Camels will take to the red carpet at the opening of the 2013 Adelaide Film Festival.

The desert animals will join the movie fraternity when John Curran's Tracks has its Australian premiere on the festival's opening night on October 10.

Starring Canberra-born Mia Wasikowska, the movie is based on the book by Robyn Davidson telling of her 2700km trek from the harsh centre of Australia to the Indian Ocean.

Davidson was accompanied by her faithful dog Diggity and four camels, while a National Geographic photographer (played by Adam Driver) chronicled the adventure.

Festival director Amanda Duthie told AAP she was a big fan of the book when it first came out decades ago.

"It really had a significant impact on me - the bravery, the audacity and the fearlessness of Robyn Davidson."

So Duthie's very excited at being able to premiere a movie which was mostly filmed in South Australia "with such poetry" and which enables her to have camels on the red carpet.

Another highlight of the sixth festival, which runs to October 20, is the world premier of Rolf de Heer's Charlie's Country, starring David Gulpilil, who takes off from his remote community to try and live the old way.

Other world premieres include a collection of Australian ghost stories in Warwick Thornton's The Darkside, and 52 Tuesdays by Sophie Hyde, about a teenager dealing with her mother's plans to undergo gender transition.

As well as Australian movies, the festival will feature films and documentaries from countries including East Timor, Chile, Iran, Sweden and South Korea.

The festival will take over the Adelaide showgrounds for a one-night-only Drive-in double bill spectacular featuring the 1978 musical Grease and the remake of the 1978 classic Australian horror flick Patrick.

Filmmaker Scott Hicks, whose career is strongly intertwined with the SA film industry, will be awarded the 2013 Don Dunstan Award as part of the opening night gala.

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