4 August 2023

The Adelaide Film Festival is celebrating the success of Talk to Me, written and directed by Adelaide’s Danny Philippoua and Michael Philippou, as it storms the Australian and international box office.

This first-time feature was supported into production by the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFFIF) and took more than $US10m at the international box office on its opening weekend. It has become the third highest grossing Australian film this year, after just one week.

“Talk to Me exemplifies the films and filmmakers the AFFIF supports – bold and innovative storytelling, a striking use of screen language and a strong creative team that brings cultural and economic benefits to South Australia.  When Danny and Michael pitched the film, we couldn’t resist their dynamism and clear creative intent. There was no doubt that this was a filmmaking duo with an incredible future – and, by investing in their first feature and premiering the film at the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival, we are proud to have played a role in elevating them to the world stage,” said Mat Kesting, Adelaide Film Festival CEO & Creative Director.

AFFIF invests in bold and courageous films and supports a vibrant screen culture. Since its inception in 2003, AFFIF has redefined the role of film festivals to be an active contributor in creating new work. The first fund of its type in Australia, and a rarity worldwide, AFFIF is a major force for encouraging and showcasing bold new Australian screen works.

AFFIF has invested in more than 150 screen projects. Many have garnered national and international acclaim, screening at major festivals including Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto and Venice, winning in excess of 100 international and 250 national awards.

Talk to Me had its international premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.


The Adelaide Film Festival also has high hopes for Monolith, starring Lily Sullivan and directed by South Australia’s Matt Vesely, which premiered at the Festival last year and will now screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival next week before its Australian cinema release in October. The film’s international premiere was at SXSW where it was picked up for North American distribution by Well Go USA.

Monolith also received AFFIF funding and was developed and produced through the FilmLab: New Voices program, an initiative run by the South Australian Film Corporation and the Adelaide Film Festival, financed with the assistance of Screen Australia, designed to develop and elevate first time South Australian feature filmmakers.

Reviewing out of SXSW, Dread Central’s Mary Beth McAndrews wrote: “With Monolith, director Matt Vesely delivers a gorgeous piece of lo-fi sci-fi that’ll creep in through your ears and nestle itself in the folds of your brain.”

“We are very excited to see Monolith find its way to cinema audiences around the world. It’s a brilliant piece of indie cine from director Matt Vesely, screenwriter Lucy Campbell and producer Bettina Hamilton with a head-turning performance by Lily Sullivan,” Mat Kesting said.


The AFFIF slate from 2022 also includes the documentary The Last Daughter which, following a very successful theatrical release, continues to impact the hearts and minds of Australian audiences through community screenings around the country as well as being available worldwide on Netflix.


Watandar: My Countryman, directed by Jolyon Hoff and produced by Jolyon with Hamish Gibbs Ludbrook and Muzafar Ali, is also screening around the country. The second film by Jolyon and Muzafar, after The Staging Post, the film continues the very successful model established by the filmmakers with the earlier film, with special event screenings rolling out over several months.

Rolf de Heer’s Survival of Kindness was released in cinemas in April.

This year’s Adelaide Film Festival will see the world premieres of new AFFIF films. The Festival will announce the first films to be programmed in the coming weeks, with the full program announced 13 September ahead of the festival 18-29 October.

See Adelaide Film Festival’s full Investment Fund Slate here.