12 August 2015

A premiere feature documentary from Academy Award-winning director Scott Hicks, a new Australian film starring Anthony LaPaglia, Justine Clarke and John Clarke, directorial feature debuts from Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Stephen Page and Windmill Theatre Company’s Rosemary Myers and the red carpet screening of Jocelyn Moorhouse’s anticipated Australian film The Dressmaker are just some of the highlights that will feature at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival.

Festival Creative Director Amanda Duthie today announced key highlights, ahead of the full program reveal next month and was thrilled to announce that Hicks’ documentary Highly Strung will have its world premiere and open the Festival, when it returns to Adelaide October 15-25. Highly Strung will screen at Her Majesty’s Theatre with a red carpet event, with Hicks in attendance.

It joins the Adelaide-made dramedy feature A Month of Sundays, starring LaPaglia and directed by Matt Saville; Spear, a new work from Bangarra’s Stephen Page; Girl Asleep, filmed in Adelaide from director Rosemary Myers and featuring rising star Tilda Cobham-Hervey; and the Sundance Film Festival hit, Sam Klemke’s Time Machine, from Adelaide director Matthew Bate.

Ms Duthie was also pleased to announce the Adelaide Film Festival red carpet screening of The Dressmaker, from director Jocelyn Moorhouse, and starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth and Adelaide’s Sarah Snook – on October 16, at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

Ticketing is now open for all titles released today. There is a special launch offer of 20% off all passes for 24 hours including Gold and MultiPasses, with booking information available at

Highly Strung – Directed by Adelaide’s Oscar-winning Scott Hicks (Shine), Highly Strung will have its world premiere at the Festival. Hicks continues his exploration of music themed films with this new documentary project – a journey into a rarefied world of elusive tones evoked by horsehair on catgut; of investors tempted to spend millions on unique instruments; and a quartet of virtuosi caught up in a duel of tension and harmony. This is Scott’s first documentary since the 2007 release Glass: A Portrait of Phillip in Twelve Parts.

A Month Of Sundays – Filmed in Adelaide earlier this year, A Month of Sundays stars Anthony LaPaglia as real estate agent Frank Mollard, who won’t admit it, but he can’t move on. Divorced but still attached, he can’t sell a house in a property boom – much less connect with his teenage son. One night Frank gets a phone call from his mother. Nothing out of the ordinary apart from the fact that she died a year ago. A Month of Sundays is about parents, children, regrets, mourning, moments of joy, houses, homes, love, work, television, Shakespeare and jazz fusion: about ordinary people and improbable salvation. This comedy-drama is from director Matt Saville (The Slap, Cloudstreet, Felony). John Clarke, Justine Clarke and Julia Blake round out an impressive cast.

The Dressmaker – Based on the best-selling novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is a bittersweet, comedy-drama set in early 1950s Australia. After working as a dressmaker in Paris, Tilly Dunnage (Kate Winslet) returns to her hometown of Dungatar to right the wrongs of the past. Not only does she reconcile with her ailing mother Molly (Judy Davis) and fall in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), but armed with her sewing machine, she transforms the women of the town and gets sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.

Spear – Produced out of the HIVE FUND, Spear is a groundbreaking work from Stephen Page telling a contemporary Aboriginal story through movement and dance. It follows a young Aboriginal man Djali as he journeys through his community to understand what it means to be a man with ancient traditions in a modern world. Featuring dancers from Stephen’s highly acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre, this is an intimate journey with one of Australia’s most celebrated artists as he brings this modern day mythology to the screen.

Girl Asleep – The world is closing in on Greta Driscoll. She can’t bear to leave her childhood and floats in a bubble of loserdom with her only friend Elliott, until her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and she’s flung into a parallel place; a world that’s weirdly erotic, a little bit violent and thoroughly ludicrous – only there can she find herself. Another HIVE FUND project and based on the critically acclaimed production by Windmill Theatre, Girl Asleep is a journey into the absurd, scary and beautiful world of the teenage mind.

Sam Klemke’s Time Machine – In 1977, teenager Sam Klemke began a project to obsessively film and narrate every year of his life in an attempt to understand himself. Also in 1977, NASA sent into space the Golden Record: an audio-visual self-portrait of humanity that would allow extra terrestrials to understand who we are. Sam Klemke’s Time Machine moves us from the infinity of space to the raw intimacy of the life of an extraordinary nobody to look at what it means to be human. From Closer Productions and directed by Matthew Bate, Sam Klemke’s Time Machine was a break-out hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will have its Australian premiere at the 2015 Adelaide Film Festival.

Ms Duthie also confirmed the Festival’s Art and the Moving Image commission – Char Soo, by Hossein Valamanesh – will open at Samstag Museum on October 9.

Char Soo – This four-screen video projection filmed in a four-sided Iranian bazaar aims to capture a segment of life in an ever-changing world. The work explores and contemplates the notion of movement and the passing of time. Underlying this observation is Hossein Valamanesh’s personal and emotional connection to his birthplace, Iran. The ‘Char Soo’ (four sides) can be seen as a metaphor for Iran itself, as it has been a crossroad for invasions, religions, commerce and cultural interaction
for centuries.

Highly Strung, Spear, A Month of Sundays, Girl Asleep, Char Soo and Sam Klemke’s Time Machine are all films from the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund 2015 slate, in partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Screen Australia, ABC Arts and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Ms Duthie also announced the Festival will also present a special event 21st anniversary screening of Rolf de Heer’s Bad Boy Bubby, at the Waterside Workers Hall, at Port Adelaide, on October 17.

Bad Boy Bubby – Port Adelaide welcomes back its greatest artistic achievement. Bad Boy Bubby will be presented for the first time in binaural sound with the audience wearing audio headsets. They’ll literally be plugged into the lead character’s experience. Sound recordist James Currie believes that sound is heard through the entire body. He experimented by placing microphones built into lead actor Hope’s wig. A truck rumbling down a highway is a stereo vibration absorbed across the bitumen, up Hope’s body, and to his skull and ears. This is cinema as you’ve never heard it.

Rolf de Heer said today of the 21st anniversary screening: “It’s startling to think that twenty-two years after Bad Boy Bubby confounded everyone, including me, by winning five prizes at the Venice Film Festival, and twenty-one years after it was released to an unsuspecting general public, the film is still ticking away, being shown, being seen, being loved and loathed in probable equal measure.”

This event is the idea of Mike Retter, the Port Adelaide based filmmaker and film buff as part of the Adelaide Film Festival Emerging Curators program.

Adelaide Film Festival’s full schedule will be announced September 9, again promising to highlight the best of local, Australian and internationally produced films, with an eclectic mix of cinema, television, art and the moving image.

Amanda Duthie said today: “And this is just the beginning… I am really thrilled that our biennial Film Festival event is rushing closer. I can’t wait to welcome the extraordinary filmmakers, artists, industry greats, stars from in front of the camera, stars from behind the camera and the amazing Australian screen storytellers who created these works. Please don’t miss out on all the good that awaits on the big screen in Adelaide in October.”


Mark McGowan 0419 695 487