First films announced for 2014 Sydney Film Festival


The 61st Sydney Film Festival has announced 32 films that will screen during this year’s event, with the full program expected on Wednesday May 7th. The festival, which runs from June 4th to 15th, will utilise cinemas all over the city to host its screenings. This includes expanding as far as Blacktown to host a screening of the 40th anniversary restoration print of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the Skyline Drive-In on Friday June 13th.

Festival Director Nashen Moodley said the following about the festival:

“We are pleased to present this sneak preview of 32 of the 180-plus films in this year’s program. We have gathered a selection of the best films from the best film festivals and filmmakers around the world and across Australia. Together this will give you a multi-faceted look at the state of our world right now – our interests, our fears, our hopes and dreams.”

The films already announced include 1 world premiere, 19 Australian premieres, 13 features and 11 documentaries. Also announced is an 8-film retrospective of the works of the late great director Robert Altman, including screenings of M*A*S*H, Nashville and Short Cuts.

Here are some of the highlights from the list of announced films:

Director: Lenny Abrahamson | Ireland, UK | 93 mins | In English
Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in a hip, hilarious and sometimes dark comedy from Irish director Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did, SFF 2013; Garage). Fassbender always wears a bizarre giant fake head as the enigmatic lead singer of an ambitious indie-pop group. He and his bandmates go from an excruciatingly long recording session to facing the pitfalls of fame at SXSW.

Director: David Gordon Green | USA | 117 mins | In English
Nicolas Cage delivers a remarkable performance as a hard-drinking tough guy with a violent past in this Southern Gothic drama from David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche, SFF 2013; Pineapple Express). When he meets 15-year-old Gary (Tye Sheridan), who suffers under an abusive alcoholic father, Joe takes the enterprising young man under his wing, and together they navigate a difficult world in search for redemption. You can watch our chat with Nicholas Cage and David Gordon Green at SXSW below:

Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?  (Documentary)
Director: Michel Gondry | France | 88 mins | In English
In this filmed conversation, French cinematic visionary Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) meets ‘the most important thinker alive’ – philosopher, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky. Featuring brightly coloured, hand-drawn animation to illustrate Chomsky’s personal life and ideas, and crafted with verve, it’s both a visual and cerebral pleasure.

The Redfern Story (World Premiere Documentary)
Director: Darlene Johnson | Australia | 57 mins | In English
Darlene Johnson’s forceful documentary tells the story of the volatile birth of the first all-Indigenous theatre company, the National Black Theatre. Featuring interviews with indigenous media pioneer Lester Bostock, writer Gerry Bostock, actor Lillian Crombie, activist-academic Gary Foley, academic Marcia Langton, actors Rachael Maza, Bryan Brown and Bindi Williams. The Redfern Story is presented in partnership with Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, the ABC and Vivid Sydney.

Have a look at the official website for the festival here.

The Sydney Film Festival will run from June 4th to 15th this year.


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