23 October 2023

Adelaide Film Festival Wraps First Week With Sold-Out Sessions

A plethora of sold-out sessions in Adelaide Film Festival’s opening week – from Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel to the special preview of Speedway, and sold-out sessions like The Rooster, The Sweet East and Monster – herald an even bigger second week for the Festival.

Cinema lovers are encouraged to get in early and book tickets for the remaining films.  After sold-out galas on opening night and opening weekend, there are just a handful of tickets left for the Closing Night Gala to see MY NAME’S BEN FOLDS i play piano.   Ben Folds will join the audience via video link from the US for a post-screening Q&A and director Scott Hicks will be in attendance.

Friday night’s world premiere of The Musical Mind: A Portrait In Process, also directed by Scott Hicks, features a live performance by piano virtuoso David Helfgott, who is one of the musical geniuses featured in the film, alongside Daniel Johns, Ben Folds and Simon Tedeschi.

Beyond the galas, festival goers are urged to seek out those hidden gems that surprise and change your perspective on the world, or give you a window into another part of it.  Here are a selection chosen by the Festival’s programming team:

Goodbye Julia

Mohamed Kordofani / Sudan

Two women forge an unusual friendship across a devastating national divide in this engrossing Sudanese drama that scored a major success at Cannes. Mona, a northern Sudanese who is Arabic and Muslim, is wracked by guilt after covering up a murder. She tries to atone by taking the southern Sudanese widow, Julia, and her son (who are Christians) into her home.

Four Daughters

Kaouther Ben Hania / France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia

Four Daughters was the deserving winner of the Golden Eye for Best Documentary at Cannes. After finding work outside the country, independent single mother Olfa returns to the Tunisian town of Sousse. In her absence, her two eldest daughters have been radicalised and eventually disappear, suspected of joining the Islamic State.


Riar Rizaldi / Indonesia, Qatar

Mount Merapi – the name is Javanese for ‘fire mountain’ – is the most active stratovolcano in the world. And yet a diverse range of people are drawn to live in its shadows: vulcanologists who debate whether it might mean extinction for humankind, sand miners who sustain the local economy at a cost, paramilitaries whose malign influence hovers over the area, and a shaman with a more mystical interest in the spirit of the mountain.

The Mountains

Christian Einshøj / Denmark

Hyper-personal and profoundly moving while maintaining a whimsical humour, The Mountains is a unique family self-portrait of reconciliation and loss. Growing up in Norway twenty-five years ago, director Christian Einshøj’s family suffered a great tragedy when his younger brother died. Now Christian and his other two brothers are physically and emotionally isolated from each other as the family bonds dissolve.

The Shadowless Tower

Zhang Lu / China

The intricacies of Beijing life have never been as lovingly rendered as they are here in Zhang Lu’s calmly composed, redemptive dramedy. Failed poet but semi-successful food critic Gu Wentong is facing the existential pangs of mid-life crisis. Dealing with divorce, the passing of his mother and part-time parenthood, he is drawn from his malaise through a hesitant, quirky romance with younger photographer Ouyang and the unexpected chance to reunite with his long-estranged, and mysteriously disgraced, father.


Explore the program and book your tickets here.