaide Film Festival Board is delighted to be presenting the screen riches on offer for the 2015 event. We look forward to welcoming audiences and screen practitioners from around the world and across Australia to Adelaide to join the local industry in this program of outstanding films and screening events. The Board acknowledge
s all of our generous partners whose support is invaluable to this marquee event.”

Ms Duthie also announced today the ten Documentaries competing for the Flinders University International Documentary Award:

Brand: A Second Coming – Charts the life story of comedian, author and activist Russell Brand.

Heart of a Dog – Director Laurie Anderson’s beloved terrier has died, which sets off a stream of consciousness leading to the death of her mother and the unspoken loss of husband Lou Reed. Australian premiere.

He Named Me Malala – Another Australian premiere, this is the most inspirational film of the year, a study of Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for speaking out on girl’s education.

I Am Belfast – Director Mark Cousin turns his attention to his home city, intent on seeing it through fresh eyes. Australian premiere.

Ice and the Sky – French documentary film directed by Luc Jacquet about the work of Claude Lorius, who began studying Antarctic ice in 1957, and was the first scientist to be concerned about global warming.

The Pearl Button – Chile’s greatest documentarist Patricio Guzman uses water as an entry point for understanding his country’s often-tragic history.

The Propaganda Game – Director Alvaro Longoria looks at North Korea, the last communist country in the world. Australian premiere.

Remembering The Man – In a world premiere, this documentary looks at the real-life story behind the recently released feature film Holding The Man – the 16-year relationship between Tim Conigrave and John Caleo, who fell in love at an exclusive Melbourne Catholic boys school in 1976. World premiere.

Sherpa – This feature documentary from director Jennifer Peedom follows a 2014 Everest expedition entirely from the Sherpas’ point of view – a beautiful study of Everest and an enthralling story of a people standing up for their rights.

Speed Sisters – The “Speed Sisters” are an all-female, Palestinian automobile racing team that compete on the West Bank’s professional car racing circuit



With a unique festival initiative, audiences will be invited to create a short film that will premiere during the Festival.

From tomorrow, September 10, The Film You Wrote launches and will encourage film lovers to write the script for a  short film from start to finish through choose-your-own-adventure style multiple choice questions – via and the Festival’s social media.

Starring the Festival’s muse and poster girl, Adelaide actor Tilda Cobham-Hervey, and with Port Adelaide as the backdrop, and music from South Australian emerging talent, The Film You Wrote is a unique way for the audiences to get involved.

They will get to see the fruits of their labour when The Film You Wrote has its world premiere Monday October 19, at 7pm at Palace Cinemas.

The Don Dunstan Award

The Board of the Adelaide Film Festival is proud to announce that the recipient of the 2015 Don Dunstan Award is one of Australia’s most respected filmmakers and writers, Andrew Bovell.

Andrew has enriched Australian screens and stages with his writing for more than 20 years with his authentic stories.  His feature credits include Lantana, which earned him his first AFI Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Head On,  and he has enjoyed success abroad, with such titles as Edge of Darkness and A Most Wanted Man.

When he’s not travelling the world for work, Andrew calls McLaren Vale home.

Previous recipients of the Don Dunstan Award include David Gulpilil (2003), Rolf de Heer (2007), Judy Davis (2011) and this year’s opening night filmmaker Scott Hicks (2013)

Closing Night Gala

Closing the Festival will be the Australian premiere of Youth, starring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Rachel Weisz and Harvey Keitel and from director Paolo Sorrentino – it received a 10-minute standing ovation when it screened at Cannes earlier this year.

Youth focuses on Caine and Keitel – a retired composer and a past-it movie director – and reflects on the distance of youth from the viewpoint of the old. A story of the friendship between two old men as they look towards the future. It will screen Sunday October 25, at 7pm, at Palace 1.


Adelaide Film Festival is re-uniting the much loved Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, Australia’s film champions. They will be back in Adelaide to entertain audiences as ringmasters of the Ultimate Quiz Night. Margaret and David will preside over the evening’s proceedings of games, raffles and rowdy, competitive, one-upmanship – don’t miss out. At the Freemasons Hall on October 23, at 7pm.

On October 25, David will then join forces with the iconic South Australian Yalumba Wines, for a special event, in their beautiful winery grounds. Taking his cue from Yalumba’s Signature series, David will select a vintage film and talk to the audience about why this film has improved with age – while enjoying Yalumba’s best drops and amazing ambience.


In the tradition of random acts of kindness, Pay It Forward gives deserving organisations and individuals a much-needed night at the movies.

Generous corporate advocates are already sponsoring tickets for local charities and community organisations. But anyone can get involved – when you book a ticket for yourself, Pay It Forward by sponsoring a discounted ticket for a cinephile in need – share the love of cinema!


Two special features for the family, plus one South Australian classic digitally re-mastered for a new generation …

The Crow’s Egg is a charming story about two brothers from the slums of Chennai who have one burning ambition: to taste the wondrous new global food, pizza, from the glossy new franchise in their neighbourhood. Only problem is one slice of pizza costs more than their family’s monthly income.

Bill is an Australian premiere from the team behind Horrible Histories. It’s the story of Shakespeare’s lost years when he transformed himself from a hopeless lute player into the word’s greatest playwright!

A presentation from the National Film and Sound Archive, Storm Boy is back on the big screen, 40 years after it premiered. The South Australian classic should be essential viewing for every young cinemagoer. Shot in the Coorong and in Norwood, it is time to re-visit Mr Percival, Fingerbone Bill and the Storm Boy.

Highlights from Australia

Over 40 Australian films, including 24 from South Australia, to choose from, including:

Now Add Honey – From director Wayne Hope and starring Robyn Butler and Portia de Rossi, this Aussie comedy about a spoilt teenage movie star will hit your sweet spot.

The Pack – Shot south of Adelaide and produced by Kojo, afficionadi of the horror genre won’t want to miss this thriller about a family isolated on their farm when all kinds of canine hell breaks loose.

Death of A Chook – The title is a metaphor for director Robert Gibson’s (Video Fool for Love) personal life – he not only moults dramatically, but ruffles the feathers of all those with whom he associates. This world premiere is wry, funny and brutally honest.

Made in SA – from stellar directors across South Australia we present a line up of world premiere shorts.

Michelle’s Story – Director Meryl Tankard’s sublime exploration of  the world of Michelle Ryan, Creative Director of Restless Dance Company. 


51 countries represented – from the US to France, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile and more, including:

Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams star as journalists from The Boston Globe investigate a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church. Australian premiere.

Grandma – In this comedy-drama from Paul Weitz, Lily Tomlin plays Acerbic aging poet Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin), mourning the death of her longtime partner when her teenage granddaughter        Sage (Julia Garner) turns up unexpectedly on her doorstep – a road trip follows to visit old    friends and flames, rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

The Lobster – Director Yorgos Lanthimos is the standard bearer for surrealist cinema. In this, his first film shot in English, the central idea is that singles must find a mate or be turned into animals. Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly star in this new work – like nothing you have seen before. Australian premiere.


This unique collaboration brings together some of Australia’s finest musicians to create a live music improvisation to Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic 1979 film, Stalker.

Lisa Gerrard (vocals), Brian Ritchie (shakuhachi, bass) and Gabriella Smart (piano) will perform at the iconic Freemasons Hall on Monday October 19, at 7pm. The mix of exceptional musicians, free experimentation and a film classic sets the stage for a work of live art and sound.


It’s shaping up to be another memorable Festival – with Scott Hicks’ documentary Highly Strung opening the Festival, on October 15 at Her Majesty’s Theatre with a red carpet event.

Highly Strung is one of thirteen projects to come from the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund 2015 slate. The features include; the dramedy feature A Month of Sundays, starring Anthony LaPaglia and directed by Matt Saville; Spear, a new work from Bangarra’s Stephen Page; Girl Asleep, filmed in Adelaide from director Rosemary Myers; the Sundance Film Festival hit, Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, from Adelaide director Matthew Bate. 

The Art and the Moving Image commissions Char Soo, by Hossein Valamanesh, opens at Samstag Museum on October 9 and director Warwick Thornton will present The Way of The Ngangkari, exploring the stabilising energy of the medicine men and women in his life – at the Art Gallery of South Australia, in partnership with Tarnanthi, the Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Arabian Nights is a big Festival favourite, a marathon of Arabian film, from director Miguel Gomes.

Virtual Reality is making its debut this year. Simply slip on a VR headset and lose yourself in the story and wonderment at the place where art meets technology – a free event in the Palace Cinema foyer.

A Month of Mayhem unleashes screenings, exhibitions, performances and seminars for Deaf and Disabled artists and audiences, including the world premiere of Meryl Tankard’s documentary Michelle’s Story, about dancer Michelle Ryan’s battle with multiple sclerosis. Over 25 inventive works will change your preconceptions.

Reactive Wall will see the energy of the cinema move onto Adelaide’s streets as artist and activist Peter Drew is joined by six local street artists who will paint and draw their thoughts about a diverse array of films, w
ith all proceeds going back to the artists.

A selection of films from Adelaide Film Festival will travel to regional South Australia, including Whyalla, Port Pirie, Renmark, Mount Barker, McLaren Vale and Port Noarlunga, across October and November

The 2015 Adelaide Film Festival program is online and on sale today at

For all media enquiries, please contact:

Mark McGowan / 0419 695 487