Sydney Film Festival finds its musical note with Sounds On Screen program

Music and movies will collate as one throughout this year’s Sydney Film Festival with the Sounds On Screen program.  Highlighting a series of musical-themed documentaries, as well as several feature films with a strong musical influence, the titles on hand promise to both entertain and inform.

Influential rock singer Joan Jett (Bad Reputation), controversial British-Sri Lankan hip-hop artist M.I.A. (MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A.), the late, great Whitney Houston (Whitney), and Oscar-winning Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda) are just a few of the artists earning documentaries dedicated to their artistry, whilst the pain and pleasure of loving a boyband as a teenager and beyond are explored in the Kickstarter-funded I Used To Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story.

The international music scope is prominently featured throughout 2018’s program with Afghanistan’s first (and only) metal band District Unknown highlighted in RocKabul, and the unconventional telling of European and Mexican immigrant miners deported from the Mexican border in Bisbee ’17 which features an intense musical number composed by famed artist Keegan DeWitt.

On the filmic side of things, Nico, 1988 tells the intriguing story of Christa Paffgen, one of Andy Warhol’s Original Factory Girls and muse to Velvet Underground rocker Lou Reed, coming courtesy of Italian filmmaker Susanna Nicchiarelli.  The Ethan Hawke/Rose Byrne/Chris O’Dowd romantic comedy Juliet, Naked is likely to earn a more mainstream look-in, with the trio playing off each other in a love triangle of sorts revolving around a singer-songwriter, the man obsessed with his music, and the woman romancing both of them.  The closing night feature Hearts Beat Loud will follow suit in the crowd-pleasing stakes, with Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons playing a father-daughter duo whose weekly “jam sesh” turns into a planned live act that sets the two on a course of both musical and self discovery. You can read our interview with Offerman about the film HERE.

For more information on these titles and where you can purchase session tickets for this year’s Sydney Film Festival head to The 2018 Sydney Film Festival runs from 6-17 June 2018.


This content has recently been ported from its original home on The Iris and may have formatting errors – images may not be showing up, or duplicated, and galleries may not be working. We are slowly fixing these issue. If you spot any major malfunctions making it impossible to read the content, however, please let us know at editor AT

Peter Gray

Film critic with a penchant for Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, Michelle Pfeiffer and horror movies, harbouring the desire to be a face of entertainment news.

Tags: ,