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Sydney Underground Film Festival 2021 Online Programme

‘Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It’
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Celebrating cult, underground and independent films is Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF), back for another year, in virtual form.


With lockdown affecting the in-the-flesh desires for SUFF2021, the festival will stream its full programme on-demand to fans across Australia and the world, offering a curated set of films throughout September.

It’s a cinematic trip you can take without leaving your living room and features 30 feature films and documentaries, 20 Australian premieres, a special 40-year anniversary film, and more than 100 shorts across 9 themed sessions.

For the third year, the TAKE48 Film Challenge returns, putting filmmakers’ abilities to the test. Entries will be open to Sydneysiders as well as interstate and international participants. There are more than $16,500 worth of prizes to be won, includes camera prizes from Sony.

“At a time when there is so much uncertainty, we couldn’t just bear to postpone or cancel SUFF in 2021,” Festival Director Katherine Berger says. “We owe it to so many people that support SUFF and that includes all the filmmakers that have been submitting films to us all throughout the pandemic. It’s been a tough time to host an event and a tough time to be making films, but creative outlets are so important, especially in a time like this.”

‘Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It’ opens the festival. From Kazakhstan-based director Yernar Nurgaliyev, it’s a no-holds-barred road trip film about a man who decides to get away from his nagging wife.

Then there’s the Australian premiere of ‘The Land’, a cinematic experiment between photographer Ingvar Kenne, academic Gregory Ferris, and actors Steve Rodgers and Cameron Stewart. ‘The Land’ is a story of friendship tested by a very dark secret.

Feel-good films include ‘Alien On Stage’, and ‘Cannon Arm And The Arcade Quest’.

In the music department, ‘Fanny: The Right To Rock’ is the untold story of a Filipina American garage band which morphed into the ferocious rock group, Fanny, and ‘Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliche’ sees the X-Ray Spex front-woman sending her daughter on an intimate journey through her mother’s archives.

I am a Cliche
‘Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliche’

Bringing the laughs will be ‘An Ideal Host’, ‘Sweethurt’, ‘Ninja Badass’, ‘Routines’, ‘Sh.t & Champagne’, ‘Danny. Legend. God.’, ‘Hotel Poseidon’, and ‘Kratt’.

A 40th anniversary presentation of ‘The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Miss Osbourne’ from Walerian Borowczyk will screen the adaptation of the ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ story, starring Udo Kier and a very unforgettable bath scene.

The weird and wonderful short films of SUFF2021 come from filmmakers across Australia, the US, the UK, France, Norway, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Indie, Japan and the Russian Federation. This year there are three new shorts selections: Other Worlds, Lovable Idiots, and Exploding Eyeballs.

The usual short session gang’s all here too, Reality Bites, Love/Sick, Sh.t Scared, LSD Factory, Ozploit! and WTF!.

Vintage educational films will be on offer in the Shake Hands With Danger selection, featuring live commentary from Jay Katz and Miss Death.

The 15th Sydney Underground Film Festival takes place from 9-26 September online.

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