Kevin Macdonald, Jim Jarmush and Asghar Farhadi all have films in competition in the Adelaide Film Festival.

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UK features How I Live Now, directed by Kevin Macdonald, and Clio Bernard’s The Selfish Giant are among the 12 films in competition in the Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) (Oct 10-20).

AFF director Amanda Duthie has also included two films from France: Claire Dennis’ Bastards and Stranger By The Lake, which earned Alain Guiraudie the directing prize at Cannes in Un Certain Regard. France was also the location for another competition film, Asghar Farhadi’s The Past.

“The international feature competition covers the globe with big bold stories created by masters through to first timers,” Duthie told ScreenDaily.

“Included in the mix is Dance Of Reality, for example, directed by Alejandro Joderowsky, a master filmmaker at the height of his power and in his eighties, and These Final Hours, directed by Australian filmmaker Zac Hilditch, a first-time feature director from Perth.”

Following its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival this month, the news rippled around the Australian industry a week ago that distributor Roadshow would be ushering the end-of-the-world film These Final Hours, starring Nathan Phillips, into cinemas. Hilditch has actually directed three feature-length films but this is his first with a budget.

Footprint Films originally owned the Australian rights, then they were turned over to CinemaPlus, the new distribution outfit of the film’s executive producer Robert Connolly, and it is CinemaPlus that is now in partnership with Roadshow. The film will go wide in 2014 and the campaign is expected to focus on young adults, who are usually disinterested in Australian films.

Duthie has also included Beatriz’s War in her competition line-up, the first locally-produced film to emerge from East Timor. The film is based on the same true story as the 1982 film The Return of Martin Guerre.

Films from Hungary’s Janos Szasz, Turkey’s Reha Erdam, Palestine’s Hany Abu-Assad and US director Jim Jarmusch are also included.

 “The Jury is comprised of leading Australian screen talent: jury president producer Al Clark, producer Liz Watts and writer/actor Wayne Blair,” said Duthie, “as well as extraordinary American art and film writer Lawrence Weschler and Maryanne Redpath from the Berlin Film Festival.”

In part because of it’s investment fund, the AFF will play host to a number of world premieres including Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country, starring David Gulpilil, Warwick Thornton’s ghost story compilation The Darkside, Michael Kantor’s rock musical The Boy Castaways and Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays, about a teenager who meets up with her mother once afternoon a week for a year while the older woman is undergoing gender transition.

The festival opens on Oct 10 with John Curran’s Tracks and on Oct 20 with Mark Cousins’ A Story Of Children and Film.

Between those two dates director Scott Hicks (Shine) will be presented with the 2013 Don Dunstan Award.

Competition films

  • Bastards, Claire Dennis (Frane)
  • Beatriz’s War, Luigi Acquisto, Betty Reis (E Timor)
  • Dance of Reality, Alejandro Joderowsky (Chile)
  • Jin, Reha Erdam (Turkey)
  • How I Live Now, Kevin MacDonald (UK)
  • The Notebook, Janos Szasz (Hungary)
  • Omar, Hany Abu-Assad (Palestine)
  • Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch (UK-Ger-Fra-Cyp-US) 
  • The Past, Asghar Farhadi (France-Italy)
  • The Selfish Giant, Clio Bernard (UK)
  • Stranger By The Lake, Alain Guiraudie (France)
  • These Final Hours, Zak Hilditch (Australia)