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September 15, 2020

Adelaide Film Festival draws curtain on 2020 program

South Australia will roll out the red carpet for 22 world premieres and 27 Australian premieres, spanning slick international feature films to grungy local documentaries, as part of this year’s Adelaide Film Festival.

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  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Image 1-2: Stills from Alison Ellwood's documentary 'The Go-Go's' which follows a '80s LA punk band
  • Image 3-4: Stills from Granaz Moussavi's feature fiction film 'When Pomegranates Howl' shot in Kabul
  • Image 5: Still from Marcus Mckenzie and Daniel Principe’s short 'Last Meal'
  • Image 6: BTS shot of 'Last Meal'

If you’re scrolling through online streaming services and cringing at the dire options available, worry no more. The 2020 AFF has just released its program, boasting cinematic works made from over 40 countries, including our own.

Documentaries, shorts and roughly 54 feature films will be screened from 14-25 October, and will traverse Australian landmark works, such as Craig Lahiff’s once-again relevant film Black and White, to new-and-emerging overseas talent, such as Greek director Christos Nikou’s surreal black comedy Apples.


Adelaide Film Festival 2020
Features, shorts, documentaries and more
14—25 October
Visit the website for more info.

AFF CEO and creative director Mat Kesting says festivals bring people together, and South Australians should count their lucky stars they can do this (in a COVID-safe way) through film across a range of venues.

“We have taken great care with this year’s program to celebrate our local and national talent within a broader international context,” Mat says in the statement.

A range of films supported through the Adelaide Film Investment Fund will be screened, including footy-centric flick This Is Port Adelaide, which hones in on Port Adelaide’s player’s sheds, to a deep-dive into Adelaide’s trash film subculture, Video Nasty: The Making of Ribspreader, a love letter made by Closer Productions and Capital Waste Pictures.

An event spotlighting content made locally, Made in SA, will screen seven shorts, covering everything from a documentary challenging last supper and capital punishment, Marcus Mckenzie and Daniel Principe’s Last Meal, to a sinister thriller about a sound recordist obsessing over a young actress, in Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen’s The Recordist.

There will also be a night dedicated to showcasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cinema, Tarnanthi Shorts, which features Never Stop Riding, a comedy touted as the ‘only Aboriginal Spaghetti Western ever shot’, from Montreal First Peoples’ Festival, and Kungka Kuṉpu, a quirky short centred on strong women, which includes Cher, Wonder Woman and Tina Turner, and is soundtracked by disco power chords.

(Above) The satirical ‘Never Stop Riding’ was made by three APY elders and was inspired by their love of spaghetti westerns. (Right) ‘Video Nasty’ chronicles Adelaide filmmaker Dick Dale as he attempts to make his first low-budget feature film.


World Shorts aims to showcase seven award-winning shorts from around the globe, and includes winner of Venice Best Short Film Award, Darling by Siam Sadiq, which follows an aspiring Pakistan dancer battling transphobia, to Ailes Sluiter’s Ayaan, which is about an asylum seeker lost in the sprawling Australian bush.

The 2020 AFF feature fiction and documentary competitions will be decided by a jury, which includes Black Live Matter activist and award-winning actor Natasha Wanganeen, as well as screenwriter and playwright Andrew Bovell, producer and screenwriter Khao Do, film critic and programmer Zak Hepburn, and producer Rebecca Summerton.

A pandemic-safe gala is also on the cards, as well as artist talks. Highlights include Australian film producer Bruna Papandrea in conversation with lauded film critic Margret Pomeranz about advancing women in film production, as well as Indigenous filmmakers and artists speaking about how their contributions have shaped Australia’s national and cultural identity.

The 2020 audience award will be in full effect, where audiences can cast their votes online for best flicks, as well as the AFF Change Award for positive or environmental impact. The successful winner will be awarded $5,000 for a feature that best celebrates nature or humanity.

SA’s Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni recognises the screen industry is an important part of the state’s economic and cultural ecosystem, and this is a prime opportunity to show-off our produce.

“Audiences are in for a rich experience,” the minister says in the statement.

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