Arts & Entertainment

68th Sydney Film Festival

After the postponement owing to COVID-19 restrictions in August, the 68th Sydney Film Festival has been scheduled for its long-awaited return in early November.

With a program consisting of over 200 films from around the globe, film festival enthusiasts may return to darkened cinemas after a long hiatus or they may also choose to watch a film on demand in the comfort of their own homes, from a program that includes 56 feature films and 13 shorts.

With the reopening of cinemas after 3 gruelling months of staying at home watching movies on Netflix and other digital platforms it’s a sure bet that most people would prefer to attend and enjoy the cinema experience.

“There’s a fundamental difference between watching a film at the cinema and watching it at home. At home you’re far more distracted, you’re not as immersed in the film as you’d be in a darkened cinema. At the Sydney Film Festival, you’re usually surrounded by many people and react to the film in a collective way. There’s a wonderful joint reaction to the film, usually positive and you can talk to absolute strangers about the experience,” explained Festival Director Nashen Moodley.

Audiences may enjoy special presentations at the magnificent State Theatre including award-winning Titane and The Power Of Dog. Controversial documentaries are also in abundance with titles including award-winning Four Seasons In A Day and The Rescue, which tells of the heroic rescue of a Thai soccer team who were trapped in a flooded cave.

It’s very important that film festivals attract younger audiences so this year there’s a family program that consists of four quality films for general audiences. The Ape Star is a delightful, animated film from Sweden which should be quite popular with families.

Festival attendees need not feel ill at ease as all health advice and regulations will be monitored to ensure that all patrons have an enjoyable and safe cinema experience at each screening.

Why should moviegoers who have never attended a screening at the Sydney Film Festival come along and catch a film or two? “Because audiences will learn what filmmaking talents there are around the globe and what issues are most prominent and compelling in different corners of the world. I also think it’s exciting to sit down in front of something that you know absolutely nothing about and see where it takes you.”

Nov 3-14. State Theatre, Event George & others. (Check website). $21-$165+b.f.

Nov 12-21 On Demand Program.

Tickets & Info: www.sff.org.au

HOT PICKS

A BLACK JESUS – From Germany comes this controversial documentary that details the anxiety caused in a small Sicilian town when a dilemma arises. Should an African refugee be permitted to carry a prized statue in a religious ceremony?

COMPARTMENT NO.6 – This Cannes Grand Prix winner from Finland tells the story of a romance that builds when two strangers meet and journey through the Arctic Circle on a Russian train.

ERNA AT WAR – Set in 1918, when a 17-year-old is drafted into the final year of the great war his mother disguises herself as a young soldier so she can enlist and protect her son. An incredible story of maternal love from Denmark.