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With more than 165 films and projects, Amanda Duthie’s first Adelaide Film Festival as Director and CEO offers a program that not only celebrates the best of local film but global cinema with 48 countries represented.
The just-released 2013 program sees Adelaide director Scott Hicks announced as the recipient of the Don Dunstan Award (after Judy Davis in 2011 and Jan Chapman, 2009). The Shine and Snow Falling on Cedars director will be celebrated amongst 100 feature length films, 55 Australian films, 28 world premieres and 47 Australian premieres. Some highlights include the opening night feature Tracks (starring Mia Wasikowska, who is in another AFF screening film, the Australian premiere of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive), international films such as the documentary Seduced and Abandoned and the long-awaited Alan Partridge movie, Alpha Papa. Then there are the AFF funded films, such as the world premiere of Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country with David Gulpilil (the final film of an unofficial trilogy following The Tracker and Ten Canoes), Warwick Thornton’s The Darkside and 52 Tuesdays by Adelaide filmmaking collective Closer Productions. Beginning in 2003, the biennial Adelaide Film Festival may be the youngest of all the national film festivals, but Duthie says that it already has a “remarkable reputation internationally with award winning films premiering over the years”. These include Snowtown, Look Both Ways, Shut Up Little Man! and Samson and Delilah. The 2013 program of AFF funded films looks strong, in fact very strong, with new films from de Heer, Thornton (who directed Samson and Delilah) as well as two films from the team behind the documentaries Shut Up Little Man! and Life in Movement, Closer Productions, who will premiere 52 Tuesdays and I Want to Dance Better at Parties at the AFF. “We hope 2013 will provide the same platform to an array of exciting new Australian work,” Duthie says. “Documentary is definitely on the rise in terms of quantity in the program this year and we are featuring shorts and interactive work as well.” The documentary list is impressive with world premieres of All This Mayhem, Muriel Matters, Sons and Mothers and Tender and Australian premieres of The Act of Killing and Seduced & Abandoned. Duthie, who replaced Katrina Sedgwick as AFF Director, said the festival was a “collective vision” when asked how much she influenced this year’s program. “The team behind the festival is incredibly experienced – in fact they have worked on a variety of festivals and I never have. So I couldn’t have got to this launch point without the collaboration of Associate Director Adele Hann, Marketing Manager Lucy Markey and Sponsorship Manager Sarah Sutter. Plus we have a very clever team who can contribute ideas and elements across the program. Curating is a personal thing – of course it is – but it is also informed by the desire to be open to the new: new filmmakers, new ways of storytelling, stories that challenge you as well as ones that can get a big audience laugh.” Duthie says it seems timely to consider the Adelaide Film Festival as an annual event. “I can’t wait to work on establishing October as another go-to season on the annual arts calendar and to be doing this every year – not every two years – would be brilliant.” Adelaide Film Festival Thursday, October 10 to Sunday, October 20 adelaidefilmfestival.org Program Highlights Opening Night Film: Tracks Don Dunstan Award: Scott Hicks Closing Night: A Story of Children and Film AFF Investment Films: Charlie’s Country, The Darkside, 52 Tuesdays, All This Mayhem, Muriel Matters, Welcome to Iron Knob, Ringbalin, The Boy Castaways, Tender, I Want to Dance Better at Parties. Australian Highlights: Once My Mother, Sons and Mothers, The Broken Shore, The Vasectomist, One-Eyed Girl, The Dead Speak Back. International Highlights: Only Lovers Left Alive, Bastards, Alan Patridge: Alpha Papa, Omar, The Act of Killing, Blue Ruin, Michael H, Human Scale, Stranger by the Lake, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer