Sydney Film Festival, originally set for August but pushed forward, will be the first major festival to be held in Sydney’s CBD after lifted restrictions.
The 2021 event will present 233 films from 69 countries. There are 111 feature films, 50 documentaries, and 72 shorts.
“This year’s 68th Sydney Film Festival arrives at a historic and celebratory time for the city, as we come together again with people we have desperately missed, and in the places we yearn to return to – cinemas!” Festival Director Nashen Moodley says.
“With major disruptions in cinema releases, the festival selection brings together some of the best films of the last two years; extraordinary works from major award-winners to some of the most anticipated films of the year.”
The festival opens with the stories of eight talented Western Sydney writers, directed by five powerhouse women directors, in ‘Here Out West’. At the tail end, things close Wes Anderson’s comedy-drama ‘The French Dispatch’.
'Strong Female Lead'
“From Venice Best Director prize-winner Jane Campion with ‘The Power Of The Dog’, to Denis Villeneuve’s star-studded reimagining of ‘Dune’, to the incendiary shock of 2021 Cannes Palme d’Or winner ‘Titane’, this year’s programme has one of the most diverse and exciting line-ups in SFF history,” Nashen continues.
Filmmakers featuring throughout the festival include Pedro Almodóvar, Wes Anderson, Jacques Audiard, Jane Campion, Mark Cousins, Ildikó Enyedi, Asghar Farhadi, Miguel Gomes, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Mia Hansen-Løve, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Oliver Hermanus, Heddy Honigman, Avi Mograbi, Jafar Panahi, Rachel Perkins, Christian Petzold, Mohammad Rasoulof, Paul Schrader, Céline Sciamma, Paolo Sorrentino, Denis Villeneuve, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Frederick Wiseman, Jasmila Žbanić, Zhang Yimou and many more.
Audiences can expect features such as ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ with Ben Platt, ‘The Eyes Of Tammy Faye’ with Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield, ‘King Richard’ starring Will Smith, and ‘Rehana Maryam Noor’ from Abdullah Mohammad Saad.
'Off The Rails'
Australian features include ‘Fist Of Fury Noongar Daa’, ‘Friends And Strangers’, and ‘Crossing Paths’.
The festival continues its support of First Nations storytelling in 2021, showcasing films like ‘Araatika: Rise Up!’ where Australian First Nations filmmaker Larissa Behrendt follows a group of of NRL stars led by Dean Widders as they create a pre-game performance to meet the famous haka. Other creations include ‘The Bowraville Murders’, ‘Here Out West’, ‘Incarceration Nation’, ‘The Drover’s Wife The Legend Of Molly Johnson’, ‘Fist Of Fury Noongar Daa’, ‘Radiance’, ‘Wash My Soul In The River’s Flow’, ‘The Moogai’ and more.
Freak Me Out, Flux: Art + Film and Classics Restored are all programmes within the main programme. The festival will also feature online talks and panels, to create a space for audiences, filmmakers and industry professionals to progress a dialogue about the important topics and issues of the year addressed in the films. Sydney Film Festival 2021 runs in cinema from 3-14 November. The festival’s on-demand offering runs from 12-21 November.