Sydney Film Festival 2023 Programme

'The New Boy'
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

The momentous 70th Sydney Film Festival will feature a line-up of Australian premieres including Warwick Thornton’s ‘The New Boy’ starring Cate Blanchett, Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’, Celine Song’s ‘Past Lives’, and more.

The programme will also include films direct from the Cannes Competition by Aki Kaurismaki, Wim Wenders, and Kore-eda Horikazu, plus actor Alice Englert’s directorial feature debut ‘Bad Behaviour’ and many more.

“A film festival is a gathering of diverse perspectives that offers a collective snapshot of the global zeitgeist, allowing us to delve deeper into our present reality,” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley says. “For 70 years, Sydney Film Festival has been privileged to capture and embody these moments, presenting a rich tapestry of stories that reflect our shared desire to understand the world we live in.”

“The 2023 festival programme stands as a testament to its ambitious vision, showcasing a dynamic and expansive line-up of both emerging and established filmmakers from around the world. Through their thought-provoking films, they offer us an invitation to reflect on our shared humanity and contemplate the possibilities that lie ahead,” he says.

“As we celebrate our 70th milestone, we extend our gratitude to the city and people of Sydney, whose unwavering curiosity and passion for cinema have made this festival into an inclusive and welcoming platform for filmmakers and film enthusiasts alike.

“Join us once again at The Hub, offering immersive filmmaker talks, panels, and film-themed parties. Grab a drink and enjoy a special archive exhibition, celebrating 70 years of Sydney Film Festival and showcasing the remarkable intersection of world and cinema history.”

In 2023, the festival will present 239 films from 67 countries, including 37 world premieres and 123 Australian premieres.

RunRabbitRun SFF 2023
'Run Rabbit Run'

Opening night features the Australian premiere of ‘The New Boy’, a film by Cannes Caméra d'Or winning Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton.

For the 15th year, the Official Competition will award $60,000 cash Sydney Film Prize, to a film demonstrating audacious, cutting-edge and courageous cinema.

Australian films competing are ‘The New Boy’, and the world premiere of ‘The Dark Emu Story’, exploring the groundbreaking work of Bruce Pascoe, whose best-selling book challenged Australia’s historical narrative and revolutionised our understanding of traditional Aboriginal life.

A tapestry of captivating narratives will sweep across the festival including Daina Reid’s psychological thriller ‘Run Rabbit Run’, Jafar Panahi’s ‘No Bears’, Makbul Mubarak’s ‘Autobiography’, and more. Films popular at International festivals will also screen – like David Zonana’s ‘Heroic’, ‘I Like Movies’, ‘Sorcery’, and’ The Happiest Man In The World’.

Other programmes showcasing film throughout Sydney Film Festival include the International Documentaries programme, Europe! Voices Of Women In Film, Family Films, Freak Me Out, Flux: Art+Film and Screenability.

The seventh Screenability programme includes SXSW Grand Jury Award-winner 'Angel Applicant', Sundance-selected doc-fiction 'The Tuba Thieves', and the powerfully personal 'Is There Anybody Out There?'. Also in the selection is the world premiere of three Australian Screenability Filmmakers Fund For NSW short films: '14 In February', 'Chum', and 'Fighting'.

The festival continues to champion inclusivity by offering audio-described and open-captioned screenings of the films in the seventh Screenability programme, as well as a diverse selection of English-subtitled films.

Check out the full programme.

Sydney Film Festival 2023 is on from 7-18 June.

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