On Now // On Next – Sydney Film Festival edition

It’s that time of year again! The Sydney Film Festival is back with a mammoth program of cinema from Australia and all over the world.

We take it really seriously. Like spreadsheets and calendar notifications and travel-time-between-films-considerations kind of seriously.

Check out the team’s top picks below – including Liz’s tips on getting the most out of a trip to the stunning State Theatre. The festival programs runs tonight 6 June until Sunday 17 June.

View the full program

Liz’s tips

Liz loves the State Theatre. She’s IN love with her. Here’s how to get the best out of the State, from someone who used to work there.

  • The Stalls are great, but not too far off to the side, and not too much at the back.
  • The Dress? Oh no, don’t.
  • All the scenic work is horsehair and plaster. If you sit under the Mezzanine, you might get a bit of spilt Coke dribble.
  • The Mezzanine is fine and a great experience, but beware a subscriber with a favourite seat. They bite.
  • It is worth identifying as a male for the afternoon so you can head into the male bathrooms on Stalls level. It’s modelled after the Architect’s own hunting lodge! The Butterfly Room is lovely, but it just doesn’t compare.
  • Apparently the emergency generator is salvaged from a German submarine acquired as war reparations. We checked – she wasn’t lying.

Thom’s picks

Terror Nullius. Controversial mashup of Aussie cinema classics by Soda_Jerk that lost a major supporter just days before opening to glowing reviews. Can’t wait to see what all the fuss was about.

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Matangi / Maya / M.I.A. Check out this brand new doco on M.I.A: the Sri Lankan/UK rapper of Tamil descent who’s outspoken, controversial, and has released some total bangers over the years.

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Yellow Is Forbidden. Fashion docos have gone from my guilty pleasure to a just a full-on pleasure. This one looks at Chinese designer Guo Pei…of Rihanna MET Gala fame.

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Soda_Jerk’s Terror Nullius

Lukas Dhont’s Girl

Sarah’s Picks

Girl – Recent Cannes winner about a 15 year old girl dealing with adolescence, transitioning and the physical and psychological endurance required of a ballerina too boot. Looks refreshing and the perfect signpost of a new era of diverse stories in film.

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From Sand to Celluloid – Five short films released between 1995-1996 with the funding assistance of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, featuring the likes of Richard Franklin, Warwick Thornton and Rima Tamou.

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America Town – A South Korean coming-of-age story set in the ‘America Town’ camps established during 1953-1990s for the entertainment of US soldiers.  A sensitive and sobering look at humanity in dark times.

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Emma’s picks

Three Identical Strangers. The wild real-life story of identical triplets that were separated at birth.

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The Poetess. A documentary about a ‘faceless’ progressive Saudi poet, the first female finalist on Million’s Poet.

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Strange Days. Kathryn Bigelow’s sci-fi with a young Ralph Fiennes has been restored for your viewing pleasure.

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Tim Wardle’s Three Identical Strangers

Sinead O’Shea’s A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot

Narelle’s picks

A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot. A gruelling doco about crime and retribution in Northern Ireland.

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Mug. A caustic satire featuring a guy from a Polish town who gets some rather extreme facial surgery.

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Support The Girls. Hospitality work can be a nightmare. Throw in a sportsbar environment in smalltown America and it’s a recipe for all the feels.

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Megan’s picks

The Seen and the Unseen. Indonesian filmmaker Kamila Andini has created a magical and heart-breaking meditation on grief and loss.

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Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist. She’s fashion’s enduring face of Punk, with all the eccentricity and controversy that comes with.

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The Breaker-Upperers. This hilariously dark Kiwi romp about how to break the news to someone you’re just not that into…

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Kamila Andini’s The Seen and the Unseen

Performing Lines acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work – the Gadigal in Sydney, the Whadjuk in Perth, and the Muwinina in Hobart – and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

We extend those respects to all First Nations peoples on whose lands we travel and perform.