Sydney Film Festival announces 28 films, the first guest and a new location for 2017

The 64th Sydney Film Festival has unveiled itself today as it divulged a plethora of juicy details, including 28 prominent new films to be featured and the first of over 150 Festival guests.

First though, the event has announced a brand new location for the festival. The SFF will now take place in Randwick’s iconic Ritz Cinema. The Ritz is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.

Ahead of the complete 200+ film program to be announced on May 10, The SFF have released 28 films as a teaser. Headliners include Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’, Nick Broomfield’s never-before-seen backstage look at the height of six-time Grammy winner Whitney Houston’s stardom; non-traditional horror A Ghost Story, starring Oscar winner Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara; and Filipino independent filmmaker Lav Diaz’s haunting drama The Woman Who Left, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Highly anticipated true stories include Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro – a timely perspective on race in America using the words of James Baldwin narrated by Samuel L. Jackson; Controversial post-apartheid South African first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela gets an extensive portrait in Winnie, and Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World is a celebratory examination of Native American musicians and their role in the development of American popular music.

Spotlighting some home grown cinema, the Festival will premiere the new Australian feature That’s Not Me, a hilarious local indie with a strong Australian cast including Isabel Lucas and actor-writer-producer Alice Foulcher; Mountain is a new documentary from acclaimed Australian director Jennifer Peedom with a score created by Richard Tognetti and performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Controversial documentary The Opposition is finally screening at Sydney Film Festival after being suppressed by a court order last year, as well as Spookers, a look into the inner workings of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest horror theme park and the tight-knit New Zealand family who run it.

Speaking of horror, the SFF will be screening exactly one retrospective: the genre classic An American Werewolf in London, directed by John Landis. Wonderfully themed, the film will screen under the full moon at the Skyline Drive In on Friday June 16.

The first of many Festival guests to be announced is award-winning filmmaker Nick Broomfield (Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’) who is renowned for his iconoclastic documentaries Kurt & Courtney, Biggie and Tupac, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, Soldier Girls and the dramas Battle for Haditha and Ghosts. He will also be presenting an industry masterclass at the Festival.

“These films bring together thousands of talents and perspectives from across the globe, to create a lens – a way of looking at and experiencing aspects of the world and ourselves,” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said. “And it’s as entertaining as it is enlightening.”

“From the view backstage with Whitney Houston to the view from the top in Mountain or An American Werewolf in London viewed through the windscreen of your car, the 2017 Festival is a collection of film from every angle, from everywhere, for every kind of film lover.”

The full Sydney Film Festival program will be announced on Wednesday 10 May at 11am.

Flexipasses and subscriptions to Sydney Film Festival 2017 are on sale now. You can call 1300 733 733 or visit for more information and to get a glimpse of the “first 28”.


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