The opening night of the SFF is a statement of intent. Under previous director Clare Stewart, the opening gala screening would often be a British film. Why? Because Hollywood is off limits; subtitled movies can turn people off; but the UK fare can offer stars, auteur directors, artistic credibility and commercial appeal. Fair enough.
Current festival director Nashen Moodley, however, favours the patriotic approach with Australian films, such as Brendan Cowell’s Ruben Guthrie (2015) and Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road (2013). And it’s the sequel to Mystery Road, Goldstone, that grabs the big opening night spot for this year’s festival. Like its predecessor, Goldstone is a moody outback noir starring Aaron Pedersen as Indigenous detective Jay Swan. As before, a cast of big names has come along for the ride, including Jacki Weaver, David Wenham, David Gulpilil and Tom E Lewis.
Opening night tickets are $28-$30 (or $130 including the after party at Bungalow 8). They’re on sale now.