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FIPRESCI comes to the Adelaide Film Festival

Adelaide Film Festival has announced Michael James Rowland’s debut feature Lucky Miles and Rolf De Heer’s newest feature film, Dr Plonk as the Opening and Closing Night films for the 2007 festival. Both films are part of a slate of twelve new Australian films which received funding from the Adelaide Film Festival Fund and will premiere at the 2007 Festival, running from February 22 to March 4.

Festival Director, Katrina Sedgwick said, ‘It is wonderful to be able to program both our opening and our closing nights with the world premieres of two distinctive and beautifully crafted Australian films - one a debut feature from a talented young director - the other from one of Australia's most prolific and experienced filmmakers’.

Premier Mike Rann said, "Unlike other film festivals in Australia and internationally, we don't just screen films. We invest in films and engage in the creative process. The success of our approach is demonstrated with films funded by the festival, Ten Canoes and Look Both Ways, scooping the AFI's in the past two years and starring at Cannes."

Set in 1990, Lucky Miles tells the story of an Iraqi and two Cambodian refugees abandoned by an Indonesian fishing boat. With nothing in common but their misfortune and determination to escape arrest, they begin an epic but confused journey into the heart of the Australia desert, searching for a Western-style democracy amongst the stones of the Pilbara—or at least a bus to Perth. Inspired by true stories of extreme survival and high farce about refugees roaming the Pilbara region in the late 1980s, LUCKY MILES deals with inherently political material in an accessible, entertaining and slightly absurdist fashion.

DR Plonk is the highly anticipated feature from Rolf De Heer following his multi-AFI award winning and internationally acclaimed, Ten Canoes. Starring Magda Szubanzski, Paul Blackwell and Nigel Lunghi and the Jack Terrior, Reg, DR PLONK is a black and white, silent comedy feature in the style of the old silent comedies (think, Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton), but with substantial contemporary relevance. Accompanied by a music score written for the film by Graham Tardiff and performed by The Stiletto Sisters LIVE on closing night, Dr Plonk will feature many of the elements of classic films from the silent era - slapstick, thrills and spills, romance, action and, above all, laughs.

The Adelaide Film Festival is also delighted to announce that, in addition to the NATUZZI International Award, there will be a FIPRESCI Award for best first or second feature. FIPRESCI (the International Federation of Film Critics) is represented at many of the major world film festivals, with juries awarding films according to the specific point of view of critics. FIPRESCI’s charter is to promote film art and to encourage new and young cinema, with a special attention towards national cinemas all over the world. The films nominated for each award, and the juries will be announced at the program launch on January 19.

Described as ‘The party of the year...’ (The Advertiser), the Adelaide Film Festival’s Opening Night will feature the world premiere of Lucky Miles, followed by a black tie cocktail party at the Adelaide Town Hall for over 1,000 VIPs, Film Festival and industry guests and the general public.

Following what are sure to be 11 fast and furious days of dynamic screenings, special events, workshops and forums, with over 45,000 film lovers and filmmakers in attendance, the festival will be farewelled with the closing night presentation, world premiere screening and party. The recipients of the NATUZZI International Award and the FIPRESCI Award will be announced, followed by the world premiere screening of Dr Plonk, guaranteeing tears in festival-goers eyes’ as the final credits roll.

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