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Adelaide Film Festival audience award winners announced

The 2022 Adelaide Film Festival wrapped with a cracking closing night gala screening of Talk to Me, the debut feature by Adelaide brothers Michael and Danny Philippou of YouTube fame as RackaRacka.

At the screening of Talk to Me, festival CEO and creative director Mat Kesting announced the winners of audience choice awards the AFF Change Award and the inaugural Flinders University Short Film Prize

The AFF Change Award recognises positive social or environmental impact, awarding $5,000 to the makers of a feature film that best celebrates a desire to make change in the world. That went to Luku Ngarra, directed by Sinem Saban and produced by Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and Sinem Saban, which is an unflinching, Indigenous-funded documentary on the history and culture of Arnhem Land, seen through the eyes of one of Australia’s most respected Indigenous elders and traditional lawmen, Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM. Set mainly in the remote community of Elcho Island, the film is a timely challenge to the dominant mainstream paradigm that has failed to recognise the true value and importance of traditional Aboriginal law and culture for the wellbeing of remote communities.

The winner of the Flinders University Short Film Prize was Are You Really The Universe, directed by Tamara Hardman and starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey.

The Audience Award for Feature Fiction went to Ribspreader, directed by Adelaide’s Dick Dale, and the Audience Award for Feature Documentary went to The Last Daughter, co-directed by Nathaniel Schmidt and Brenda Matthews.

The AFF Feature Fiction Award 2022 was presented to Indonesian feature film Autobiography, with a $10,000 cash prize awarded to director Makbul Mubarak, and the AFF Feature Documentary Award went to The Hamlet Syndrome, with a $10,000 cash prize awarded to directors Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski. The directors have since announced they are to donate the prize money to their film’s Ukrainian subjects, who are fighting in the war against Russia.

“Audiences embraced the AFF 2022 program and demonstrated a clear desire to go out to the cinema,” said AFF CEO and creative director Mat Kesting. “The record-breaking box office and attendance results reaffirm the desire to see films in cinemas and engage with courageous filmmaking.

“An extraordinary cross section of work from around the world was presented including a remarkable crop of new films from South Australia. We congratulate all the filmmakers.

Arts Minister Andrea Michaels MP said, “Congratulations to the entire Adelaide Film Festival team on these outstanding results. They have demonstrated that this Festival is a huge drawcard. Not only for audiences but also for film industry creatives globally.

“The AFF’s 2022 results demonstrate why the South Australian Government has decided to invest $2 million to help annualise and expand the program. Like many others, I am already looking forward to the 2023 Adelaide Film Festival.”

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