29 February 2024
Anna Lindner, Yasemin Sabuncu, Nisa East

Adelaide Film Festival Announces $100,000 2025 AFF/Samstag EXPAND Moving Image Commission

Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) and the Samstag Museum of Art are delighted to announce the recipients of the $100,000 2025 AFF/Samstag EXPAND Moving Image Commission.

The commission has been awarded to the three-person team of Anna Lindner (SA), Nisa East (NSW) and Yasemin Sabuncu (SA). Their project 5 STEPS FOR BETTER LIVING, MAXIMUM GAINS AND MANIFESTING YOUR MOST OPTIMISED SELF! is a satirical, critical reflection on the trends of hyper-masculinity in times of existential crisis. Using dark humour and immersive installation design, the work interrogates the trends of the rabidly individualist, billion-dollar wellness industry and the “alpha” personalities who appropriate global healing traditions to fit a capitalism 2.0 ethos: aggressive self-improvement and infinite growth as the key to happiness and wellbeing.

The work will be developed in Adelaide and Sydney over 2024/2025 for presentation at the Samstag Museum as part of the 2025 Adelaide Film Festival.

The artists, Anna Linder, Nisa East and Yasemin Sabuncu, said of being awarded the commission: “We are beyond thrilled to be selected as recipients of the AFF EXPAND Lab 2025 Moving Image Commission, and so humbled to have pitched alongside a wildly talented cohort of artists and filmmakers. As a team that embodies a multitude of perspectives: femme, disabled, Muslim, queer, neuro-spicy working class – we seek to make work that holds a mirror to these knife-edge times we’re all living through. We’d like to thank AFF, Samstag, the mentors and the selection panel for seeing the value in our vision. We’re looking forward to bringing this work to life.”

In addition two projects will be mentored by leading South Australian cultural organisations:

Art Gallery of SA will mentor the project LAST CHANCE TO VISIT WORLDWORLD by Jake Bresanello (SA), Conor Mercury (SA) and Bryce Kraehenbuehl (SA). A documentary-style exhibition comprising micro-documentaries focussing on several people’s stories of loss within their time at Worldworld, an imagined theme park.

Illuminate Adelaide will mentor Infinite Terrarium by Chris Luscri (VIC) and Tully Arnot (NSW). A closed biosphere, a space outside of time. Plants, insects, fungi, algae are cared for by an AI custodian that works alone, that waters, burns off, plants anew.

These three projects were developed at AFF EXPAND Lab 2023 held during Adelaide Film Festival in October 2023. Ten projects were presented on the final day of the Lab and from these five were shortlisted with each group receiving $5,000 for further development of their concepts. The final projects were presented to a selection panel on 2nd February 2024.

AFF’s CEO & Creative Director Mat Kesting said: “Adelaide Film Festival thanks all of the participants in the AFF EXPAND Lab 2023 who came together to develop ten unique and insightful projects exploring a range of issues and themes. The $100,000 2025 AFF/Samstag EXPAND Moving Image Commission is a substantial commission and thanks to supporters including The Balnaves Foundation the commission has been increased from the $60,000 awarded following AFF EXPAND Lab 2022.”

Erica Green, Director of Samstag Museum of Art and co-commissioner of the EXPAND Commission said: “Since 2007 the Samstag Museum of Art and the Adelaide Film Festival have commissioned and presented ambitious moving-image works by leading Australian artists and filmmakers, such as Lynette Wallworth, Daniel Crooks, Warwick Thornton, Hossein Valamanesh, Madison Bycroft, Amos Gebhardt and Soda Jerk. The long-standing Samstag and Film Festival partnership is unique, and has been a wonderful public and artistic success. In 2024, we will proudly launch the Archie Moore moving-image commission, and to complement this, Samstag is delighted to present works from the Adelaide Film Festival’s Expand Lab as part of our 2024 and 2025 program.” Erica Green

Hamish Balnaves, CEO of The Balnaves Foundation, a key partner of AFF EXPAND Lab, said:“I was thrilled to be in the audience for the presentation of the five shortlisted projects from AFF EXPAND Lab 2023 and the calibre of each of them was outstanding. The Balnaves Foundation is proud to support this ground-breaking Lab, which is proving to be a unique opportunity for Australian artists across multidisciplinary artforms to connect, develop new moving image projects and form long-lasting creative partnerships. We congratulate Nisa, Anna and Yasemin on being awarded the commission and look forward to its presentation at the Samstag Museum and the Adelaide Film Festival in 2025.”

Minister for the Arts, Andrea Michaels, said: “Congratulations to Anna Lindner, Nisa East and Yasemin Sabuncu on being awarded this sought-after prize. They are tackling a fascinating topic and I look forward to seeing their film at the 2025 Adelaide Film Festival. Congratulations also to all of the other participants in the AFF EXPAND Lab 2023, particularly the teams behind LAST CHANCE TO VISIT WORLDWORLD and Infinite Terrarium, who will now be mentored by the Art Gallery of South Australia and Illuminate Adelaide to develop their films.”

Adelaide Film Festival presented the second edition of AFF EXPAND Lab in 2023 and plans are already underway to maintain the program into the future. The Lab will continue to bring together visual artists, filmmakers, writers, XR and VR creatives from across Australia to learn from each other, to work with renowned mentors and to develop bold new projects for Australian audiences and beyond. Mentors at the 2023 Lab were time-bending digital artist Daniel Crooks, theatre maker & media artist Robert Walton, highly respected moving image & film producer Bridget Ikin and video artist/filmmaker Amos Gebhardt.

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