Sydney Underground Film Festival is back this year and everything has been taken one step further.
Festival Director Stefan Popescu says this year's festival is going to be the best one yet, with the gory getting gorier and the funny getting funnier.
“If I had to sum up this year it's kind of like a unique cinematic sideshow. We've got quite the cross-section of films, a lot more international than in the past and a lot more out-there. The gore stuff is really gory and and the comedic stuff is really, really funny and it's all a bit whacked out in one way or another,” Stefan says.
He also says that even though things are stepping up another level he believes the audience will be ready. “I'm feeling really good about the programme, I definitely think it's one of the strongest programmes. Even though it's one of the weirdest programmes. I think the audience will be able to handle it.”
'Cult Of Chucky'
Since the festival was originated in 2007 the audience has grown as the festival does. “The audience has kind of grown with us and they've been responding quite positively, so I'm curious how this year will go,” Stefan wonders.
As well as all the exciting new content, the 2017 programme will not disappoint. “We want to show stuff that people wouldn't otherwise see. And we programme films that are doing something different like pushing the boundaries somehow,” Stefan says. “This year we have some MA15+ so some under-agers can attend… Some of them.”
What's better than cereal and movies? Cereal Cartoon Parties are one of the main attractions at this year's festival being one of Stefan's favourite parts of the festival. “We've got a morning one [Cereal Cartoon Party] where you can bring kids and what not, cartoons and free cereal, but we also have a late night one which is my personal favourite. We're going to watch really weird cartoons.”
'Fags In The Fast Lane'
Stefan says that the Cereal Party idea stemmed all the way from Canada. “It actually came from somebody studying in Canada; they had a cartoon channel were they would play the weirdest cartoons from about 10pm-1am and they would just sit there and munch on cereal,” he laughs.
Another hyped attraction to this year's festival is the Found Footage Festival Opening Night. For the first time in Australia, Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are presenting the brand new edition of their show featuring videos from VHS tapes found in second-hand stores across America. “They basically scour second-hand shops and garage sales for video tapes and pick out the weirdest and funniest moments and cut together a programme of it,” Stefan says. This year's edition will be a collection of satanic panic videos from the 1980s, including 'The Law Enforcement Guide To Satanic Cults'.
Stefan says that the festival was started due to the lack of film festivals being hosted in Australia. “Myself and Katherine [Berger, Festival Director] started it because we were a little disappointed with what was on offer at festivals at that time. We just decided to have our own festival. It kind of started out of naivety really... Or stupidity, one of the two,” Stefan laughs. “We definitely didn't know what we were getting ourselves into.”
Stefan says that anyone attending the festival should be prepared: “Brace yourself, but be adventurous because it's going to be a hell of a ride.”