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2018 Adelaide Film Festival

The ADL Film Fest Fund today announced the internationally anticipated Hotel Mumbai is set for an Australian Premiere at the 2018 ADL Film Fest Opening Night Gala on Wednesday 10 October.

The Toronto International Film Festival had earlier announced the Hotel Mumbai World Premiere in September, the same event that launched the international hit Lion in 2016.

The Hotel Mumbai Gala Premiere will take place at GU Filmhouse, followed by the ADL Film Fest Opening Night party at the Queen’s Theatre.

The event kicks off the festival’s boldly curated 11-day programme of screenings and events.  Limited tickets are on sale now.


Directed by Anthony Maras and starring Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Nazanin Bonaidi, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, with Anupam Kher, and Jason Isaacs, Hotel Mumbai tells the astonishing story of those trapped in the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the 2008 attacks.

The film’s key creatives including South Australian director Anthony Maras and producer Julie Ryan will be in attendance, with additional special guests to be announced. The event kicks off the festival’s boldly curated 11-day programme of screenings and events.

The ADL Film Fest Fund, now in its ninth successful round, was the first of its kind in Australia and remains one of the few in the world. The 86 projects to date have won major awards at all of the world’s leading film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Venice and Sundance. The full line up of the ADL Film Fest Fund films to screen at the 2018 festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Hotel Mumbai Gala Premiere will take place at GU Film House, followed by the ADL Film Fest Opening Night party at the Queen’s Theatre. Tickets are $95 and now on sale now here.

Hotel Mumbai is directed by Anthony Maras, written by John Collee & Anthony Maras, and produced by Basil Iwanyk, Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, Julie Ryan, Andrew Ogilvie and Jomon Thomas.

Hotel Mumbai is presented by Screen Australia and Xeitgeist Entertainment Group, in association with the South Australian Film Corporation, and Arclight Films, and Adelaide Film Festival, Double Guess Productions and Screenwest. Arclight Films is handling World Sales, with Icon Film Distribution the Australian Distributor. WME and Verve are handling U.S. sales alongside Arclight Films.


Update as at 12 September 2018

The Adelaide Film Festival has unveiled the full 2018 program for 10-21 October with more than 130 features, documentaries, animation, shorts, VR, installation and moving image works. From the hotly anticipated to the visually sublime, the effortless comedy to the edge-of-your seat thrillers, the auteurs and masters to the emerging voices of world cinema, ADL Film Fest’s #youmustsee program is a curated selection of cinematic delights.

The program is positively brimming with premieres – 17 World Premieres, 30 Australian Premieres, 75 South Australian Premieres – and action-packed with zombies, artists, comedians, divas, musicians, liars, adventurers, dancers, climbers, ghosts, terrorists, lovers, the world game…and dogs.  A long-time champion of Australian cinema, 44% of the films are Australian, and 22 were created in South Australia.

ADL Film Fest Artistic Director and CEO Amanda Duthie said, “It is thrilling to unveil this exceptional program of films and screen works #youmustsee. We have the big winners from Venice, the newest works from auteurs and big stars, and new and innovative experiences for our audience. The festival will feature not only the world’s most anticipated films but will also provide a platform for local emerging filmmakers and excitingly, 44% of the films are directed by a woman showcasing a breadth of screen storytelling voices. I am particularly proud of the ADL Film Fest FUND films including The Nightingale and Hotel Mumbai which this week, have already proven their world-class standing.”

Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said, “South Australia’s film industry is a vital creative industry to the state’s economy. It provides new career opportunities and fosters business attraction and the Marshall-Liberal Government is committed to supporting this industry to grow and be successful. The Adelaide Film Festival program announced today showcases the exemplary work of our local screen professionals and will ensure the Festival will again be an internationally acclaimed event.”

Closing night features a formidable choice between two powerful women with both Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation and Melissa McCarthy’s Oscar-buzz Australian Premiere screening of Can You Ever Forgive Me? on offer, with a joint after-party to remember!

With the festival well-placed to secure highlights of the Venice, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals, ADLFF will present the Australian Premieres of Venice Award winners ROMA, Gold Lion (best film) by Oscar-winner Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Joel and Ethan Coen’s Best Screenplay winner The Ballad of Buster Scruggs both in Adelaide’s feature Competition, plus Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate for which Best Actor went to Willem Dafoe for his career-defining performance at Vincent Van Gogh.

ADL Film Fest FUND film The Nightingale by Jennifer Kent, was named the Venice Film Festival Special Jury Prize winner and was also presented the Marcello Mastroianni award for best young actor for Baykali Ganambarr from the internationally acclaimed Djuki Mala dance group in his feature film debut.  This is the second ADL Film Fest film to win the Venice Special Jury Prize following Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country last year and one of only two films to win two awards in 2018.

The 2018 festival opens on October 10 with Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, direct from its triumphant world premiere at Toronto on Friday night. The ADL Film Fest FUND thriller stars Armie Hamer, Dev Patel and Adelaide’s own Tilda Cobham-Hervey. And from its World Premiere at Telluride Film Festival, ADLFF presents the Australian Premiere of Robert Redford’s retirement swansong, The Old Man and the Gun.

Adelaide’s International Feature Fiction Competition sponsored by University of South Australia School of Creative Industries features a world-class competition and includes the Australian Premieres following the Toronto debuts of Beautiful Boy, exquisitely written by Australia’s Luke Davies (Lion, Candy), sensitively directed by Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) and starring Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) and Steve Carell; and Australia’s own Emu Runner by Imogen Thomas and starring Wayne Blair which premiered in Toronto on Friday night.

Also in competition is Indonesian auteur Garin Nugroho’s sensual dance-filled journey Memories of My Body which world premiered in Venice’s Orrizonti Program will mark its Australian Premiere in Adelaide, alongside Berlin Crystal Bear and Asia Pacific Screen Awards winner The Seen and Unseen, a magical, beautiful and ultimately heart-rending tale set in Bali, directed by his daughter Kamila Andini. This Australian first sees the festival Competition feature the work of both generations of these acclaimed Indonesian filmmakers.

Also in contention for the festival’s top prize is Australian film, Ben Hackworth’s Celeste starring Radha Mitchell, and  three Cannes selection titles – masterful psychological drama Burning by Korea’s top auteur, Lee Chang-dong, which won the highest acclaim ever recorded by the Screen International critics’ panel at Cannes, Nadine Labaki’s Cannes Jury Prize winner Capharnaüm and Lukas Dhont’s Un Certain Regard Camera D’Or, Queer Palm and Best Performance winner Girl.

The International Feature Fiction Jury is comprised of filmmaker and selector for Venice and selection committee for Cannes Directors Fortnights, Paolo Bertolin; Renowned South Australian director, Emmy, Peabody and multiple AFI award-winner Scott Hicks; and Sarah Perks writer, curator, film producer and Artistic Director of HOME in Manchester where she enables the investment and presentation of films created by artists.

The Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition will be determined by an all female, all award-winning Jury of filmmakers: lawyer, writer and filmmaker and Larissa Behrendt (After the Apology), multi-award winning editor Tania Nehme  (Tanna, Ten Canoes) and award-winning writer, producer and director Madeleine Parry (Nanette).

The ten films in Feature Documentary Competition have all premiered at the world’s leading film and documentary festivals: Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s América (CPH:DOX),  Anja Kofmel’s Chris the Swiss (Cannes), Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck’s The Cleaners (Sundance), Mark Cousins’ The Eyes of Orsen Wells (Cannes), Luiz Bolognesi’s Ex Sharman (EX-PAJÉ)(Berlin), Lauren Greenfield’s Generation Wealth (SXSW), Genevieve Bailey’s Happy Sad Man (MIFF), Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Tribeca), Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses (Karlovy Vary) and Daniel Zimmermann’s Waldon (Karlovy Vary).

ADL Film Fest’s themed programming strands return with the popular Australian Showcase, Screen Worship, Up Late, Music & Art, Animation, Made in SA Shorts and with new sections this year A Singular Vision, Love and It’s Wild Out There and a focus on Arab Women Directors.

Arab Women Directors #youmustsee celebrates the powerful voices of female filmmakers from the Arab world and includes the Australian Premiere of Jordanian docu-maker Widad Shafokoj’s new film 17which follows the national team in the lead-up to Jordan hosting the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup.  Annemarie Jacir’s Locarno Best Film winner Wajib, and Meryem Benm’Barkek’s Un Certain Regard Best Screenplay winner Sofia will mark their South Australian premieres.

It’s Wild Out There is a program of four films which take us to extreme locations for tales of human endurance, family ties and coming to terms with the savage beauty of nature and features the Australian Premiere direct from Toronto of National Geographic documentary Free Solo, an edge-of-your seat thriller which follows climber, Alex Honnold’s journey to scale the world’s most famous rock, the El Capitan in Yosemite; Mads Mikkelsen in Joe Penna’s Icelandic film Arctic, Debra Granik’s follow-up to her multi-Oscar nominated hit Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace and Benedikt Erlingsson’s eco-thriller-musical-comedy drama from Iceland which won raves at Cannes, Woman At War.

Other Australian Premieres across the program include:

  • A dazzling essay about the pressure to conform in acclaimed UK multimedia artist Rachel Maclean’s Make Me Up (A Singular Vision #youmustsee)
  • Marco Proserpio’s The Man Who Stole Banksy narrated by Iggy Pop (Art #youmustsee)
  • The fresh, vibrant and visually inventive Japanese zombie comedy bloodbath One Cut of the Dead (Up Late #youmustsee)
  • Russian auteur, Kirill Serebrennikov’s tale of real-life Soviet rock-legends in The Summer (Art #youmustsee)
  • Tom Volf’s stunning portrait of the great opera singer in Maria by Callas (Music #youmustsee)
  • Scotty & the Secret History of Hollywood (Screen Worship #youmustsee)
  • Award-winning animationwinning Best Film at Annecy Funan (Animation #youmustsee)
  • Matthew Victor Pastor’s edgy and inventive Melodrama/Random/Melbourne! (Australian Showcase #youmustsee)


+ repeat screenings of some of our audience favourites including winners of the top 3 Australian films #YOUMUSTSEE  The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding special Sing-A-Long Edition, Samson & Delilah, Sunday Too Far Away and Look Both Ways with Justine Clarke & producer Bridget Ikin in attendance!

Full program online at

Adelaide Film Festival 2018 Competition line-up

International Feature Fiction Competition sponsored by University of South Australia Creative Industries 

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

United States

Australian Premiere

Beautiful Boy 

Felix Van Groeningen

United States

Australian Premiere

Burning (Beoning)

Lee Chang-Dong

South Korea

South Australian Premiere


Nadine Labaki

United States, Lebanon, France

South Australian Premiere


Ben Hackworth


South Australian Premiere

Emu Runner 

Imogen Thomas


Australian Premiere


Lukas Dhont


South Australian Premiere

Memories Of My Body (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku )

Garin Nugroho


Australian Premiere


Alfonso Cuarón


Australian Premiere

The Seen and Unseen (Sekala Niskala)

Kamila Andini

Australia, Indonesia, Netherlands, Qatar

South Australian Premiere

AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition


Assaf Machnes


Australian Premiere


Dominic Allen


South Australian Premiere

Dinner Party 

Angel Manuel Soto

United States

South Australian Premiere


Max Sacker


Australian Premiere

Parragirls Past, Present: unlocking memories of institutional ‘care’ 

Parragirls Past, Present Creative Team


South Australian Premiere


Christian Zipfel


Australian Premiere

The Real Thing 

Benoit Felici


South Australian Premiere

The Unknown Patient 

Michael Beets


Australian Premiere

The Whale 

Jung Woo Park

South Korea

South Australian Premiere

Your Spiritual Temple Sucks 

John Hsu


South Australian Premiere

Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition 



Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

United States

South Australian Premiere

Chris the Swiss 

Anja Kofmel

Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia

South Australian Premiere

Ex-Shaman (Ex-Pajé)

Luiz Bolognesi


Australian Premiere

Generation Wealth 

Lauren Greenfield

United States

Australian Premiere

Happy Sad Man 

Genevieve Bailey


South Australian Premiere

Island of the Hungry Ghosts 

Gabrielle Brady

Australia, United Kingdom, Germany

South Australian Premiere

Putin’s Witnesses 

Vitaly Mansky

Czech Republic, Latvia, Switzerland

South Australian Premiere

The Cleaners 

Hans Block, Moritz Riesewieck

United States, Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, Italy

South Australian Premiere

The Eyes of Orson Welles 

Mark Cousins

United Kingdom

South Australian Premiere


Daniel Zimmermann

Austria, Switzerland

Australian Premiere



Guests announced: Adelaide Film Festival

Opening October 10 with Hotel Mumbai stars Armie Hammer, Dev Patel and Tilda Cobham-Hervey on the red carpet, the Adelaide Film Festival has now unveiled the full stunning line-up of guests for 2018. Australians Wayne Blair, Benjamin Law, Justine Clarke, Warwick Thornton, Tess Haubrich, Erica Glynn, Margaret Pomeranz, David Stratton and Venice prize winners Jennifer Kent and Baykali Ganambarr will be joined by international guests including Jordan’s Widad Shafakoj, Denmark’s Clara Rugaard and Indonesia’s Kamila Andini for the eleven day screen spectacular.

Jennifer Kent, director of Venice Special Jury Prize winner and ADL Film Fest FUND film The Nightingale will walk the red carpet at the Australian Premiere with Baykali Ganambarr, winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent and former member of the internationally acclaimed Djuki Mala dance group, Jim Everett, associate producer and aboriginal consultant and producer Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook, Cargo).

Exciting young star of I Am MotherDanish actress Clara Rugaard, best known for playing Juliet in Still Star-Crossed with writer/director Grant Sputore and producer Timothy White.

Multi-award winning filmmaker and humanitarian activist from Jordan, Widad Shafakoj will present the Australian Premiere of her doco, 17, which follows the Jordanian team’s journey to the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup. Widad will also be part of a fascinating panel discussion on The Cinematic World of Arab Women with Arab Film Festival Australia Committee members Dr Mehal Krayem and Dr Paula Abood. 

Recipients of the Don Dunstan Award, indigenous screen pioneer Freda Glynn, her children, Erica Glynn, Warwick Thornton, and grandchildren Tanith Glynn-Maloney and Dylan River will be celebrated with a suite of events including the World Premiere of She Who Must Be Loved (directed by Erica, produced by Tanith), the launch of KIN, a collection of essays which recognise the remarkable contribution to the industry of this talented family, and screenings of Warwick’s 2003 debut Samson & Delilah, and Dylan’s much-anticipated documentary Finke: There and Back.

The World Premiere of ABC/NETFLIX thriller Pine Gap will see stars Tess Haubrich (Alien: Covenant, Wolf Creek 2) and Sachin Joab (Lion) walk the red carpet with director Mat King and producers.

In Adelaide to present their films in the festival’s Feature Fiction Competition in partnership with University of South Australia’s School of Creative Industries is Australian mystery thriller Celeste director Ben Hackworth and Indonesian director Kamila Andini with her APSA and Berlinale Crystal Bear winning The Seen and Unseen. Also in competition, the festival welcomes the cast and crew of Australian feature Emu Runner including cast Wayne Blair, Rhae-Kye Waites, Mary Waites, Letisha Boney and Stella Carter with director/writer Imogen Thomas and producer Victor Evatt.

The Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition title Happy Sad Man will be presented by filmmaker Genevieve Bailey (I Am Eleven) and subjects from her compelling documentary.

Youtube sensation (10+ million subscribers) Ozzy Man will join filmmakers Jeremy Kelly-Bakker and Tom Phillips for the World Premiere of Lucy and DiC.

Comedian, writer and creator of The Family Law, Benjamin Law and showrunner Sophie Miller for the series 3 World Premiere on the big screen.

Star of Look Both WaysJustine Clarke and producer Bridget Ikin will be in conversation with Margaret Pomeranz following a special screening of Sarah Watt’s remarkable debut.

Bridget Ikin will also World Premiere The Woman and the Car alongside director Kate Blackmore.

World premiere of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s (NFSA) digital restoration of South Australian classic starring Jack Thompson NFSA Restores: Sunday Too Far Away, presented by star Max Cullen, producer Matt Carroll, DOP Geoff Burton, and former SAFC executive Penny Chapman.

Max Cullen will also join director Thomas M Wright and writer Erik Jensen for a special screening of Acute Misfortune, a dramatised portrait of the late Australian artist Adam Cullen.

World Premieres of Adelaide Film Festival FUND works will be presented by:

Davi director Victoria Cocks and producer Anna Bardsley-Jones

A Stone’s Throw director Luke Wissell and producer Ashleigh Knott

Running 62: The Arrival VR director Madeleine Parry, producers Molly O’Connor and Anton Andreacchio and subject Zibeon Fielding 

Demonic producers Bonnie McBride and Anna Vincent

The Art of the Game filmmakers Matthew Bate, Trent Parke and Narelle Autio whose ADLFF FUND VR The Summation of Force  is also screening in the Jumpgate VR Lounge

The Waiting Room director Molly Reynolds and producer Rolf de Heer


Guests presenting their Australian Showcase screenings include:

Dying to Live activist-documentarian Richard Todd (Frackman)

Love in the Time of Antidepressants filmmaker Paul Gallasch and producer Katrina Lucas

Melodrama/Random/Melbourne! director Matthew Victor Pastor and Senses of Cinema’s Bill Mousoulis

Two-person artist collective Soda_Jerk will present their political revenge fable Terror Nullius

Producer Rita Walsh will present I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story 

Producer/director Janine Hosking with producers Trish Lake and Katey Grusovin for The Eulogy 

Short film and Made in SA filmmakers presenting their films include Lucy Campbell and Peter Ninos (The Big Nothing), Sara West (Mutt), David Muggleton (Freedom), Lucy Knox (An Act of Love), Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen (Small Town P.D.)Kiara Milera (Wild) and Steve Bakala Warramurra (Bakala). Also in Adelaide for the festival are filmmakers from the 2018 Sit Down Shutup and Watch Film & New Media Festival

The International Feature Fiction Jury filmmaker and selector for Venice and selection committee for Cannes Directors Fortnight, Paolo Bertolin; Renowned South Australian director, Emmy, Peabody and multiple AFI award-winner Scott Hicks; and Sarah Perks writer, curator, film producer and Artistic Director of HOME in Manchester where she enables the investment and presentation of films created by artists.

The Flinders University Feature Documentary Competition will be determined by an all female, all award-winning Jury of filmmakers: lawyer, writer and filmmaker and Larissa Behrendt (After the Apology), multi-award winning editor Tania Nehme (Tanna, Ten Canoes) and award-winning writer, producer and director Madeleine Parry (Nanette).

The AFTRS Virtual Reality Competition jury consists of industry professionals at the forefront of screen making with emerging technologies, AFTRS Head of Cinematography Kim Batterham and Google Creative Lab’s Mathew Tizard. The final VR Jury member is internationally acclaimed artist and VR creative Sue Austin, who will present her underwater live art event ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ in a Southern Hemisphere premiere in two shows only at North Adelaide Aquatic Centre.

Festival “faces’ Natasha Wanganeen (Cargo, Rabbit-Proof Fence) and Rashidi Edward (F*!#ing Adelaide) will be rubbing shoulders with the industry including Hotel Mumbai director/writer Anthony Maras, writer John Collee and producers Julie Ryan and Joe Thomas, plus Gillian Armstrong, in Adelaide for the SAFC’s inaugural Lottie Lyell AwardWIFT Australia’s Megan Riakos and Tracey Corbin-Matchett to launch the Raising Films Australia Survey, SPA’s Matt Deaner and The Wheeler Centre’s Sophie Black among many others!

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