Darwin International Film Festival Unveils Eclectic 2022 Film Program


Darwin International Film Festival returns from 5 – 15 September for its 13th annual celebration of film, creativity and art. Territorians are invited to explore the world of cinema with a wide-ranging mix of award-winning films from around the globe.

Through thoughtfully curated programming, DIFF has cemented its place nationally as a cornerstone festival honouring all that encompasses film. This year, expanding its programming with 39 screenings across eleven nights, there is something to offer for people of all ages. 

“Rich storytelling comes from telling a range of lived-in experiences. International dramas, epic nature documentaries, and First Nations stories is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of programming we’re excited to once again offer at DIFF“ said John Schier, DIFF Festival Chair. “This year, we’re celebrating a record level of Territory screen productions and also expanding how festival-goers can enjoy stories from around the world – including Aussie favourites – with our Sundown Screen that fills the Waterfront Peninsula Lawns with seats and snacks for the whole family.”

In this years’ Opening Night Film, eight First Nations heroes must overcome obstacles to be masters of their own destiny. We Are Still Here originated as a response to the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s arrival and is an unparalleled First Nations celebration of stories.

Other highlights of the festival will include:


Newly implemented into this year’s program is a fully equipped new outdoor cinema at Darwin Waterfront Peninsula Lawns to pair with the Festival’s home, Deckhair Cinema. Sundown Screen will show a fantastic selection of films and is perfect for the whole family, with early screenings free of charge and deluxe catered seating options available. No need to bring a thing, as chairs, mats and cushions will be available in addition to a fully licensed bar stocked with snack choices for all.

Don’t miss Classic Australiana, a series of your favourite Australian movies including Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet, Muriel’s Wedding, Death in Brunswick and more, on the Sundown Screen.


Showing the strength of love and hope required to overcome shared traumas that Indigenous people from these regions continue to face. Archibald Prize-winning artist Del Kathryn Barton’s feature directorial debut Blaze is a rousing ode to female courage, starring Julia Savage, Simon Baker and Yael Stone.

Fire of Loveis a visual romance taking place on an intimate and awesome scale as devoted scientists uncover the mystery of volcanoes. A globe-trotting fire-chase reveals some of the most spectacular imagery of the earth ever captured.  

Sheep-killing beast, or tragic victim of human-induced extinction? Tiger on the Rocks brings a varying light to Australia’s most wanted animal and is a timely reminder to respect the connection between human and animal, culture, nature and country.

Film can inspire and change lives, as proven in The Last Film Show which follows a nine-year-old boy in remote India who becomes mesmerised by his first feature. He embarks on his own 35mm filmmaking journey when he quickly learns that stories become light, light becomes film and films become dreams.

The Best of Annecy Kids is designed to enthrall and enchant children from the age of six and upwards.The Annecy International Animation Film Festival assembles funny, touching and poetic short films that audiences of all ages will adore!

Closing the festival is Audrey Napanangka, an intimate portrait of artist, actor and proud Warlpiri woman, Audrey Napanangka. Filmed over ten years, Audrey charts her challenges living within traditional ways and the modern world as she and her Sicillian partner Santo work to keep the children they’ve been bringing up together.

Prolific Australian producer Penelope McDonald returns to the director’s chair after 33 years to bring us this true collaboration between filmmaker and subject, allowing us to witness the richness and complexity of Australian First Nations peoples lives today. Filmed in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and Audrey’s Warlpiri homelands.


Live music & film merge in CINEMART. Occurring on both Saturday’s during the festival, local and independent filmmaking is complemented through live music with soundtracks from contemporary and classic films accompanied by live, original scores.

#Ghostmodern is a unique live cinema experience born from a collaboration between filmmaker Timothy Parish and award winning music producer Kuya James (James Mangohig) and Indo futurist Tutup Mulut with live rap narration by MC’s Mista Monk and Australian hip-hop legend Elf Tranzporter. It blurs the line between documentary and live performance to create a kaleidoscopic expanded cinema production that will provocatively explore our media-saturated reality.

You can also experience George Miller’s high-octane action masterpiece, Max Max Fury Road Black & Chrome in an immersive cinematic event like no other. The screening event will include an original score performed by award-winning artists Tom Thum (beatbox, foley, sound FX), Benjamin Walsh (percussion and drums) and Shenzo Gregorio (violin, guitar, synth) for a musical re-imagining that transforms the film into a mixture of live performance and blockbuster cinema.


In partnership with Screen Territory, DIFF presents a two-day program of industry events that will inform and inspire screen practitioners of all career levels, as well as broader stakeholders of the screen industry. The NT Screen Summit is a place to expand networks locally and engage with major players of the national screen industry

The Northern Territory’s finest cinematographers will also be recognised at the 2022 Australian Cinematographers Society Awards with guest of honour John Seale AM ACS ASC in attendance.

In addition, a stack of special screenings include: an unmissable new series, True Colors where a detective finds herself in a murder mystery like no other as the beauty of Aboriginal art and the sometimes-devious practices in the global art market take her on a hunt for a killer; MaveriX, a major Northern Territory dana series filmed in and around Alice Springs and centers on a team of young motocross riders; Three Thousand Years of Longing presented by Oscar winning Guest of Honour John Seale AM ACS ASC and more!


There will be no shortage of industry talent at this year’s event, with more than 30 special guests in attendance. Audiences are encouraged to hang back after screenings to meet and hear from local and interstate filmmakers and actors.

Guests this year include: John Seale AM ACS ASC, Audrey Napanangka, Penelope MacDonald, Dan Hartney, Huni Bolliger, Cathryn Vasseleu and more!

DIFF 2022:

When: Thursday 15th – Sunday 25th September
Where: Various venues across Darwin


Press Release

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