Star-studded line-up for Adelaide Film Festival

Sep 09, 2015, updated Oct 22, 2015
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol.

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett in Carol.

More than 180 films featuring stars including Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo will be showcased at next month’s Adelaide Film Festival.

The full program for the October 15-25 festival was released this morning and includes the Australian premiere of Blanchett’s new film Carol, one of the most-talked-about movies at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Directed by Todd Haynes, with whom the Australian actress worked previously on the Bob Dylan biopic  I’m Not There, Carol is based on a 1950s novel by Patricia Highsmith about the romance between a married socialite (Blanchett) and a young assistant (Rooney Mara) in a New York department store.

Carol has already generated Oscar hype, with Variety magazine describing as an “exquisitely drawn, deeply felt love story” , while the UK Telegraph said Blanchett gave a career-best performance in an exceptionally beautiful film “which might be the saddest thing you’ll ever see”.

Another film which received a standing ovation at Cannes, Youth – starring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Rachel Weisz and Harvey Keitel in a story about the friendship between a retired composer and an ageing movie director – will screen at the closing night gala.

As previously announced, this year’s festival will open on October 15 with the world premiere of Oscar-winning director Scott Hicks’ Highly Strung, a documentary about the passion surrounding the rare 18th-century Guadagnini violins, and featuring the Australian String Quartet.

Other films which will have their Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival include Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page in the real-life story of a terminally ill police officer who fought to ensure her pension benefits would be passed on to her female partner, and the family drama Looking for Grace, which features Richard Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell.

The festival also includes a strong line-up of documentaries, 10 of which are in competition for the Flinders University International Documentary Award. Among them are films about comedian and activist Russell Brand and Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban as a schoolgirl (trailer below), and a documentary exploring at the true story of the 16-year relationship between Tim Conigrave and John Caleo which inspired the acclaimed new feature film Holding the Man.

There will be a nod to the history of film in South Australia, with a 40th anniversary screening of the classic Storm Boy, which was filmed in the Coorong and has been remastered by the National Film and Sound Archive.

The 2015 Film Festival will also see the return of film ambassadors Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, with the popular critics jointly hosting a quiz night at the Freemasons Hall, and Stratton talking at a special vintage film screening at Yalumba Wines.

Audience members will be given the chance to help create a short film – starring Adelaide actress Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays) and filmed in Port Adelaide – through a new initiative called The Film You Wrote via the festival’s website and social media.

Other 2015 Adelaide Film Festival highlights include:

Heart of a Dog: A personal film by multi-disciplinary artist Laurie Anderson which reflects on the loss of her husband Lou Reed, her mother and her pet dog, as well as a range of other subjects.

Stalker: A live music event that will see composer Lisa Gerrard (vocals), Brian Ritchie (shakuhachi, bass) and Gabriella Smart (piano) improvising a soundtrack to Andrei Tarkovsky’s classic 1979 film Stalker.

Spotlight: Australian premiere featuring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams as journalists from The Boston Globe investigating a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

Michelle’s Story: Choreographer Meryl Tankard’s uplifting portrait of dancer Michelle Ryan, who, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, re-entered the world of dance to create the Adelaide-based Restless Dance Company creator.

Bad Boy Bubby: Special 21st anniversary screening of Rolf de Heer’s cult classic at Port Adelaide’s Waterside Workers Hall, with the film to be presented for the first time in binaural sound.

Grandma: An American comedy-drama starring Lily Tomlin as an ageing poet who, following the death of her long-time partner, embarks on a road trip with her teenage granddaughter to visit old friends and flames.

 A Month of Sundays: A comedy-drama filmed in Adelaide, directed by Matt Saville (The Slap, Cloudstreet) and starring Anthony LaPaglia as a divorced real estate agent who can’t move on.

Spear: The film-directing debut of Bangarra Dance Theatre artistic director Stephen Page, telling a contemporary Aboriginal story through movement and dance.

Girl Asleep: An adaptation by director Rosemary Myers of SA-based Windmill Theatre Company’s “girl’s own adventure” presented at last year’s Adelaide Festival.

 The full program will be available on the Adelaide Film Festival website from midday today.




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