Sydney’s screens will light up yet again for the Sydney Film Festival‘s 64th iteration, celebrating the best and brightest the industry has to offer from home and away.
This year’s festivities foreground a renewed focus on documentary output, with Brisbane indie music legends The Go-Betweens hosting the world premiere screening of Kriv Stenders’ documentary The Go-Betweens: Right Here at the festival.
Indigenous director Warwick Thornton‘s We Don’t Need A Map will kick off proceedings on Opening Night though, with a documentary examining the Southern Cross mythology. It’s one of many films that focused on Australia’s Aboriginal history and cultural diversity, as well as the crises that face Australians (and prospective Australians) of today.
It’s also the ten-year anniversary of the festival’s Official Competition, which this year features Benedict Andrews, Sofia Coppola, and Afghanistan’s first female feature director, Shahrbanoo Sadat. Outside of the competition, punters can check out new creations from Michael Haneke and Kriv Stenders, experience Australia’s first Muslim rom-com (Ali’s Wedding) and get in early for the premiere of Cleverman Season 2.
Music fans are well served by a lineup of music-oriented docos that touch on the life of Whitney Houston (Whitney), the career of Johnny Rotten (The Public Image Is Rotten), and Iggy Pop interviewing French author Michel Houllebecq (To Stay Alive – A Method).
They’ll also get a kick out of Terrence Malick‘s star-studded soundtrack on Song To Song, which features Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Johnny Rotten, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence Welch and Tegan & Sara, along with an astounding cast of actors.
Genre fans, fear not – there’ll be plenty of frights on offer, including Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) vehicle Mayhem and a doco on New Zealand’s horror theme park, Spookers. These make up the Freak Me Out section of the festival, one of several curated collections including Smash It Up (films about the history of punk), Feminism And Film, and David Stratton‘s collection of Akira Kurosawa classics.
The festival wraps with Okja, a Netflix original that reunites the inimitable Tilda Swinton with Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-Ho, an action-adventure romp also competing for Cannes’ 2017 Palme d’Or.
Sydney Film Festival runs from Wednesday June 7 to Sunday June 18 across the city. Pick up your tickets from the official site.