Search SAFC


News & Events

Watch the trailer for SA made The Survival of Kindness

08 February 2023
The Survival of Kindness, image supplied.

Check out the new trailer for South Australian made and SAFC supported The Survival of Kindness, from acclaimed filmmaker Rolf de Heer, released today by Umbrella Entertainment ahead of the film’s February 17 premiere in the Main Competition of the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival.

The film is nominated for the prestigious Golden Bear, alongside SA made and SAFC supported film Limbo, marking the first time an Australian film has been featured in Competition since 2006. The award will be determined by a jury headed by actor Kristen Stewart.

The Survival of Kindness is a cinematic must-see experience from one of Australia’s most visionary and acclaimed filmmakers, with a career spanning 40 years on screen. South Australian producer Julie Byrne worked with de Heer on his first film in almost a decade, since Charlie’s Country, which saw the late great David Gulpilil win Best Actor, Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

The Survival of Kindness introduces SA’s Mwajemi Hussein in the lead role.  Battling privilege and pestilence while not knowing if she’s alive or dead, her story is an exquisite, thought-provoking and immersive journey of pure cinema.

De Heer’s perspective, both distinctive and unique, has produced a filmography unlike any other. Films by Rolf de Heer have been invited to the world’s top three film festivals – Cannes, Venice, Berlin – a total of eight times.

Invited twice to Main Competition at the Berlinale (Alexandra’s Project 2003, The Survival of Kindness 2023), twice to Cannes In Competition (The Quiet Room 1996, Dance Me To My Song 1998), won major awards twice in Cannes Un Certain Regard (Prix Un Certain Regard Ten Canoes 2006, Best Actor Un Certain Regard Charlie’s Country 2013 for David Gulpilil), and selected twice In Competition at Venice (Special Jury Prize winner Bad Boy Bubby 1994, The Tracker 2002). Among many personal career highlights, de Heer is the only filmmaker to have directed legendary jazz musician Miles Davis on screen (Dingo 1991). The Survival of Kindness is his 15th work as feature director.

The official poster for The Survival of Kindness.

In announcing the film’s selection to Competition, Berlinale Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian praised the performance of Mwajemi Hussein and called the film a moral fable about the value of resilience. “The Survival of Kindness is a very daring project with a unique tone and narrative, matching an extremely precise way of filming, and of lighting real locations,” he said.

Umbrella General Manager, Ari Harrison said “Forever inventive in his filmmaking, Rolf de Heer has discovered another great talent in Mwajemi Hussein who delivers a tour-de-force performance as BlackWoman. The Survival of Kindness is a layered, at times thrilling, at times reflective work, but always compelling. Umbrella is proud to be presenting this latest work from Rolf, perhaps even his best, in a catalogue of stunning cinema.”

The Survival of Kindness will launch in cinemas around Australia later in 2023, and will open the ScreenWave International Film Festival on April 20.

The Survival of Kindness is Vertigo Productions and Triptych Pictures production, written and directed by Rolf de Heer, produced by de Heer and Julie Byrne. Co-producer is Ari Harrison while Executive Producers are Sue Murray, Bryce Menzies, Molly Reynolds, Domenico Procacci.

The Survival of Kindness received principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation and Adelaide Film Festival. Financed with support from Screen Tasmania. Australian Distributor is Umbrella Entertainment and International Sales by Fandango SPA.

« Back to News