Rolf de Heer’s The Survival of Kindness to Open SWIFF’23


The Coffs Coast’s 16-day 2023 Screenwave International Film Festival (April 20 – May 5) has announced revered Australian auteur Rolf de Heer’s first feature film in nine years, The Survival of Kindness, to launch its eighth festival at the SWIFF’23 Opening Night Gala on April 20.

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

Rolf de Heer, the visionary director of Charlie’s Country, Ten Canoes, Bad Boy Bubby, and The Tracker, among others, continues with his signature brand of observation and subversion through cinema with The Survival of Kindness, already attracting critical acclaim, nominated for Berlinale’s coveted Golden Bear Best Film award, with the award winner announced on February 25th. The last Australian director nominated for the Golden Bear was Emile Sherman for Candy in 2006.

Rolf de Heer, lead actress Mwajemi Hussein, and producers Molly Reynolds (My Name Is Gulpilil – SWIFF’21) and Julie Byrne (The Babadook, Charlie’s Country), will be in attendance to present the New South Wales Premiere of The Survival of Kindness at SWIFF’23’s Opening Night Gala, which will be hosted at SWIFF’s CHEC Theatre venue for the first time. 

“There hasn’t been an Australian film like The Survival of Kindness before. Inimitable for its time, and at its core a concept that is so unique, compelling, and profound, it’s the perfect film to launch into a bold and adventurous two-week festival experience.” – SWIFF Artistic Director, Kate Howat.

The Survival of Kindness, filmed in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges and Tasmania, will launch a 150-session line-up of screenings and events at SWIFF’23, running 16 days and nights across three screening venues in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen, including the newly upgraded historic Bellingen Memorial Hall, having just finished a three-year multi-million dollar restoration and upgrade project.

The Screenwave International Film Festival began as a new grassroots film festival in 2015, founded by metropolitan expat husband-and-wife couple, Festival Directors Dave Horsley and Kate Howat and is supported by Australian screen icon and SWIFF Festival Patron Jack Thompson. SWIFF now sees around 12,000 movie lovers attend the Coffs Coast festival each year, many travelling from around Australia to the beachside community of 75,000 people.

Dates: Thursday 20th April to Friday 5th May 
Film Passes: 6 films for $99 or up to 20 films for $269
Booking link:

Press Release

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