ONE hundred and 43 films from 49 countries, plus an array of special events, art installations and forums will be part of next month’s Adelaide Film Festival.
The 40-page colour program, free inside the Saturday Review liftout this week, was officially launched at Palace Cinemas this morning.
The festival, from February 19 to March 1, includes 22 world premieres and 62 Australian premieres.
The red carpet events in the BigPond Adelaide Film Festival promise to be hot with big stars and directors in Adelaide including Hugo Weaving, Natalie Imbruglia, Matt Day, Peter O’Brien, Bryan Brown, Miranda Otto, Aden Young, Bruce Beresford, Peta Wilson and Tahyna Tozzi.
The Opening Night Gala at Her Majesty’s Theatre on February 19 will feature the world premiere screening of director Sarah Watt’s My Year Without Sex. The comedy drama is Watt’s follow up her AFI Award winning SA-made Look Both Ways. It stars Sacha Horler, Matt Day and young Adelaide actors Portia Bradley and Jonathan Segat.
The Closing Gala, on March 1 will be held at the Piccadilly Cinemas in North Adelaide and feature the Australian premiere of Stephan Elliot’s Easy Virtue.
Elliot is the director of wildly popular The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
His wicked new comedy is set in the jazz age and based on a Noel Coward play.
It’s about an American lass who takes up with a young Englishman – while his privileged family do everything they can to sabotage the relationship.
Easy Virtue has a top notch cast including Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Elliot will be a guest of the festival.
Other strands in the festival include a program of romantic comedies, a section on world movies, Australian films – many made with funding from the festival – a section on Eastern European cinema and documentaries in a range of areas including sport, music and general.
Festival Director Katrina Sedgwick said her team had spent the past two years scouring the globe for the best films and documentaries, including representatives at festivals in Hong Kong, Vancouver, Karlovy Vary and Edinburgh.`
“One of the best things about film festivals like ours is that it’s a genuinely global event providing a real snapshot of what’s going in art, culture, politics and society from all corners of the world,” she said.
For each of the 143 films that made it into this year’s program, Ms Sedgwick estimates the team watched and considered six others that didn’t make the grade.
She said the criteria for selecting films was simple.
"They’re films that are really absorbing, that you get totally involved with.”
The film festival will be book-ended by Australian International Documentary Conference (February 18-20 in Adelaide) and the Australian Writers Guild National Screenwriters Conference 25 -27 February in the Barossa Valley.