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Two South Australian films selected for Sundance Film Festival 2023

08 December 2022
Sundance 2023: Run Rabbit Run and Talk to Me
SA made and SAFC supported films Run Rabbit Run and Talk to Me have both been selected for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Two South Australian made and SAFC supported films will premiere at the prestigious 2023 Sundance Film Festival, it has been announced today.

Run Rabbit Run from director Daina Reid, written by award-winning SA author Hannah Kent, starring SA’s Sarah Snook and filmed in South Australia’s Riverland and Talk to Me, the feature directorial debut for SA directors Danny and Michael Philippou (also known as Youtube sensations RackaRacka) and co-written by SA’s Bill Hinzman will both premiere as part of the festival’s Midnight program.

They are among four Australian films selected for the Sundance program, which runs in Utah, USA from 19 – 29 January 2023, with writer/director Noora Niasari’s debut Shayda and Robert Connolly’s Blueback also featured.

Produced by Carver FilmsAnna McLeish and Sarah Shaw, Run Rabbit Run stars South Australian Sarah Snook (Succession) as a fertility doctor whose firm grasp on the cycle of life is put to the test as her young daughter begins to exhibit increasingly strange behaviour. The production will have its world premiere as the opening gala of the Sundance Midnight program.

Daina Reid said: “I am so thrilled to see Run Rabbit Run premiering at Sundance. It has been an incredible journey making this film and working with such a massively talented writer in Hannah Kent and our amazing leading actors Sarah Snook, Lily LaTorre and Damon Herriman. Indeed all our cast, our outstanding crew and wonderful producers. It is so exciting to see their work showing at such a fantastic festival.”

After a preview screening at Adelaide Film Festival this year, Danny and Michael Philippou’s feature debut Talk To Me, produced by Causeway FilmsSamantha Jennings and Kristina Ceyton (The Babadook, The Nightingale, Cargo), will also make its international premiere in the Midnight Section. The film follows a group of friends who discover how to conjure spirits using an ancient embalmed hand, becoming hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and opens the door to the spirit world.

Danny and Michael Philippou said: “We’re so excited to be premiering Talk to Me at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s surreal. Cannot process it. So happy!! We cannot thank everyone involved enough for all their amazing hard work and unbelievably kind support.”

Sundance has a history of launching Australian works into the US market including You Won’t Be Alone in 2022, Relic in 2020, 52 Tuesdays in 2014 and Animal Kingdom in 2010.

Minister for The Arts The Hon. Andrea Michaels said: “South Australian creativity once again takes centre stage at one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, Sundance. Run Rabbit Run and Talk To Me join an incredible list of iconic SA-backed feature films to have premiered at Sundance, including Scott Hick’s Shine (1996), Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek (2005), Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook (2014), Grant Sputore’s I Am Mother (2019), Wayne Blair’s Top End Wedding (2019), and Closer Productions’ Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (2011), 52 Tuesdays (2014) and Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (2015), just to name a few!

“Congratulations to the creative teams behind both Run Rabbit Run and Talk To Me, and I commend the SAFC on their continued development and support for the state’s booming screen sector.”

South Australian Film Corporation CEO Kate Croser said: “The SAFC is so proud to have supported these exciting new feature films which showcase the depth and breadth of South Australia’s screen industry talent against the backdrop of our state’s stunning locations, including the beautiful landscapes of the Riverland and the urban outlook of Adelaide city.

“I would particularly like to celebrate Talk to Me’s first time director Michael Philippou, director and writer Danny Philippou and writer Bill Hinzman, and Run Rabbit Run writer Hannah Kent, who are all among a record number of South Australian writers, directors and producers recently gaining their first professional above the line screen credit on a feature film or broadcast program, a direct result of the SAFC’s strategic aim to grow capability of the sector in 2022 through growing the pool of ‘Greenlighters’ in the state.

“Congratulations to the entire creative teams, cast and crew of both films for this prestigious international recognition.”

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “This is an incredible slate of premieres and I’d like to congratulate the teams on their selection for this world-leading festival. To have two feature debuts is a real coup, with rising talent Noora Niasari’s Shayda in competition, and RackaRacka who have built an exceptional fanbase online now reaching global audiences with their feature Talk to Me. It’s also wonderful to see a range of stories representing Australia, from the stunning natural beauty celebrated in Blueback and the modern migrant experience showcased in Shayda, to the gripping supernatural tales in Talk to Me and Run Rabbit Run which will no doubt have audiences on the edge of their seats.”

A history of Australian titles at Sundance is available via the Screen Australia website here.

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