A Sneak Peek Into Sydney Film Festival’s Massive 70th Anniversary Program

Cool Sh*t, Play, Sydney / 11 April 2023

12 feature films have been released ahead of their full program launch next month.

The Sydney Film Festival is regarded as one of the world’s longest running film festivals, dating all the way back to 1953. It’s been a hallmark to the city, celebrating the best of world cinema, screening features, documentaries, short films, and a series of industry talks. The beloved film showcase makes another return this June and it promises to deliver an extensive movie program for its 70th birthday. Although full details aren’t released yet, the team have teased the 12 films that will be screened first at the festival, and by the looks of it, we’re in for a huge spectacle.

What does it take to be featured at Sydney’s Film Festival? Well, the Festival promises to be a pioneer in the world of cinema, screening only the bold and inspiring works that provoke thought and push boundaries. They aren’t your run-of-the-mill movies — these films have been judged and hand picked by a team of esteemed jury members which include acclaimed actor/director David Wenham and BAFTA-nominated writer and director Jennifer Peedom, amongst others.

Included in the Festival’s sneak peek are two new Australian documentaries. Rachel’s Farm is a documentary following Rachel Ward’s journey as she revitalises her northern NSW beef farm using sustainable farming practices, whilst The Last Daughter documents Brenda Matthew’s search for her white foster family, as a native Australian who was taken as part of The Stolen Generation. There’ll also be a comedy feature film from New Zealand, Red, White & Brass, directed by Damon Fepulea’i and executive produced by Taika Waititi (best known for his work on Marvel’s Thor). Guaranteed to be full of laughs, the film follows the true story of Tongan rugby superfans who trick their way to the Rugby World Cup.

The star-studded line up doesn’t stop there. Penélope Cruz takes to the screen in L’immensità, an autobiographical work from director Emanuele Crialese set in 1970s Rome. Legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman will also be showcasing his film, A Couple, detailing the turbulent relationship between literary giants Leo and Sophia Tolstoy.

Other notable films include the highly anticipated documentary, Subject, exploring the impact of documentaries on their onscreen participants, and Bobi Wine: The People’s President, following the journey of the Ugandan musician turned politician campaigning to end the country’s dictatorship. This festival will also see director Pierre Földe making his debut in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, an animated adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story collection.

Flexipasses and subscriptions for the Sydney Film Festival are on sale now. The full program will be announced Wednesday 10 May 2023, including individual film session tickets. For more information, visit their website here.