Sydney Underground Film Festival 2023 Programme

Clockwise from top left: Kick Me, Enter The Clones Of Bruce, Sleeping Beauties, Onyx The Fortuitous And The Talisman Of Souls
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

The 17th Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF) will be a jam-packed event, featuring a full-scale cinematic smorgasbord of must-see feature and documentary films.

In 2023, SUFF has linked up with Dendy Newtown to deliver an epic programme.

“We are really excited by this year’s programme, with such a diverse mix of films that really celebrate the independent spirit of filmmaking,” Festival Director Katherine Berger says. “There are so many filmic outlaws who buck the system here! We can’t wait for audiences to come along on this cinematic adventure.”

Opening night features ‘Ukraine Guernica – Art Not War’, from filmmaker George Gittoes. It’s an anti-war film following the frontline artists daring to stand up to Russian invasions of Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Throughout the programme audiences can experience transgressive black comedies like ‘Hippo’ from Mark H. Rapaport and featuring Lilla Kizlinger, ‘Lousy Carter’ from Bob Byington, and ‘Poundcake’, directed by Onur Tukel.

Laura Moss will debut a psychological horror film ‘Birth/Rebirth’, a modern reimagining of ‘Frankenstein’ starring Marin Ireland. Plus, there’s Japanese, neon-drenched gore extravaganza ‘Holy Mother’, directed by Yoshhiro Nishimura.

Gutsy Australian filmmaker Stuart Simpson is back at SUFF with haunting horror ‘Sleeping Beauties’, and he’ll be in attendance with lead actress Intan Kieflie for a Q&A after the film.

‘Kick Me’, the first feature from prize-winning Kansas filmmaker Gary Huggins, and ‘Sour Party’ from husband-and-wife duo Amanda and Michael Drexton are both films where everything goes wildly, insanely wrong.

There are also some eye-opening documentaries, like ‘Citizen Sleuth’ from Chris Kasick, ‘Enter The Clones Of Bruce’ (plus the ultimate Brucesploitation film ‘The Clones Of Bruce Lee’ afterwards!), ‘Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes’ featuring candid interviews with Quincy Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Sonny Rollins and more.

There will be a special pre-festival screening of ‘The Wild Boys’ directed by provocative French experimental artist Bertrand Mandico at Pink Flamingo Cinema, and SUFF is also screening the latest experimental film ‘Conann’ by Mandico.

SUFF will also host a tonne of short films. There’s a selection of bite-sized doco shorts in Reality Bites, a collection of genre-crossing shorts in Homebaked Shorts, discombobulating madcap shorts not for the faint-of-heart in WTF!, and expressions of sexuality in Love/Sick.

The Take48 Film Challenge returns for its fifth year, putting filmmakers to the test and offering more than $11,000 in prizes.

‘Onyx The Fortuitous And The Talisman Of Souls’ is SUFF’s closing night film for 2023, starring writer/director Andrew Bowser. It’s a wild ride full of enchantment, friendship, laughter, and the right dose of black magic and satanic worship thrown in for good measure.

Tickets are on sale now.

Sydney Underground Film Festival is on from 7-10 September at Dendy Newtown.

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