June 7 – June 18, 2016
What’s It All About?
The Sydney International Film Festival (SIFF) is a major event on the New South Wales cultural calendar. Aiming to celebrate courageous, audacious and cutting-edge cinema, the 12-day festival screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animation from around the world in venues across the city. In its 64th edition, the festival will have 400 sessions and 288 films.
SIFF 2017 will feature a retrospective of ten of the finest films made by one of cinema’s great directors, Akira Kurosawa. A master of action, Kurosawa was influenced by directors like John Ford and in turn influenced a younger generation of filmmakers, like George Lucas and Martin Scorsese. The films include Mifune: The Last Samurai, Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Living, The Throne Of Blood, The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, High And Low, Red Beard, Ran and Kagemusha.
This year, the two feature selections from India are Newton and Sexy Durga.
Newton: Director Amit V Masurkar brings to the screen the story of a principled clerk Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao), who is entrusted to conduct voting in a remote village. He is challenged by extreme Maoist guerrillas determined to stop the election process, security forces who couldn’t care less about the outcome, and a local populace who is blasé about democracy.
Sexy Durga: Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan showcases the story of Durga (Rajshri Deshpande) and Kabeer, who are on the run, eager to catch a train out of Kerala. Two men offer them a ride to the train station, but what initially appears to be an act of kindness quickly turns nasty.
Watch Out For!
OPENING NIGHT GALA
We Don’t Need A Map (Australia)Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton investigates the Southern Cross in the Australian psyche, in this fun and thought provoking ride through Australia’s cultural and political landscape.
CLOSING NIGHT GALA
A young girl fights to save her best friend, a gigantic animal named Okja, in Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Competition contender starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and An Seo-hyun.
The Official Competition celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2017, marking a decade of awarding the Sydney Film Prize for ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous’ film. Some of the contenders for the 2017 Official Competition include:
The Beguiled: Fresh from its Cannes Competition berth, Sofia Coppola’s new film is a seductive thriller set in the Civil War era starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning.
I Am Not Your Negro: Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerizing, Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.
On Body And Soul: Winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear, On Body And Soul is about the unconventional romance between two co-workers who discover that each night they have exactly the same dreams.
The Other Side Of Hope: Aki Kaurismäki’s new film is a funny and melancholic tale of the friendship between a Syrian refugee and a Helsinki restaurant-owner. Berlinale Silver Bear winner for Best Director.
The Untamed: A creature of another world unleashes people’s base sexual impulses in this imaginative meld of social realism and erotic sci-fi, which won the Venice Silver Lion for Best Director.