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Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel to open Adelaide Film Festival 2023

28 August 2023
Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick in The Royal Hotel
Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick in The Royal Hotel, courtesy of See Saw Films.


The Adelaide Film Festival has announced that Kitty Green’s social thriller The Royal Hotel, filmed in South Australia with support from the South Australian government through the South Australian Film Corporation, will be the Opening Night film of the 2023 Festival on Wednesday October 18.

Director and co-writer Kitty Green will attend the Opening Night Gala and walk the red carpet alongside one of the film’s stars, and Adelaide Film Festival Board member, Australian acting icon Hugo Weaving.

The film’s stellar Australian and international cast also includes Julia Garner (The Assistant, Ozark, Inventing Anna) and Jessica Henwick (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) alongside Australians Toby Wallace (Babyteeth), Ursula Yovich, Daniel Henshall and James Frecheville

Following the international acclaim for her feature film debut The Assistant and for her award-winning documentaries, New York City-based filmmaker Kitty Green returned to her home country to make The Royal Hotel, which was filmed last year in Adelaide and regional South Australia. 

Garner and Henwick star as two backpackers who take a job in a remote Australian pub for some extra cash and are confronted with a bunch of unruly locals and a situation that grows rapidly out of their control.

The Royal Hotel is produced by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning of See-Saw Films, the Academy and BAFTA Award winning team behind The Power of the Dog, Lion and The King’s Speech, together with Animal Kingdom and The King producer Liz Watts, See-Saw Films’ Head of Film and Television (Aus), and Scarlett PicturesKath Shelper (The New Boy, Samson & Delilah).  Kitty Green co-wrote the script with Oscar Redding (Van Diemen’s Land).

Adelaide Film Festival is hosting the South Australian premiere of The Royal Hotel following its Toronto International Film Festival screening.

“The Adelaide Film Festival is absolutely thrilled to be presenting the premiere of The Royal Hotel.  It’s a fitting salute to the extraordinary films that are made here in South Australia,” said Mat Kesting, Adelaide Film Festival’s CEO & Creative Director.

“Kitty Green has established herself as one of the world’s most exciting directors and it’s thrilling to see her collaborate again with actress Julia Garner in another tension-filled story that will audiences on the edge of their seats.  Kitty is a master of building suspense and exploring male/female dynamics.”

Opening Night will also feature the world premiere of the short film Blame the Rabbit, funded by the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund, by writer/director Elena Carapetis and produced by Festival favourite, Adelaide’s Lisa Scott.

Minister for the Arts, Andrea Michaels, said: “The news that The Royal Hotel will open the 2023 Adelaide Film Festival is a fitting way to mark the first annual presentation of the festival and is incredibly exciting for our local screen industry.  Kitty Green and See-Saw Films make films that are acclaimed around the world and for them to bring production of The Royal Hotel to South Australia is a testament to the world class nature of our cast and crews.  It’s especially exciting that the Adelaide Film Festival will premiere the film to local audiences after its selection at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.  Opening Night of the Adelaide Film Festival heralds a brilliant 11 days of cinema from around the world and I’m looking forward to joining the celebrations with The Royal Hotel’s director Kitty Green, star Hugo Weaving and the Festival team.”

CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Croser said: “The Royal Hotel is a stunning new work from Kitty Green that will captivate South Australian audiences as the perfect opening night for the Adelaide Film Festival. The third major production from globally celebrated company See-Saw Films attracted to South Australia in the last two years, The Royal Hotel has created lasting benefits for the state driven through the SAFC’s production investment. As well as generating production activity in both Adelaide and regions, and employment and training opportunities for South Australian crew, this exciting new film will be another international showcase for the world-class talent and capability of South Australia’s screen industry set against the backdrop of our stunning Outback locations.”

The Adelaide Film Festival Opening Night Gala is Adelaide’s most famous opening party. Audiences are invited to glam up and celebrate the art of film, walk the red carpet, join filmmakers and film lovers alike for the premiere screening of The Royal Hotel at the magnificently refurbished The Piccadilly, North Adelaide.  The Gala afterparty will be at the Hindley Street Music Hall, where the chandeliers and finery are in beautiful contrast to the outback ‘Royal’.  

Wednesday 18 October, 6pm – late
Screening: The Piccadilly
Party: Hindley Street Music Hall
Film & Party $125+ booking fee
Dress code: red carpet dressy

Tickets here:

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