May 16, 2016

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The programme for the 63rd Sydney Film Festival has been officially launched by Troy Grant, the New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts.

Nashen Moodley, Sydney Film Festival Director said “Sydney Film Festival has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with attendances increasing by over 59% to 176,000 since 2011. In 2016 the Festival will present 244 films from 60 countries including 25 World Premieres, representing hundreds of fresh perspectives and new stories from across Australia and around the world.”

DSC08964 (1)The 2016 Festival will open with the world premiere of ‘Goldstone’, from acclaimed Indigenous writer-director Ivan Sen, whose stellar Australian cast includes Aaron Pedersen, Jacki Weaver, David Wenham and David Gulpilil. The film sees Pedersen reprise his role as Indigenous detective Jay Swan, who audiences first met in Sen’s ‘Mystery Road’, which opened the Festival in 2013.

Whit Stillman’s ‘Love & Friendship’, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s comical early novella Lady Susan, starring Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Australian actor Xavier Samuel and Stephen Fry will close the Festival.

The Festival will screen at a wide selection of venues across Sydney from the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, Dendy Newtown, Skyline Drive-In Blacktown, Art Gallery of NSW, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, Casula Powerhouse, SFF Outdoor Screen at Pitt Street Mall, the Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall to the Apple Store Sydney. Newly added locations at the University of New South Wales and Carriageworks, expand on the Festival Hub’s program of new immersive screen experiences.

The Festival Hub will return to Sydney’s Town Hall for a fourth year. Open to the public all nights, and select days from 9-19 June, The Hub is a multi-disciplinary pop up complete with a contemporary screen-based gallery, a sophisticated bar, a designer lounge and is now a home for the Festival’s extraordinary virtual reality film collection.

Words & Photos: Sandra Tiltman



June 7, 2013
Alfred Hitchcock with Jeff Desom

Alfred Hitchcock with Jeff Desom

Alfred Hitchcock unveiled his masterpiece Rear Window, a suspenseful thriller with James Stewart and Grace Kelly, in New York 60 years ago.

30 years ago, James Stewart flew to Sydney to present Rear Window as the opening night film of the Sydney Film Festival, the first film in a Alfred Hitchcock retrospective.

Luxembourg based artist Jeff Desom, has reconstructed the view out the rear window of James Stewart’s New York apartment in his 20 minute Rear Window Loop.

To celebrate both the anniversary of the iconic film and the Sydney Film Festival, Jeff Desom is in Sydney where his panoramic projection of Rear Window Loop has premiered at the Sydney Film Festival HUB.

Jeff’s film can now be viewed free at the Theatrette, Sydney Film Festival HUB, Lower Town Hall,
483 George Street (enter on Druitt Street) Daily, 5-6pm & 10-12pm.

Sydney Film Festival Hub is a short stroll from the Festival’s major venues and the perfect place for festival goers to meet up, get a snack and just relax between films.  Visitors can enjoy exhibitions, talks, live music, DJs and screenings.

The Hub Ticketing Bar is also the only place to buy $10 tickets with no booking fee, to selected next day screenings (open daily 5-8:30pm).

All events at the Hub are free and open to those over 18.

The Sydney Film Festival runs until Sunday, 16 June 2013.

Sandra Tiltman            Photos:  John Pond

Jeff Desom's  Computer Generated Panorama of Rear Window Set

Jeff Desom’s Computer Generated Panorama of Rear Window Set


May 27, 2013

Clapper 2Running from 5-16 June, the 2013 Sydney Film Festival recently announced this year’s internationally acclaimed award-winning jury members, featuring Hugo Weaving as Jury President.  Other members are international filmmakers Anand Gandhi (India) and Pia Marais (Sweden/South Africa), film critic and curator Paolo Bertolin (Italy) and Australian producer Kath Shelper.

Now in its sixth year, the internationally recognised Sydney Film Festival Official Competition, awards a $60,000 cash prize.  This is Australia’s richest cash award for film and recognises the most courageous, audacious and cutting-edge film from the twelve selected.

Hugo Weaving is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and respected actors, whose many credits range from international blockbusters Cloud Atlas, The Hobbit, The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings trilogy to award winning Australian films such as Oranges and Sunshine.  He has appeared on stage in over twenty productions for the Sydney Theatre Company, and received the Australian Film Institute’s Best Actor award for his performance in Proof (1991) and also for Little Fish (2005).  In 1998, he received the Best Actor award from the Montreal Film Festival for his performance in The Interview.

Weaving will also feature in the Festival’s Opening Night film, the Australian murder mystery Mystery Road.

Hugo Weaving is the sixth Jury President of the Official Competition, following Australian filmmaker Rachel Ward (2012), Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige (2011), Australian producer Jan Chapman (2010) and Australian filmmakers Rolf de Heer (2009) and Gillian Armstrong (2008).

Anand Gandhi is a filmmaker, playwright and artist, deeply interested in philosophy, evolutionary psychology and magic.  His work in theatre, television and short cinema has won him several prestigious awards in the past decade.

Award-winning South African and Swedish director Pia Marais studied film at the Deutsche Film-und Fernseh-Akademie (DFFB) in Berlin, where she is still based.  Marais made her feature debut with Die Unerzogenen (The Unpolished), which was screened at many international film festivals (including SFF 2007) and won various prizes, including a Tiger Award in 2007 at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Italian film critic Paolo Bertolin is a member of the selecting committee of the Venice Film Festival, with a special mandate for the pre-selection of films from Korea and Southeast Asia.  He also works for other Italian festivals, including Udine Far East Film Festival, the Festival dei Popoli in Florence and the Korea Film Fest in Florence.

Kath Shelper produced the award winning Australian film Samson and Delilah, which was directed by Warwick Thornton.  The film won the Camera d’Or (best first feature) at Cannes.  Kath was the recipient of the 2005 Inside Film Award for Rising Talent and her film Confessions of a Headhunter won the AFI Award for Best Short in 2000.

image004Sydney Film Festival also presents a number of awards to recognise excellence in local filmmaking, including the Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize and the long running Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, which are Academy Award eligible.   Sandra Tiltman 



March 29, 2013

400To celebrate the 60th year of the Sydney Film Festival, Minister for the Arts, George Souris, launched a free online publication.  This digital only publication has thousands of pages of content and images, so large it could never have been printed.

Sydney Film Festival 1954 to Now: A Living Archive, features over 1,000 photos and over 50 archived videos including award-winning short films, news clips and trailers plus a list of all 8,580 films that have screened at the Festival.

Festival Director, Nashen Moodley, commented “This free digital archive provides a thorough historical overview of the festival, which has challenged, delighted and entertained Sydneysiders for six decades.  Within its pages you will find a multi-layered, 444multi-dimensional chronicle of Sydney Film Festival – its past, present and future, seen from many perspectives and told with many voices.  It is an amazing resource full of multimedia, interviews and analysis of the history of the festival, its relationship to the local and international film industries, its position in
cinema history and its role in the development of local art, culture and entertainment.”

The City of Sydney bestowed the Sydney Film Festival with a special history grant through their History Publication Sponsorship Program.  “The City of Sydney is pleased to support this wonderful archive which shows how significant the Festival’s impact has been to the evolution of the city’s cultural life over the past 60 years,” said Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore.

Words & Photos:  Sandra Tiltman.