World premieres set for Adelaide

11 August, 2015 by Don Groves

The world premieres of Scott Hicks’ documentary Highly Strung and Matt Saville’s comedy/drama A Month of Sundays are among the highlights of this year’s Adelaide Film Festival.

The program includes the debut features from Bangarra Dance Company’s Stephen Page and Windmill Theatre Company’s Rosemary Myers as well as Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker.


A hit at  Sundance this year, Sam Klemke’s Time Machine will have its Australian premiere at the festival, which runs from October 15-25.

Another highlight is the 21st anniversary screening of Rolf de Heer’s Bad Boy Bubby at the Waterside Workers Hall in Port Adelaide on October 17. De Heer said, “It's startling to think that 22 years after Bad Boy Bubby confounded everyone, including me, by winning five prizes at the Venice Film Festival, and 21 years after it was released to an unsuspecting general public, the film is still ticking away, being shown, being seen, being loved and loathed in probable equal measure.”

Highly Strung, which delves into the world of rarefied instruments and the dealers, musicians and philanthropists who seek them out, will open the festival at Her Majesty’s Theatre on October 15.

Sharmill Films will distribute the doc, Hicks’ first since 2007’s Glass: A Portrait of Phillip in Twelve Parts, but has yet to set a release date.

A Madman production, A Month of Sundays stars Anthony LaPaglia as real estate agent Frank Mollard, who is divorced but still attached and unable to sell a house in a property boom or to connect with his teenage son. One night he gets a phone call from his mother, who died a year earlier. John Clarke, Justine Clarke and Julia Blake round out the cast.  Madman has yet to date the film but is looking at the first half of 2016.

Commissioned by the HIVE Fund, Stephen Page’s Spear tells a contemporary Aboriginal story through movement and dance, following young Aboriginal man Djali as he journeys through his community to understand what it means to be a man with ancient traditions in a modern world. The producers are Robert Connolly, whose Cinema Plus will stage event screenings around Australia following the AFF premiere, and John Harvey.

Another HIVE project, Girl Asleep is based on the rites-of-passage Windmill Theatre stories by writer Matthew Whittet and director Myers. Produced by Jo Dyer, it stars Bethany Whitmore and Tilda Cobham-Hervey in the tale of a 15-year-old girl whose birthday party turns sour when an uninvited guest arrives and steals her most treasured possession. Now she must step into the dark unknown to get it back.

Directed by Matthew Bate, Closer Productions’ Sam Klemke’s Time Machine is set in 1977 when teenager Sam Klemke began to obsessively film and narrate every year of his life in an attempt to understand himself, while NASA sent into space the Golden Record, an audio-visual self-portrait of humanity that would allow extra -terrestrials to understand who we are.

The festival’s art and the moving image commission – Char Soo, by Hossein Valamanesh – will open at Samstag Museum on October 9. This four-screen video projection filmed in a four-sided Iranian bazaar aims to capture a segment of life in an ever-changing world, underscored by Hossein’s emotional connection to his birthplace Iran.

The full AFF schedule will be announced on September 9.