Current Issue #488

Adelaide Film Festival appoints new creative director

Adelaide Film Festival appoints new creative director

Adelaide Film Festival’s current programs manager Matthew Kesting will step into the top job as both chief executive and creative director.

Previous director Amanda Duthie’s departure last year drew applicants from around the world, but the search for her successor has ended with an appointment very close to home.

Matthew Kesting has been named as the new festival head, building on previous roles in curation and program management with OzAsia Festival, Mercury Cinema and the Brisbane International Film Festival. Most pertinently, Kesting has also helped put together the Adelaide Film Festival itself as programs manager since 2015.

“The Adelaide Film Festival is a brilliant showcase of the best of our local industry and its growing future potential, and Mr. Kesting has been part of that for some time now,” Festival Chair Sandra Sdraulig said of the appointment.

“For him to continue on as its Chief Executive and Creative Director will ensure the next festival will be as internationally recognised as the last.”

Incoming Adelaide Festival head Matthew Kesting (Photo: Mike Smith)
Incoming Adelaide Film Festival head Matthew Kesting (Photo: Mike Smith)

Duthie announced her departure ahead of the 2018 festival to take up a new role as Head of Production, Development, Attraction and Studios at the South Australian Film Corporation.

Under her stewardship the festival has steadily grown in scale, while its funding program has continued to support the production of Australian works including Netflix zombie drama Cargo, Windmill Theatre Co.’s Girl Asleep, Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays, Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Babadook director Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale, which hits cinemas this month after premiering at the 2018 festival.

“I want to continue to support creative talent in this state and help grow South Australia and Australia’s reputation for filmmaking,” Kesting said of his appointment. “It is important for local audiences to see Australian stories on the big screen and supporting the effort to bring more films to them is something I’m very much looking forward to.”

Kesting will lead his first Adelaide Film Festival in 2020.

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