Popular film critics Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton have been announced as the inaugural patrons of the Adelaide Film Festival, which this year debuts in its new permanent October timeslot.
CEO and director Amanda Duthie said the duo, who have notched up almost 30 years co-hosting The Movie Show on SBS and later At The Movies on ABC, were much-loved and she was excited they would be attending this year’s festival as official ambassadors.
“They are such fantastic champions of Australian film generally and have always been supportive of the national industry but also the South Australian industry and the films that have come out of the Adelaide Film Festival.
“This is a fantastic way to have them more involved.”
Duthie also announced that Tracks, the movie based on Robyn Davidson’s 2700km solo trek across the Australian outback, will premiere on the opening night of the 2013 Adelaide Film Festival.
Davidson made her journey in 1977 with her dog and four camels, taking nine months to travel from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. The journey was documented by National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan and later chronicled in Davidson’s book, also called Tracks. Director John Curran’s movie was filmed largely in South Australia and stars Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre, Lawless) as Davidson.
“I remember reading the book and just being blown away by it … it’s the sort of story that has grabbed everyone’s attention right from the beginning,” Duthie told InDaily.
“It’s a film a lot of people have wanted to make. She’s an incredibly strong woman character.
“The directors and producers have produced a film that is such a remarkable Australian story and an epic Australian story, and we are thrilled to be able to present it on opening night.”
Duthie said the fact that the biennial festival would take place alongside the Festival of Ideas in October, after being moved from its usual spot within the Mad March calendar, created an opportunity for a “springtime critical mass of events in Adelaide”.
“It is a collaboration to create a pathway between both – people can maybe see a documentary about a topic and then go to an Ideas event and hear people talking about that. It’s really about upping the audience experience.”
Although the full Film Festival program won’t be released until late August, the line-up will include the world premieres of three films that received investment from the HIVE Production Fund: The Boy Castaways, a “rock musical” feature film starring Paul Capsis, Tim Rogers and Megan Washington; Tender, a documentary by visual artist Lynette Wallworth, and the doco-drama I Want To Dance Better at Parties. The films were the first recipients of funding through Hive, which was established in 2011 and is supported by the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFFIF), Australia Council for the Arts, ABC Arts and Screen Australia.
Another feature of the 2013 program will be a commissioned work by Melbourne-based artist Daniel Crooks called Art and the Moving Image, which will be presented at the Samstag Museum of Art.
The tagline for the festival poster is “screen worship”, which Duthie says plays on the idea that people are surrounded by screens.
“It’s about finding the best content for all those screens and presenting that work through the Adelaide Film Festival … it’s sort of paying our respects and celebrating the diversity of work that is available to us. We have scoured Australia for the best works we can bring to the Adelaide Film Festival.”
The 2013 Adelaide Film Festival will run from October 10-20.