Julia Garner-Fronted Aussie Thriller ‘The Royal Hotel’ Will Screen at SXSW Sydney

The Royal Hotel movie will screen at SXSW Sydney and the Adelaide Film Festival

SeeSaw Films

Kitty Green’s The Royal Hotel movie is set to premiere at the upcoming SXSW Sydney festival. Starring Julia Garner and Game of Thrones actress Jessica Henwick, The Royal Hotel is a psychological thriller that’s been garnering positive reviews out of its Fall Festival screenings at Telluride and the Toronto International Film Festival in early September. Soon, Aussie moviegoers will be able to see the film for themselves.

The Royal Hotel is just one of the films set to screen during the upcoming SXSW Sydney festival, and tickets are on sale now. Along with The Royal Hotel, you can catch a whole slate of highly anticipated Australian films, like You’ll Never Find Me and Hot Potato: The Story of the Wiggles.

The Royal Hotel is a See-Saw Films production, with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation and additional support from Screen NSW.

“We’re delighted to support award-winning director Kitty Green’s first feature at home in Australia with this uniquely Australian psychological thriller,” said Screen Australia’s Head of Content Grainne Brunsdon. “Together with the exceptional team at See-Saw, talented co-writer Oscar Redding and an outstanding cast, Green is poised to make a big splash and we’re confident this film will enthral audiences here and around the world.”

Read on for everything we know thus far about The Royal Hotel.

What Is The Royal Hotel About?

Per Screen Australia, The Royal Hotel is “a social thriller inspired by true events”.

“The film follows Hanna (Garner) and Liv (Henwick) who are best friends backpacking in Australia. After they run out of money, Liv, looking for an adventure, convinces Hanna to take a temporary live-in job behind the bar of a pub called ‘The Royal Hotel’ in a remote Outback mining town.

“Bar Owner Billy (Hugo Weaving) and a host of locals give the girls a riotous introduction to Down Under drinking culture, but things turn nasty when their jokes and behaviour cross the line. Soon Hanna and Liv find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their control.”

The Royal Hotel Trailer

Who Directed The Royal Hotel Movie?

Kitty Green, an Australian director originally from Melbourne, directed The Royal Hotel. Green is best known for directing 2019’s The Assistant, which also starred Julia Garner. Prior to that, she directed the 2017 Netflix project Casting JonBenet.

Green also co-wrote the script alongside Australian actor and writer Oscar Redding. Redding previously co-wrote the script for Van Diemen’s Land, which he also acted in.

Who Is Starring in The Royal Hotel?

The Royal Hotel stars Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick. They’ll be the aforementioned friends who find themselves trapped in the middle of nowhere after taking a job at the Royal Hotel.

Also starring in the film are Hugo Weaving and Toby Wallace, playing characters named Billy and Matty. There’s not much known about their characters yet, but it’s safe to assume at least one of them will be… unpleasant… based on the film’s synopsis.

Where Was The Royal Hotel Filmed?

The Royal Hotel was filmed in Yatina, South Australia. Iconic Adelaide Instagram account @justadelaidethings posted snaps of Julia Garner being spotted in a car in Adelaide on August 15, 2022, presumably on her way to the set.

Yatina is approximately 222km north of Adelaide, and is reported to be home to just 29 people. Yatina’s disused pub is the focal point of the film, with additional filming taking place around South Australia, as well.

In an interview with 7NEWS, Yatina resident Ken Cowery reacted to the news of his small town being the focal point for this new film.

“I’ve heard all these cars pull up and I thought, ‘What the hell was that?’” Cowery said. “They’ve been wonderful people, nobody’s making noise or nothing. They’ve been very quiet.”

The South Australian Film Corporation said last year that The Royal Hotel was expected to create over 200 jobs and bring $4.6 million into the SA economy.

When Will The Royal Hotel Be Released?

If you can’t catch The Royal Hotel at SXSW Sydney, it will also be opening the Adelaide Film Festival. As for an Australian-wide release date, there’s no word on that just yet, but stay tuned — we’ll update this post as soon as we know more.

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