The 65th Sydney Film Festival has a new Festival location, and it’s none other than Hoyts Entertainment Quarter. A total of 26 new films is set to be featured in this year’s 6-17 June event, and it’s going to be one fantastic festival.
“65 years young, Sydney Film Festival celebrates a spectacular history of storytelling with another 200+ feature films and documentaries, beginning with these first 26 cinematic gems,” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said.
“Since 1954 Sydney Film Festival has presented over 9,000 films to Australian audiences. The Festival may have reached a stately age, but it continues every year to deliver the most cutting-edge and provocative voices in international cinema.
“In 2018’s sneak peek of the program, there are features and documentaries from Argentina to the Arctic Circle. From the war zone of Kabul, where young men risk arrest for their love of rock music, to the revolutionary creativity of punk icon Vivienne Westwood, these unique and poignant films share stories of freedom, identity, and passion from across the globe.
“The 2018 Sydney Film Festival is once again proud to kick-start exciting conversations and showcase powerful ideas and bold statements that open eyes, expand horizons and enrich the lives of our audiences and community,” he further said.
Leading the pack…
Leading the titles announced was Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist. The film is a fascinating profile of revolutionary fashion designer and punk icon Vivienne Westwood from UK model-turned filmmaker Lorna Tucker.
Also topping the list is the winner of Venice Film Festival’s 2017 Grand Jury Prize, Foxtrot, from award-winning Israeli director Samuel Maoz; and 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award winner, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, featuring rising stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie), Sasha Lane (American Honey) and Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant).
Two Oscar winners will also present their latest works: Sebastián Lelio’s (A Fantastic Woman, SFF 2017) Disobedience starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, and Debra Granik’s (Winter’s Bone) Leave No Trace featuring young New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie.
Bold psychosexual thriller, Piercing, starring Australian actress Mia Wasikowska (Madame Bovary, SFF 2015), and spine-tingling British chiller Ghost Stories starring Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), kicks off the 2018 Festival’s Freak Me Out program.
Anchor and Hope also deliver more star power with Natalia Tena (Harry Potter) and Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) alongside her mother, Golden Globe nominee Geraldine Chaplin (Chaplin), in the second feature by award-winning Spanish director Carlos Marques-Marcet (10.000 Km).
New films from Australia
Closer to home, Australian journalist Travis Beard’s fascinating documentary RocKabul examines Afghanistan’s first metal band District Unknown, and I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story, is a coming-of-age documentary about the intense love of boy bands, from The Beatles to One Direction.
Maya the Bee: The Honey Games is a new family adventure – voiced by an all-star Australian cast including Richard Roxburgh, The Umbilical Brothers’ Dave Collins and Shane Dundas, and Justine Clarke (ABC’s Play School) – from Australian animation veteran Noel Cleary (Blinky Bill).
An exhilarating debut feature from Australian director Jason Raftopoulos, West of Sunshine, starring Damien Hill (Pawno) alongside his real-life step-son Ty Perham, and Kat Stewart (Offspring) will also screen in 2018.