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2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival announces program highlights

The BigPond Adelaide Film Festival is delighted to announce highlights of its 2011 program, which consolidates BAFF’s position as the most innovative and creative film festival in Australia. The 2011 festival program embraces the diversity and complexity of the moving image as it appears all around us – on screen, online, on television, in galleries, and on the street. BAFF 2011 will screen more than 140 films from 40 countries, showcasing works across the spectrum from documentary features with real life stories to tell, to the wildest reaches of the imagination realised by SFX filmmakers and some of our most visionary artists. The program will include the world premieres of 14 new Australian works funded through the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund, alongside a comprehensive program of screenings, exhibitions, discussions, forums, workshops, and in case you need some nourishment to sustain all this activity, a fabulous feast taking place on the spectacular Pt Willunga Beach.

BAFF not only showcases the best of international screen culture but also invests in new and exciting Australian films through its investment arm, AFFIF. The 2009 AFFIF slate included the multi-award winning Samson & Delilah, which went on from BAFF to win the Camera D’Or at Cannes, and the fund has invested in many successful Australian films including Look Both Ways and Ten Canoes. The 2011 AFFIF selection is bold and sweeping in content, style and format and includes three fiction and four factual features, three cross platform works and four short films.

Three of the feature films refer to extraordinary events whose after effects have rippled across the nation, a number take true events and people as starting points for extraordinary works of art, while others take viewers on wild, and hilarious fictional journeys. Highlights of the 2011 AFFIF program include the debut feature from Indigenous filmmaker Beck Cole (Making Samson & Delilah) entitled HERE I AM, an uplifting drama about a young Aboriginal woman released from prison and trying to find her life and family again, starring Shai Pittman and Marcia Langton; Justin Kurzel (Blue Tongue) directs his first feature SNOWTOWN, based on the Snowtown murders, the first film to be produced by Warp Films Australia, starring new talents Daniel Henshall and Lucas Pittaway; Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Bastardy) directs the low budget HAIL, exploring the interface between documentary and drama and inspired by his five year collaboration with Daniel P. Jones, a former prison inmate with an artist’s vision of the world; Tony Krawitz (JewBoy) directs THE TALL MAN, a feature doc based on the award-winning bestseller by Chloe Hooper about the death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee at Palm Island; Bob Connolly (Rats in the Ranks) co-directs documentary feature MRS CAREY’S CONCERT with Sophie Raymond, following music teacher Karen Carey as she prepares students for a concert at the Sydney Opera House; and South Australia’s Closer Productions present three films LIFE IN MOVEMENT (dir Sophie Hyde & Bryan Mason), the story of dancer/ choreographer Tanja Liedtke; SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE (dir Matt Bate), a documentary feature about two Gen X slackers who covertly recorded their next door neighbours and accidentally created a worldwide viral phenomenon, and the half hour doco, STUNT LOVE (dir Matt Bate) about Hollywood film pioneer, J. P. McGowan and his daredevil wife Helen Holmes.

BAFF’s ART AND THE MOVING IMAGE strand continues to play an integral role in the festival, exploring the ever growing nexus between film and the visual arts. Two of the 2011 AFFIF projects will premiere in this strand – REKINDLING - IN PLAIN SIGHT, a breathtaking transmedia project by acclaimed Australian visual artist LYNETTE WALLWORTH, and STRANDED by award-winning filmmaker WARWICK THORNTON (Samson & Delilah). Thornton’s STRANDED will be part of STOP(THE)GAP: INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS ART IN MOTION, a major international Indigenous moving image project developed for BAFF in partnership with the Samstag Museum of Art, University of South Australia. STOP(THE)GAP: INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS ART IN MOTION brings together moving image works by internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists from Australia, Canada, Aotearoa/New Zealand and the USA, and is curated by Brenda L Croft, one of Australia’s most esteemed Indigenous curators, who has selected works challenging preconceptions of contemporary Indigenous expression and addressing themes of human rights, environmental concerns, cultural security, and negotiating diversity.

Other highlights of ART AND THE MOVING IMAGE include TRACEY MOFFATT: NARRATIVES, a substantial compilation of Moffatt’s acclaimed photographic and dvd works, and the first major exhibition of this leading contemporary Australian artist to be held in Adelaide. Touring from the Monash Gallery of Art in Melbourne, the Adelaide season will be enhanced and expanded by the addition of works from the Art Gallery of South Australia’s own collection, and an accompanying screening program of Moffatt’s groundbreaking films, making this a truly comprehensive survey of Moffatt’s work.

Also at AGSA will be THE FEAST OF TRIMALCHIO by Russian artist collective AES+F which retells Petronius’s epic poem from the Satyricon for a twenty-first-century audience, creating extraordinary imagined worlds combining classical western mythology with contemporary global consumerism. At the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, BAFF will present an installation work by Palme d’Or winning Thai director Apitchapong Weerasethakul, A LETTER TO UNCLE BOONMEE, along with a screening of his 2010 Palme d’Or winning film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

The drive to dazzle the senses and bring the fantastical to life has been a constant part of cinema. BAFF 2011 will go behind the scenes and explore the tools and technology that have created some of the screen’s most memorable moments in IMAGINED WORLDS: PICTURING THE IMPOSSIBLE, a program of films and special events looking at the high points and innovation of Visual Effects in film. Legendary Visual Effects guru DOUGLAS TRUMBULL, the man who created the visual effects of such groundbreaking films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner, will be a very special guest of the Festival. Trumbull will present some of these classic titles and also host a not-to-be-missed three hour masterclass for aspiring filmmakers. In another highlight, SA based RISING SUN PICTURES, world leaders in VFX, will take audiences from concept to creation of some of the major FX sequences in the latest installment of the Harry Potter saga, where special effects were pivotal in telling the cinematic story in one of the most anticipated films in history.

Hungry for more? BAFF presents APPETITE, a tantalising program of feature films and documentaries that celebrate, revel in and challenge our relationship with food, proudly supported by Yalumba Wines. APPETITE will feature a mouth-watering program of films curated by four of the nation’s favourite foodies including gastronome, author and restaurateur, Gay Bilson; Master Chef runner-up, host of Poh’s Kitchen and author, Poh Ling Yeow; food critic extraordinaire, John Leathlean; and world-renowned chef Cheong Liew, each of whom will choose their favourite feature film with a food theme. The program will include the world premiere of MAGIC HARVEST, a documentary funded by the AFFIF and the SA Film Corporation (SAFC) which documents a City of Onkaparinga community project in which residents are invited to devote one square metre of their garden to create a food plot. The APPETITE program will culminate in ONE MAGIC BOWL, presented by the City of Onkaparinga, Events SA and BAFF. This very special event will be directed by Gay Bilson, working with chefs including Cheong Liew, Nigel Rich (D’Arry’s Verandah), and David Swain and Sharon Romero (Fino), catering to over 1000 patrons on the Fleurieu Peninsula’s stunning Pt Willunga Beach. Using produce of the region, the chefs will make their own version of a sumptuous fish stew or soup, all served up in a Prue Venebles designed bowl that diners will get to take home after their meal.

BAFF 2011 is delighted to introduce SILENTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY, a new strand celebrating the enduring legacy of silent film, as the medium adapts across countries and decades. A highlight will be one of the most unique and distinctively Japanese aspects of silent cinema – THE BENSHI – a performer who narrates live accompaniment to silent film. Kataoka Ichiro, one of a dedicated group of specialists preserving this performance style, will perform alongside a screening of Kenji Mizoguchi’s The Water Magician. BAFF is also delighted to present the Australian premiere screening of METROPOLIS in its most complete version, following the discovery of a new print containing an additional 25 minutes of previously lost footage, accompanied by a live and expanded re-score performed once again by The New Pollutants.

BAFF 2011 will play host to a new initiative called THE HIVE - a ground-breaking 5 day residential lab which will bring together 20 talented artists from across film, literature, music, performing and visual arts, to encourage art form cross-pollination, between practitioners, and between processes and creative approaches.

Adelaide will be abuzz during BAFF 2011 with filmmakers and screen practitioners discussing, debating and creating as the city also hosts the Australian International Documentary Conference, and the Australian Directors Guild Conference.

BAFF is an eleven day celebration of contemporary screen culture incorporating feature film, documentaries, shorts, video, on line and new media screenings and installations. Since its inception in 2002, the Festival has developed into one of the most groundbreaking and anticipated events on the International screen calendar, listed in Variety magazine's list of "50 Unmissable Film Festivals” in 2008.

The BigPond Adelaide Film Festival full program will be launched in January 2011. For more information, special Xmas gift packages, opening night tickets and film passes go to BAFF’s NEW WEBSITE LIVE ON 30 NOVEMBER You can also check out BAFF on Facebook and Twitter

**This event could not take place without the underwriting partnership of BigPond and we ask that this is recognised by referring to the event in all coverage as ‘2011 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival’.
For more information regarding this media release please contact:
Miranda Brown Publicity on +61 3 9419 0931, 0411 568 781 or

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