Arts & Entertainment

The 61st Sydney Film Festival

God Help The Girl

The Sydney Film Festival promises to be bigger and better this year, screening 183 films, shorts and documentaries from 47 countries, of which 122 are Australian premieres. With attendances steadily climbing in recent years, this festival’s longevity resonates its popularity.

This year the SFF will screen in even more venues including the Skyline Drive-in Blacktown, which will present a special 40th anniversary screening of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

The vast array of provocative, controversial and entertaining films will ensure there’s something for everyone, with selected screenings also being attended by the stars of the films.

The opening and closing night extravaganzas, after parties, exhibitions, public talks, live performances and 25 free events highlight that this festival has thrived into Sydney’s biggest cultural event.

There are so many high quality films to choose from, here we’ve narrowed down the best Alternative picks to see at this year’s SFF:

You’re Sleeping Nicole is a quirky and delightful film which revolves around a girl in her twenties who plans a quiet time away whilst house-sitting during summer. But when her brother moves in with his band intent on rehearsing and a younger boy falls madly in love with her, her plans go awry. Beautifully filmed in black and white.

Jun 12, Dendy Opera Quays; Jun 15, Events Cinemas, George St.

Tamako In Moratorium is a bitter-sweet comedy divided into four seasons, about a girl who returns from college and defies her father’s expectations of making something of her life. He instructs her to look for a job but she stays at home evading responsibilities, whilst her father goes to work and handles all the household chores. Will Tamako arise from her slumber?

Jun 9 & 14, Event Cinemas, George St.

We Are The Best is the energetic and feel-good story of three vivacious 13-year-old girls growing up in ’80s Stockholm, Sweden. Klara and her best friend Bobo have no musical talent whatsoever, but through sheer determination set up an all-girl punk-band. Incorporating a wonderful punky soundtrack, this film is suitable for the whole family.

Jun 8, Event Cinemas, George St; Jun 15, Dendy Opera Quays. 

Starred Up is directed by David Mackenzie and written by Jonathan Asser. Starring Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn, the film is based on Asser’s experiences working as a voluntary therapist. When a troubled teenager is sent to jail he clashes with a prisoner who coincidently is his father. This gritty and violent prison drama is one for action enthusiasts.

Jun 15, Dendy Opera Quays & Event Cinemas, George St.

Miss Violence is the story of an 11-year-old girl who mysteriously suicides by jumping off a balcony. The police investigate what they believe to be a suicide, but the mystery deepens, as her family seem unmoved and claim the girl’s death was accidental. What is the secret that Angeliki took to her grave?

Jun 5, Event Cinemas George St; Jun 10, Dendy Opera Quays.

For Those Who Can Tell No Tales centres on an Australian lady who travels to Bosnia for a summer holiday. Upon her return she discovers the hotel she stayed at was utilised during the Bosnian War to torture and rape women. More than 3,000 Bosnians were murdered there as part of the ethnic cleansing. Unnerving but vital viewing.

Jun 5 & 7, Event Cinemas George St. 

Of Horses And Men is a wondrous and at times hilarious film which explores the relationship between people and horses in Iceland. A romance blossoms between two locals and their respective horses and this sets off a chain of tragic, funny and erotic events. Filmed in the mesmerising beauty of Iceland.

Jun 12, Event Cinemas George St; Jun 15, State Theatre. 

Goal Of The Dead is a comedy horror film which will have soccer and horror film fans flocking into the cinemas. When a player takes a questionable performance-enhancing substance, he transforms into a blood-thirsty zombie and soon zombies multiply, feeding off the flesh of unsuspecting spectators and causing mayhem.

Jun 9 & 15, Event Cinemas George St. 

In Order Of Disappearance is a hilarious action-packed comedy which audiences won’t soon forget. Nils is a model citizen but when his innocent son is needlessly murdered, he jumps on his snow plough intent on revenge. War is declared on the mafia lords involved and Nils’ hilarious and murderous quest for justice commences.

Jun 7,State Theatre; Jun 11, Event Cinemas George St. 

The Fake is a dark and sinister animated drama which aims to expose Korean Society. Religion is utilised to rob the poor of their savings, as seen when the new pastor in the village expects everyone to donate their monies to the church. Thought-provoking and brutal.

Jun 9, Event Cinemas; Jun 15, Dendy Opera Quays.

Sydney Film Festival: Jun 4-15, various venues incl. State Theatre, 49 Market St; Event Cinemas, 500-525 George St; Dendy Opera Quays, 2 East Circular Quay; Sydney Film Festival Hub at Town Hall, 483 George St; $19:50-$145 (10 film pass), sff.org.au

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