BAFF opening weekend a success

28 February, 2011 by IF

Press release from BAFF

Adelaide was buzzing this week as hundreds of national and international filmmakers, film industry figures and talent filled the city for the opening weekend of the 2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival (BAFF).


The Festival, officially opened by the Premier of South Australian, the Hon Mike Rann, commenced with the world premiere screening of Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond’s highly anticipated documentary Mrs Carey's Concert, followed by a surprise live performance by Emily Sun, the brilliant student featured in the film who was accompanied by the Marrickville High school orchestra. Actor Judy Davis was presented with the Don Dunstan Award, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Australian film industry; Fred Schepisi gave a testimonial to Davis and Woody Allen sent in a video tribute.

Justin Kurzel’s debut feature Snowtown, based on the Snowtown murders, premiered to a house full audience and much acclaim on Friday night; Kerzel, writer Shaun Grant, and stars Daniel Henshall and Lucas Pittaway were in attendance. Over at the Art Gallery of South Australia, the art world attended the opening of Tracey Moffatt: Narratives, a highlight of BAFF’s 2011 ART AND THE MOVING IMAGE strand, and the first major exhibition of this leading contemporary Australian artist to be held in Adelaide.

On Saturday, Beck Cole’s debut feature Here I Am premiered, with filmmakers Beck Cole and actors Shai Pittman and Marcia Langton in attendance. On Sunday we went to the beach for the truly magical One Magic Bowl, a spectacular night of food and festivities in one of the festivals’ most beautiful locations ever attended by one thousand food and film lovers.

But get out the berocca, because things are just getting started!

Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s doco-drama Hail premieres tonight, Monday 28 February. Hail is inspired by Courtin-Wilson’s five year collaboration with Daniel P. Jones, a former prison inmate with an artist’s vision of the world. Amiel Courtin Wilson, and Daniel P Jones and Leanne Letch will attend the screening.

We are delighted to confirm that Egyptian film producer and actor Khaled Abal Naga will be in town to present Microphone, a wonderful film about hip hop in Alexandria made on the eve of the recent political events. Naga will bring footage with him, which he is hoping to use as the basis of a documentary.

Tony Krawitz’s highly anticipated The Tall Man, a feature doco based on the award-winning bestseller by Chloe Hooper about the death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee at Palm Island premieres on Wednesday 2 March, attended by director Tony Krawitz, producer Darren Dale (Blackfella Films), author Chloe Hooper, four of Doomadgee’s siblings, the Mayor of Palm Island Alf Lacey, and well known aboriginal activist Murandoo Yanner who will speak on behalf of the family.

On Thursday 3 March, Life in Movement, the feature documentary about Tanya Liedtke, the director of the Sydney Dance Company tragically killed in 2007, directed by Closer Productions Bryan Mason and Sophie Hyde, will premiere. Liedtke’s partner Solon Ulbrich will be in attendance.

Friday 4 March is the Australian Premiere of Shut Up, Little Man. Completed in January this year and directed by Closer Productions Matt Bate, the film world premiered at Sundance Film Festival and has been selected to screen in the career making New Director New Films Festival in New York.

Griff, the Invisible, Australia’s own indie- superhero flick, premieres on Saturday 5 March with director Leon Ford and actor Maeve Darmody in attendance. Actors Tom E Lewis, (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) and Rosie Krunoth Monks (Jedda) will both be in town for the Looking Forward/Looking Blak Indigenous Film forum, along with Beck Cole (Here I Am), Rolf De Heer (Ten Canoes), chaired by Margaret Pomeranz.

The 2011 Festival closes with Brendan Fletcher’s Mad Bastards, direct from its screening at Sundance. Fletcher, actors Dean Daley-Jones and Greg Tait and The Pigram Brothers will all be at the screening. The international Jury will announce the recipient of the Ten Evening News International Award for Best Feature. Tired but sated Festival attendees will then celebrate together at the closing night party at The Piccadilly Theatre.

With seven days to go, and over 140 films in the program, film lovers still have a lot to look forward to. Many sessions have already sold out and with huge demand for tickets to remaining sessions; film fans should get in quickly to avoid disappointment.