Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid to close Coffs Coast’s SWIFF’23

Beau is Afraid will close the Coffs Coast’s 2023 Screenwave International Film Festival.

AFTER two back-to-back major successes with A24, writer/director Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar – SWIFF’20) takes a darkly comedic turn for his third collaboration with the changemaking film studio, bringing to life a bold, hilarious, and ingeniously depraved new film, Beau is Afraid, screening as the regional Australian Premiere and Closing Night Gala film to cap off the Coffs Coast’s 2023 Screenwave International Film Festival (April 20 to May 5).

Starring a cast led by Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix (Joker, C’mon C’mon – SWIFF’22) as Beau, Ari Aster’s third film features an incredible supporting ensemble cast that includes Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Kylie Rogers, Parker Posey, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Hayley Squires, Michael Gandolfini, Zoe Lister-Jones, Richard Kind, and Amy Ryan.

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Beau (Phoenix), a paranoid and anxiety-ridden man, embarks on a bizarre and epic odyssey to return home to his mother.

On his adventures, Beau is forced to face his darkest fears in strange, oddball, fantastical worlds bursting with colour and confusion.
“It’s like a Jewish Lord of the Rings…but he’s just going to his mom’s place,” said writer/director Ari Aster
Ten-years in the making, Phoenix’s captivating lead performance, along with the striking contrast between bright, picturesque visuals and the eerie uncertainty of the mind-bending world, makes for another uniquely engrossing experience that cements Aster as an auteur and pioneer of modern cinematic surrealism.

Aster previously told IndieWire that Beau Is Afraid is decidedly not a horror film.

“It might take me a few movies before I wind back around to (horror), but I love horror and I’m sure I’ll be back,” Aster said.

This year, A24 celebrates ten years of presenting some of the film world’s most exciting titles – including SWIFF’23 selected films Funny Pages, Aftersun, Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, and Close, along with SWIFF’s 2022 Closing Night Gala, the runaway success action-comedy, seven-time Oscar-winning film Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Beau Is Afraid is now slated as A24’s most expensive production to date.

The 2023 Screenwave International Film Festival is proudly presented and supported by Squealing Pig Wines.

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