Two backpackers take on outback culture.
Uncompromising auteur Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet, The Assistant) explodes the conventions of the outback thriller in this captivating new work. Having the time of their lives, Americans Hanna (Julia Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick) are best friends backpacking in Australia. After they run out of money, Liv, looking for an adventure, convinces Hanna to take a temporary live-in job behind the bar of a pub called ’The Royal Hotel’ in a remote Outback mining town. Bar owner Billy (Hugo Weaving) and a host of locals give the girls a riotous introduction to Down Under drinking culture but soon Hanna and Liv find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their control. Green subverts the genre by taking a female gaze towards toxic masculinity and outback culture, while giving audiences an exceptional cinematic experience.
Coming to AFF via its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Royal Hotel was produced by some of Australia’s foremost producers: Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The Power of the Dog, Lion, The King’s Speech), Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom, The King) and Kath Shelper (Samson and Delilah, The New Boy). Filmed in South Australia, The Royal Hotel is a testament to the extraordinary films made in SA.