Adelaide Film Festival 2023
Feature Fiction and Documentary Competition

Feature Fiction Competition

A selection of almost entirely first features capturing imagined worlds both rooted in the real or entirely visionary. An elderly Bulgarian woman responds in kind to scammers; a young man takes a dangerous job to marry the woman he loves; a mermaid joins a runaway duo in the trippiest of road movies and time is entirely arbitrary in one of the most intriguing films of the year.

Blaga’s Lessons
Stephan Komandarev / Bulgaria, Germany

A dark, award-winning thriller where an elderly Bulgarian woman turns criminal.

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Embryo Larva Butterfly
Kyros Papavassiliou / Cyprus, Greece

A couple wakes each day to a different time period in their lives, testing their relationship to its limits.

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Empty Nets
Behrooz Karamizade / Germany, Iran

Iran has spawned today’s most important realist film movement, and Behrooz Karamizade delivers a deeply felt addition with this story of star-crossed lovers.

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On the Go
Julia de Castro & María Gisèle Royo / Spain

A queer Spanish road movie, infused with Spain’s ‘La Movida’ spirit.

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Raghuvir Joshi / Australia 

A young Indian-Australian couple must face up to the notion of cultural shame in this coming out drama.

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You’ll Never Find Me
Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell / Australia

A psychological thriller-horror on paranoia and gender power dynamics.

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Sponsored by Swarmer

Feature Documenatry Competition

From a young woman’s fight for her life from a prison cell in Tehran; to being embedded with the Taliban in the days following the fall of Kabul or the wild performances on the underground stages of Berlin, London and Melbourne by one of Australia’s most internationally influential bands – the films in Adelaide Film Festival’s Documentary Competition take you into extraordinary and sometimes profound experiences.

Apolonia, Apolonia
Lea Glob / Denmark, Poland

A candid, intoxicating portrait of an artist as she breaks into the brutal international scene.

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Ibrahim Nash’at /  Germany, USA

In the chaotic aftermath of the US withdrawal, an Egyptian journalist brilliantly documents the Taliban transition from militia to military regime.

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Lakota Nation vs United States
Jesse Short Bull and Laura Tomaselli / USA

The claims of First Nations people are of intense relevance to Australia, making this an unmissable political chronicle for our times. 

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Mutiny in Heaven: The Birthday Party
Ian White / Australia 

Chronicling the belligerent brilliance of Australian post-punk legends The Birthday Party, fronted by Nick Cave.

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Seven Winters in Tehran
Steffi Niederzoll / Germany, France

A defiant battle against a monolithic, insidious justice system.

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The Mountains
Christian Einshøj / Denmark

A unique, wryly funny and deeply moving family self- portrait on reconciliation and loss.

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Sponsored by Crumpler