It’s June 2018 and we are all pretty pumped for the the 65th edition of the Sydney Film Festival. If you love cinema gather around because this edition promises to be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. And it’s less than a week away! Kicking off on June 6th, the festival promises to be a thrilling affair filled with 12 days of film screenings, competitions, world premieres and more. 326 films have made their way to the festival from 65 countries. It’s safe to say that this is going to a dream come true for film aficionados everywhere.
Opening the festival is the Australian premiere of female-led NZ comedy The Breaker Upperers. Directed by and starring Madeleine Sami and Jackie van Beek, this movie tells the story of two women who earn a living by breaking up unhappy couples for cash. Also fun fact for Marvel fans is that one of the movie’s executive producer is none other than Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi.
The festival ends with the American indie movie Hearts Beat Loud, starring Nick Offerman aka Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation and Kiersey Clemons as a father and daughter who start a band as she prepares to leave home for college.
Throughout the 12 days, you can spot several important industry figures at this star-studded affair. One of the bigger names confirmed to attend is Aussie screenwriter and director Leigh Whannell, the man behind the Saw and Insidious film series. Also slated to attend the festival are Melbourne comedian Celia Pacquola, star of the SFF opening night film, The Breaker Upperers, award-winning Indian film legend, Nandita Das and BAFTA award-winning director Bart Layton .
One of the highlights of this edition is the spotlight on the role women play in the film industry. In the wake of the #Metoo and #Timesup movement, the European program of the festival will host conversations with women filmmakers examining the gender pay gap in the film industry. Also, watch out for the Sundance-acclaimed documentary Half the Picture, in which American heavyweights including Rosanna Arquette, Lena Dunham, Ava DuVernay, and others tackle the question: Why are there so few female directors in their industry? In another huge move for women creatives the festival director announced that 6 out of 12 films in the festival’s competition line-up are directed by women.
Some of the other things to look out for at the festival is Spike Lee’s latest BlacKKKlansman that won the Grand Prix at the recently concluded Cannes Film festival. Another movie that will hit the chord with film nerds is FilmWorker a documentary about Leon Vitali, who surrendered his promising acting career to become Stanley Kubrick’s devoted right-hand man. Retro movie fans can hope to catch My Brilliant Career, the 1979 Aussie classic restored specially for the festival.
Also returning to the festival this year is the Sounds on Screen program featuring a series of films related to music. There is also a program celebrating First nation filmmakers, featuring the best offerings from Australia’s indigenous filmmakers. There are also special festival programs dedicated to Italian cinema, family entertainment, LGBTIQ and more. Another important addition is a program called Screenability that showcases movies made by disabled filmmakers.
If you can’t wait for the festivities to begin we know the feeling. See you folks at what’s clearly going to be an exhilarating experience!