The Royal Hotel will open the Adelaide Film Festival 2023

Kitty Green's new outback thriller will open the Adelaide Film Festival in October.

The Royal Hotel, filmed in South Australia, has been announced as the Opening Night film of the 2023 Adelaide Film Festival on 18 October.

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

The film’s 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.

Read: The Royal Hotel – need to know

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 Pictures’ Kath Shelper (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 Royal Hotel was also recently announced as the opening film for the inaugural SXSW Screen Festival in Sydney in October.

Read: The Royal Hotel to open SXSW Sydney 2023

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

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.’

The Adelaide Film Festival runs 18–29 October 2023. Visit the website.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites