Sydney Film Festival

8 top films to watch for Sydney Film Festival’s Virtual Edition this week

June 16, 2020

You may be forgiven for not realising one of Sydney’s most beloved festivals is running right now. The 67th Sydney Film Festival has been condensed, tinkered with, and ported to the digital-only world to align with the ongoing global pandemic. And we’re in it’s second week right now, given the program of just 33 films […]

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Sydney Film Festival joins major film festivals across the world for We Are One: A Global Film Festival

April 28, 2020

Tribeca Enterprises and YouTube jointly announced today We Are One: A Global Film Festival, an unprecedented 10-day digital film festival exclusively on YouTube, bringing together an international community of storytellers to present festival programming for free to audiences around the world. Set to begin on May 29 on YouTube.com/WeAreOne, the festival will feature programming curated by […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a love letter to a brave, post-punk poet

June 19, 2019

Martin Phillipps is a brave, post-punk poet. The leader of the New Zealand band, The Chills has had a long and varied career writing heavenly pop tunes that are filled with dark undercurrents. The Chills: The Triumph and Tragedy of Martin Phillipps is a revealing look at an eccentric protagonist in his own tragicomic story. […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: XY Chelsea is barely the first chapter in Manning’s story

June 17, 2019

You get the sense that the stage was set for a great documentary about Chelsea Manning. It was May 2017 when the former US army soldier and intelligence analyst had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama. She also granted a documentary film crew unfettered access to her life. And yet what follows is a […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Leftover Women is an eye-opening look at love & marriage

June 13, 2019

Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. But what do you do if you’re a single woman who is over a certain age living in China? The documentary, Leftover Women, is an illuminating look at three individuals who grapple with various stigmas and expectations, in a society where women are encouraged to […]

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Photo Gallery: RJ Mitte walks red carpet at Standing Up For Sunny World Premiere (12.06.19)

June 12, 2019

RJ Mitte walks the red carpet at the world premiere of Standing Up For Sunny as part of the Sydney Film Festival alongside actress Philippa Northeast and Matthew Nable.

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Souvenir (UK, 2019) is one of the best films of 2019

June 11, 2019

Before I start off this review, it must be said that I have not seen any of the works by director Joanna Hogg. It wasn’t due to any prior indiscretions, rather my personal ignorance. But upon hearing the massive amounts of praise from festivals and critics all over the world for her latest film, The […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Third Wife (Vietnam, 2018) is an entrancing, haunting and sensual experience

June 10, 2019

It feels absolutely wonderful to see a Vietnamese film in this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Of course, there have been many Vietnamese film in film festivals before but, with a stronger focus on genre-centric cinema over the recent year, it feels invigorating for a Vietnamese critic such as myself. This year, we have Ash Mayfair‘s […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Her Smell is an exhausting endurance test, saved by Elisabeth Moss’ electric performance

June 10, 2019

Another day, another music biopic. Well, almost. Continuing the resurgence of cinematic fare concerned with the chaos that is the life of the musician, Her Smell takes inspiration from the 90s rock scene where female singers like Courtney Love, PJ Harvey, and Shirley Manson gave their male counterparts plenty of competition. With a bleached-blonde lead […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Blinded by the Light is a lively crowd-pleaser and a loving tribute to The Boss

June 9, 2019

Great Britain in the late 1980s. A country in the grip of economic chaos, racial tensions, and political unrest. And a time fashion clearly forgot. It’s a setting and era cinema has covered extensively over the years. With an inviting narrative and a soundtrack filled with 80s pop and rock wonders, Blinded by the Light […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Amazing Johnathan Documentary is like a film directed by Puff the Magic Dragon

June 7, 2019

Most documentaries are good at providing observations about a subject. They are often unobtrusive and just like a fly-on-the-wall. But what do you do when you’ve chosen to chronicle an individual who is an illusionist and expert prankster by day? TV director, Ben Berman grapples with this as well as the notion of the truth […]

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13 Films You Must See at Sydney Film Festival 2019

May 27, 2019

It’s almost time for the annual Sydney Film Festival (5th – 16th June), stretching almost a fortnight across Sydney’s best cinemas – including the historic State Theatre – with a hugely diverse program of films from around the world. There’s almost too many gems to get through this year, so we’ve compiled a list of […]

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Five things to do in Sydney over the next few weeks: May & June 2019

May 23, 2019

You’d be mistaken if you thought Sydney was all about the summer months. As soon as winter hits, the city seems to spring to life with some of its greatest yearly events, as well as a whole host of other fun things to do. And the next few weeks will certainly showcase that, with the […]

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Interview: Hyun Lee on Asian Girls and the benefits of diversity in film funding

October 4, 2018

Earlier this year, we sat down with Hyun Lee, the director of a short film called Asian Girls which screened at SXSW in Austin, Texas and then at the Sydney Film Festival. We talked about the making of the film, working with Rainbow Chan, and the benefits and importance of diversity in film funding. It’s […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: BlacKKKlansman (USA, 2018) sees Spike Lee channel his frustration for one of his finest films to date

June 25, 2018

Spike Lee is quite clearly fired up as he scatters sharp, defiant dialogue all through BlacKKKlansman, his first feature film since 2015’s good-but-uneven Chi-Raq and without a doubt one of his best works to date. That is no overstatement either, with Lee directing a big middle finger to the racism both explicit and implicit, by […]

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Sydney Film Fest Review: The Rider (USA, 2018) is an absolute masterpiece from director Chloe Zhao

June 22, 2018

Expectations can be a very powerful thing, especially when they are low. When people are asked to survey a form of art with subject matter that doesn’t interest them, it’s very certain that they won’t like it. But there are those forms that exceed one’s expectations and manage to give a satisfying experience and what […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (USA, 2017) is like a long, detailed book

June 19, 2018

The New York Public Library is one large institution. So it should come as no surprise that the documentary about it is also quite big and sprawling in nature. Ex Libris: The New York Public Library is like reading hundreds of chapters from various books; you might learn something but that doesn’t change the fact […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Yellow Is Forbidden (China/NZ, 2017) is an intimate slice of fashion gold

June 18, 2018

Colours have different meanings. In Imperial China, yellow was reserved for the emperor. It was believed to be the centre of everything because it generated yin and yang. For fashion designer, Guo Pei it is a colour that has become a signature part of her colour palate. If you don’t believe us, you need look […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Colin Minihan overindulges in tension with What Keeps You Alive (Canada, 2018)

June 18, 2018

Not truly knowing your significant other post-marriage must be a terrifying thought, and it’s one that grounds Colin Minihan‘s What Keeps You Alive in a genuinely frightening premise. Lock that idea up and throw it into a cliche cabin-in-the-woods scenario and you have yourself a fun horror film that’s intriguing and entertaining, if not a […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: McQueen (UK, 2018) is a heart-breaking work of staggering genius

June 18, 2018

Fashion designer (Lee) Alexander McQueen was a true artist. He would say, “If you want to know me, look at my work.” The documentary, McQueen captures some of his enigma by looking behind-the-scenes at his extraordinary talent and story. While you get some sense of what this artistic genius was like you also get the […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Bad Reputation (USA, 2017) is one badass party with a rebellious Joan Jett

June 18, 2018

Joan Jett’s documentary, Bad Reputation had me from the moment she was told girls can’t play rock and roll music and she went ahead and did it anyway. The leather clad rocker has had a brilliant career, which this film celebrates. Bad Reputation is ultimately a fun and rollicking watch about a strong woman who […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Piercing (USA, 2018) is a sadistic screwball macabre comedy with two fantastic lead performances

June 13, 2018

Before I start this review, it has to be said that this writer has a sick and depraved sense of humour. So stepping in to watch this sadistic horror/comedy film Piercing for Sydney Film Festival 2018, my expectations were sky-high. The feature has been adapted from a novel by acclaimed author Ryu Murakami, who is […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Juliet, Naked (USA, 2018) Is The Rom-Com We Deserve

June 13, 2018

Relationships are hard, messy complicated things. Finding a balance between what you want and what your partner wants, whilst still retaining a sense of uniqueness feels impossible. Most mainstream Hollywood rom-coms would have us believe that it’s possible with their glossy happy endings. Juliet, Naked is not the rom-com we need but the one we […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Children Act (USA, 2018) is a slow-burning & challenging moral drama

June 12, 2018

The Children Act is a drama that is wrapped around a moral quandary. It asks the question, “How old should someone be before they can refuse medical treatment?” This adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel is an emotive legal and moral drama that will give audiences pause to think. This film is directed by Richard […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Jirga (Australia, 2017) is a humane look behind the curtain of war

June 12, 2018

That Jirga is quiet and understated is the film’s biggest strength, consciously moving away from the lurid details of your typical war blockbuster and presenting something of a bare-bones human story about redemption and forgiveness. When Director Benjamin Gilmour and actor Sam Smith, both Australian, spent 20 days shooting this film they did so at […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Wife (Sweden/UK, 2017) is a slow-burning & tense character study about a woman’s conflicting emotions

June 11, 2018

The title of the film, The Wife, gives away about as much as the titular character. Is she a good one? A bad lady? The answer is a mystery for a large portion of this slow-burning character study. One thing’s for certain, this wifey is brimming with conflicting emotions in this bittersweet, character-driven drama. Glenn […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (UK, 2018) is about a style iconoclast & punk who became one fine dame

June 10, 2018

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist shares some things in common with David Bowie’s song, “Fashion” and not just for the obvious fact that Vivienne Westwood is a fashion designer. Consider Bowie’s “Listen to me- don’t listen to me/Talk to me- don’t talk to me/Dance with me- don’t dance with me, no” lyrics. It’s a curious dance […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Nico, 1988 (Italy, 2017) shows the songstress left behind after all tomorrow’s parties

June 10, 2018

A bio-pic can be a tricky beast. When a person has achieved so much in their lifetime what part of the story do you focus on? If you’re Italian director, Susanna Nicchiarelli you eschew the obvious and omit the lauded days. Nicchiarelli instead focuses on later life and this is precisely the scene we are […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Chef Flynn (USA, 2018) is as neat & tidy as an entrée but you will probably be left wanting more

June 10, 2018

It’s fair to say that most of us home cooks are more like Nailed It! contestants than MasterChefs. So imagine how surprising it is to see a young child cooking up fine dining dishes with aplomb. Chef Flynn is a documentary about Flynn McGarry, this particular child prodigy. While it’s an entertaining story you can’t […]

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Sydney Film Festival Review: The Breaker Upperers (New Zealand, 2018) is immensely entertaining, genuinely hilarious, and wonderfully heartfelt

June 10, 2018

Given that we can almost outsource every chore, errand, and activity that come our way, it only makes sense that the unfortunate responsibility that is breaking up with someone be a lucrative business too.  Enter The Breaker Upperers, a duo of frozen-hearted, screwed-over singletons who appear more than happy to break the heart of someone […]

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