Adelaide Film Festival creative director Amanda Duthie says asking for her top picks from the packed 2015 program is a bit like a Sophie’s Choice.
So instead of nominating favourites, as such, from her “beloved selection” of around 180 films being screened over the next 10 days, she is encouraging audiences to embark on a journey of discovery.
“I thought what I would do is ask people to go and see films that will be an utter surprise,” Duthie says.
“Don’t just see the fabulous films you might know something about – buy a random ticket and go and explore the world of cinema…
“Remember, some of these films won’t be seen on the big screen again – ever – so be adventurous.
“This is how I fell in love with films and film festivals … just buying a pass and seeing film after film – not really knowing much about them except a short synopsis and trusting in the festival programmers that I would discover something in the film to change my world/view/perception or misconception.
“This is special treat available to all festival goers.”
Duthie also encourages film fans to “upsize” their viewing experience by making the most of opportunities to meet the filmmakers. Below, she offers some film recommendations, all of which will have Q&A sessions with the filmmakers.
Starstruck: Australian screen legend Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career) will be in Adelaide to talk about this cult film from the ’80s – when hair was big, grown women wore tutus on the street and music was by The Swingers. A rockin’ restored film to be enjoyed by a new generation.
Bad Boy Bubby: Hear what Bubby heard … a binaural sound experience to celebrate the 21st anniversary of Rolf de Heer’s cinematic masterpiece. Introduced by Christian Jeune, of Cannes Film Festival. Rolf de Heer and sound designer James Currie wil also be in attendance.
We Are Many: Amir Amirani collected and shaped the extraordinary protest stories of millions from around the globe in protest over the Iraq War.
Looking for Grace: Superb Australian filmmakers Sue Brooks and Alison Tilson (Road to Nihill and Japanese Story) bring their latest film direct from Toronto Film Festival.
Desert Migration: Adelaide-born director Daniel Cardone’s documentary about the community surviving HIV/AIDS in the Palm Springs desert oasis.
Only the Dead: Australian journalist Michael Ware will be in Adelaide to discuss his documentary which explores the footage released to him from al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
Neon Bull: Meet Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro to hear about this film centred around the rodeo circuit. Straight from Venice Film Festival.
Fairless: Calling the Lycra and awkward-shoes-in-the-cafe cycling set …champion cyclist Steve Fairless will intro this film about his extraordinary comeback ride.
Death of Chook: World premiere from Australian director Robert Gibson – a prequel to his acclaimed Video Fool for Love. An extraordinary dedication to the video diary.
The Farmer’s Cinemateque: Ex-South Australian Malcolm McKinnon will speak about how he gathered the amazing Super 8 history of the Teasdale family into a documentary that is a celebration of farming communities.
The Adelaide Film Festival opens today (October 15) and continues until October 25.
More Adelaide Film Festival stories:
When Romeo met Romeo: Remembering the Man
Michelle’s Story of resilience
Star-studded line-up for Adelaide Film Festival