Film & TV

Adelaide Film Festival announces 2022 program as festival becomes annual

The 2022 Adelaide Film Festival program launched last night, and we cannot wait!

Photo: Harry Styles & Emma Corrin star in My Policeman

Last night saw the launch of the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival with the theme A Celebration of Imagination. The audience which included arts royalty such as Scott Hicks, Rolf de Heer, and Pat Rix, heard MC Deb Tribe introduce AFF CEO Mat Kesting, Minister for the Arts The Hon. Andrea Michaels, and AFF Chair Anton Andreacchio.

This year’s Festival is the first annual event, following the South Australian Government’s announcement earlier this year that AFF, established in 2003 as a biennial event, will now be held every year.

The 2022 program features 129 films, including 22 World Premieres and 32 Australian Premieres. It is full of innovative and surprising elements, including new venues, and an enhanced visual arts program, with cutting edge screen installations presented with AFF partners The Art Gallery of South Australia and Samstag Museum of Art.

The festival will open with a celebration of one of Australia’s great bands, The Angels, in a documentary directed by Adelaide’s Madeleine Parry, The Angels: Kickin’ Down The Door. Mat Kesting announced at last night’s program launch, that the band would play at the opening night after-party. Tickets for this event are already selling like hot-cakes.

The Angels: Kickin’ Down the Door

Showing at Her Majesty’s will be the Australian premiere of Carmen, direct from its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The directorial debut of Benjamin Millepied, celebrated choreographer of Black Swan and a former principal soloist New York City Ballet, is a modern-day retelling of the famous Carmen story, most well-known from the opera by Bizet. Carmen features a new score by Nicholas Britell and stars Melissa Barrera , Paul Mescal and Rossy de Palma. This is a French/Australian co-production, partially filmed on location in South Australia, supported by the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund and produced by Rosemary Blight.

Pictured: Simon Williams, Mat Kesting, Brendon Skinner

The Feature Fiction Competition at the AFF was the first of its kind in Australia when established in 2007. The Competition celebrates bold storytelling and innovative filmmaking. Films In Competition this year include the Australian premiere of Heusera, a deeply unsettling, psychological horror that plays on the unspoken loss of identity that comes with motherhood by Mexican director Michelle Garza Cervera; Riley Keough’s War Pony, made in collaboration with South Dakota’s Oglala Lakota community; the Romanian/French film Metronom, winner of the Best Direction prize at Cannes (Alexandru Belc); Whina, the sweeping biopic of iconic Maori elder and activist, Whina Cooper, directed by James Napier Robertson and Paula Whetu Jones; and the genre-defying Mexican feature Sansón and Me by award-winning filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes whose films push the boundaries of documentary and fiction.

A new Venue Partner this year is the Capri Theatre. Capri will host a weekend of special presentations of the very best films from the international film festival circuit, including: the Australian premiere of  Tár, fresh from the Venice Film Festival; the Irish drama The Banshees of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson; Australian premiere of My Policemanwith Harry Styles in his first major film role; and Aftersun, the breakout hit of this year’s Cannes International Film Festival.


Competitors for this year’s Change Award include: EO, from Polish master Jerzy Skolimowsky, filmed entirely from the point-of-view of donkey; Into the Ice, filmed on a glacier in Greenland, and directed by Denmark’s Lars Ostenfeld; Fashion Reimagined, directed by Becky Hutner, about a remarkable global quest to produce a sustainable collection by 2017 Vogue Designer of the Year Amy Powney; and Luku Ngarra, an Indigenous-funded documentary on the history and culture of Arnhem Land. Elder Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM will be a guest of the festival.

World cinema on offer this year sees Australian premieres of films from more than 40 countries including: A New Old Play, from Hong Kong; La Jauría from Colombia; Baby Assassins from Japan; and the first Pakistani film to premiere at Cannes Joyland; and The Hamlet Syndrome, from Poland which will be presented by director Elwira Niewiera who will join Adelaide theatre director Chris Drummond for an expanded discussion open to schools.
Also screening in the World Cinema program is Lone Wolf, starring Adelaide favourite, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, in which director Jonathan Ogilvie updates Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent to contemporary Australia as well as Sweet As, from Australian First Nations director Jub Clerc, and the Sydney Film Festival opening night film We Are Still Here, a stunning anthology made by ten Indigenous directors from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Fashion Reimagined

One the most important aspects of the AFF is the AFF Investment Fund which supports new work. This year these include Carmen; Talk to Me; Carnifex the debut feature from South Australian director Sean Lahiff; the documentary The Last Daughter, directed by Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt; Rolf de Heer’s new feature The Survival of Kindness; Watandar, My Countryman about Afghani/Australian photographer Muzafar Al’s exploration of his identity through the history of Afghani’s in Australia; and in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, Larissa Behrendt’s You Can Go Now, about First Nations artist and activist, Richard Bell. Bell’s visual art installation Embassy will form part of AFF’s exciting moving image art program. This installation will be exhibited on the AGSA forecourt from Sat 22 – Sun 23 October. AFF is also proud to present the World Premiere of another AFFIF documentary feature The Giants, directed by Laurence Billet’s, about Bob Brown and the life of trees.   Bob Brown will be a guest of the Festival.

2022’s Youth Program for children, families, and schools, comprises six fantastic films, including a rare cinematic screening of the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, at the Capri Theatre.

As well as city venues, films will be screened at the Odeon Star Semaphore, Marion Event Cinemas, and even a special showing of the 1975 classic Jaws at…THE AQUATIC CENTRE! (just when you thought it was safe…).


In November and December country regions will have their turn through the Curate Your Own Festival program. These include: Blyth Cinema; The Cameo in Murray Bridge; Victa Cinema in Victor Harbor; and the Lincoln in Port Lincoln.

This year booking and voting have been made easier with the launch of an app, which will make it easier for guests to keep up-to-date with changes to programs, and other updates.

The Adelaide Film Festival runs from October 19th to October 30th.

To access the full program, click here.

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