I Am Not A Witch and documentary Taste of Cement are the top prize winning films of the 2017 Adelaide Film Festival. The festival named Nothing Happens, the winner of the inaugural AFTRS International VR Award.
The 2017 ADL Film Fest International Feature Award winner, I Am Not A Witch, is the feature debut of Zambia-born Welsh director Rungano Nyoni, and tells the tale of Shaula, a young, Zambian orphan banished from her village to a ‘witch camp.’ The Jury hailed the film as “unique and bold … surprisingly funny … a bold debut from a bright new talent.”
The 2017 Flinders University International Best Documentary Award goes to Ziad Kalthoum’s Taste of Cement. The film details the tale of Syrian Construction workers who are virtually imprisoned on the site of the Beirut skyscrapers they build. It celebrated its Australian Premiere at ADL Film Fest, and was applauded by the Jury; “a poetic unfolding … we admire the filmmaker’s audacity, ambition and heart … Ziad is a director of talent.”
For the 2017 GU Film House Audience Awards, as voted by the audiences, Best Feature went to Warwick Thornton’s frontier western – Sweet Country, Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible scooped up Best Documentary; and Oddlands took Best Short.
Inspired by real events, Sweet Country is a period western set in 1929 in the outback Northern Territory. When Aboriginal stockman Sam (Hamilton Morris) kills white station owner Harry March (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence, Sam and his wife Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber) go on the run. They are pursued across the outback, through glorious but harsh desert country.
With credits including Strictly Ballroom, Muriel’s Wedding, The Dish, Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet and Road to Perdition Jill Bilcock is regarded as one the world’s great film editors. Axel Grigor’s hugely entertaining documentary Jill Bilcock: Dancing the Invisible, traces Bilcock’s journey from Melbourne film student in the 1960s to working as an extra in Bollywood movies and learning her craft when Australia had virtually no feature film industry.