Movie producer Kieran Altmann returns home for Adelaide Film Festival

The Murray Bridge product is looking forward to a screening of his film Shiva Baby at the Cameo Cinema.

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It has already screened at film festivals in Melbourne, Toronto and Deauville, France, but there will still be something special about the showing of Shiva Baby in Murray Bridge on December 12.

For producer Kieran Altmann – son of local doctors Martin and Fiona, who are credited as executive producers on the film – this will be a homecoming.

A career in medicine was an option for Mr Altmann, but he leant into his artistic side instead after consuming a diet of independent Australian films – Muriel’s Wedding, Two Hands, Animal Kingdom – during his teenage years.

Seven years ago he surprised himself by winning admission to the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts in New York.

Since then he has worked on a succession of short films, TV episodes and even a campaign video for US Congresswoman Alexandria Occasio-Cortez.

Shiva Baby – a coming-of-age comedy about a college student who runs into her sugar daddy at a Jewish funeral – is his first feature film.

Mr Altmann did everything from scouting locations to budgeting, hiring crew members and working with writer and director Emma Seligman on the story.

“Originally the film was supposed to premiere at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas,” he said.

“A week before the festival was due to kick off they needed to cancel due to COVID.

“We were working 12 or 14-hour days to finish the film off in time, and an hour after we submitted it ... we got the news.”

Life soon got crazy in New York, the global epicentre of the pandemic in early 2020, where sirens would wail outside day and night.

Within a few months he decided to come back home and hunker down with family to make the most of the film industry's pause.

He never actually saw Shiva Baby in a cinema until its recent debut at the Palace Nova for the Adelaide International Film Festival.

On Wednesday it was announced as the winner of the festival’s Audience Award for Feature Fiction, having sold out several screenings.

Three films from the festival will be screened at Murray Bridge’s Cameo Cinema on December 12 and 13: Shiva Baby at 4pm on the Saturday, drunken Danish comedy Another Round at 6pm, and colonial Australian thriller High Ground at 2pm on the Sunday.

Mr Altmann will participate in an audience Q&A after the credits roll.

Fewer than half of the 60 available tickets were left for the screening at the time of publication.