Flinders a feature at Adelaide Film Festival

Flinders graduate and director of ‘Shine’,  Scott Hicks has his new documentary ‘Highly Strung’ at the Adelaide Film Festival.

Flinders University has metaphorical fingerprints all over the metaphorical celluloid at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival.

From a string of Flinders-qualified directors, actors and producers to sponsorship of the major documentary prize, from consultancy in selecting the program to providing interns for the Festival organisation, the Flinders presence on-screen and behind the scenes helps to make the AFF a remarkable, world-class event, says Associate Professor Mike Walsh.

A lecturer in Screen and Media at Flinders, Associate Professor Walsh has been “on loan” to the Festival, travelling to film festivals in Edinburgh and Hong Kong to assist in choosing films for the international program; he is also writing much of the critical and background material for the Festival’s program notes.

“Our support for the Festival is multifaceted, and highlights the fact that Flinders is so solidly behind the film industry in South Australia,” Associate Professor Walsh said.

“Flinders has always been the key educational institution in the State as far as film and television is concerned, and we want to support these kinds of activities in the strongest possible way.”

A new documentary film by Scott Hicks, Flinders drama graduate and director of Oscar-winning film Shine, will open the Festival. Highly Strung describes the quest of the Ngeringa Arts Centre to secure four extraordinarily rare and precious Guadagnini violins for the Australian String Quartet. The film is produced by Hicks’ wife Kerry Heysen, who is also a Flinders graduate.

Flinders sponsors the $10,000 prize for the Flinders International Documentary Award. The films in competition comprise Brand: a Second Coming, a film by Ondi Timoner about comedian Russell Brand; performance artist Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog; He Named Me Malala by Davis Guggenheim (maker of An Inconvenient Truth); I am Belfast by Mark Cousins; Ice and Sky by March of the Penguins director Luc Jacquet; Patricio Guzman’s The Pearl Button; Remembering the Man, about the real people featured in the novel Holding the Man; Sherpa, a film by Jennifer Peedom; and Speed Sisters, a film by Amber Fares about a Palestinian women’s car racing team.

Flinders has another creative contributor in screen graduate Matthew Bate, whose documentary Sam Klemke’s Time Machine will have its first Australian screenings at the Festival, following its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Flinders will host a reception to launch the film.

Described by its director as ”a strange beast of a film about a truly unique man”, the new film from Closer Productions tracks the remarkable project of US cartoonist Klemke, who has been filming himself for more than 40 years. Sandy Cameron, another Flinders graduate, co-wrote the script with Bate.

Yet another Flinders graduate, Kirsty Stark, is the producer of feature film A Month of Sundays that will have its Australian premiere at the Festival. It stars Anthony LaPaglia and John Clark.

There is also Flinders involvement in the short comedy My Best Friend is Stuck on the Ceiling – director Matt Vesely is a Flinders graduate, and producer Sophie Hyde a former Flinders student – while another short film, Upside Down Feeling, has been directed by Flinders drama graduate Eddie White.

For information on the AFF program, see the Festival website.

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