The 69th Sydney Film Festival has officially been launched.
“What a joy it is to return to the festival’s traditional June dates, bringing with it the return of international filmmakers to present their films, in person parties, talks, the Festival Hub and a range of activities in and outside of the cinema” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley says. “As ever, our 2022 programme brings together films from all over the world, engaging with the most pertinent issues in challenging and entertaining ways.”
“And how have filmmakers responded to these past years of the pandemic, war and rising authoritarianism? With films confronting these challenges head-on but frequently suggesting a better way forward. And with love stories! From Del Kathryn Barton’s provocative feature debut blending live action and animation ‘Blaze’, to Cooper Raiff’s moving romantic comedy ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’, starring Dakota Johnson, to the extraordinary documentary ‘Fire Of Love’, so many films in this year’s festival hone in on intensely personal stories, of people taking comfort in each other through difficult times.”
The 2022 festival will present more than 200 films from more than 64 countries. There will be 27 world premieres.
Opening night sees the world premiere of ‘We Are Still Here’, a multi-genre First Nations collaboration interweaving eight stories by 10 directors from Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific.
The Closing Night Gala will host the awards ceremony at the State Theatre, and the closing night film – a buzzy new title – will be announced soon.
World premieres at the festival include several documentaries – Penny McDonald’s ‘Audrey Napanangka’, Jason van Genderen’s ‘Everybody’s Oma’, Luke Cornish’s ‘Keep Stepping’, and ‘General Hercules’ from Brodie Poole.
Australian features having their world premiere at Sydney Film Festival include ‘6 Festivals’ from Macario De Souza – a tale of friendship, and a celebration of Australia’s festival scene. There’s ‘Evicted! A Modern Romance’, an Australian comedy about four housemates on the verge of eviction, and ‘The Longest Weekend’ from Sydney’s Inner West, in which three siblings reunite, feud and reunite again.
'Evicted! A Modern Romance'
Many of the world premiere films will have guests attending to introduce them.
There will be exciting features with big names throughout the festival. There’s ‘The Humans’, which stars Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer and Steven Yuen; ‘Emily The Criminal’ led by Aubrey Plaza; ‘Alice’ with Keke Palmer, Johnny Lee Miller and Common; and Andrea Riseborough leads ‘Please Baby Please’.
Films touching on social issues include ‘The Blind Man Who Did Not Want To See Titanic’, ‘Fathers Day’ and ‘Private Desert’.
There will be individual programmes catering to fans of all kinds of films – like the nerve-shredding Freak Me Out programme curated by Richard Kuipers, which presents the wild side of contemporary cinema. Or there’s Sounds On Screen, highlighting four inspiring musical stories ranging from an all-female thrash metal band from Lebanon to a celebration of the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Plus, returning to the festival is Screenability, an exciting platform for screen practitioners with disability. And First Nations, showcasing important films by First Nations filmmakers across Australia and the world. Flux: Art + Film returns for the fourth year, with films from artists who explore the ground between art and cinema.
“The NSW Government proudly supports the long-running festival which has launched countless careers,” Minister For The Arts The Hon Ben Franklin MLC says.
“Funding through the Sydney Film Festival has helped connect audiences with a diverse range of filmmakers from across the state.
“The popular Screenability programme continues to showcase the immense talents of filmmakers identifying with disability, and the Travelling Film Festival ensures regional NSW can experience the same global stories as those in the city.
“I encourage everyone to attend and show their support for both our home-grown and international filmmakers, and to support the Festival following two years of disruptions.” Check out the full programme and ticket information. Sydney Film Festival is on from 8-19 June.