The 2021 Sydney Film Festival Offers Movie Lovers More Than 200 Films to Enjoy

After being held virtually in 2020, and then being delayed in 2021 thanks to the DELTA outbreak, the Sydney Film Festival will finally go ahead in November and when it does movie buffs will have no shortage of screenings to choose from. 

Taking place from Wednesday, November 3 to Sunday, November 14, the 68th Edition of the annual event will take over cinemas across Sydney, with excited audiences gathering once more to explore our times through the medium of film.

The festival’s carefully curated program will allow attendees to experience the work of some of the world’s most talented and intriguing filmmakers, who have delved into the issues, subjects, people, and places that matter most at a historic moment in time.

In a statement, Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said, “The 68th Edition will capture the flux, and intersecting currents, of the moment. It feels historic to be able to present the remarkable haul of work that has emerged around the world during COVID-19.”

Dramas, documentaries, thrillers, comedies, cross-genre experiments and art-house cinema from around the world will be shown, along with a public program of talks, parties and guests to enhance the festival experience.

One of the films that is sure to attract plenty of attendance is Zola the much-hyped film inspired by a viral Twitter thread detailing a road trip that went horribly and hilariously wrong. 

King Richard, which stars Will Smith, is another must-see with the film depicting the story of Venus and Serena Williams’ father and how he helped his daughters to become tennis superstars. 

Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson will also be showing during the festival along with the much-hyped The Eyes of Tammy Faye which stars Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield. 

Aussie filmmaker and Oscar-winner Jane Campion will also have new film The Power of the Dog, screened at SFF. Kirsten Dunst and Benedict Cumberbatch star. 

Other highlights include highlights include Dune starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, Broadway-to-cinema adaptation Dear Evan Hansen and SBS documentary Strong Female Lead, which looks at the media coverage of Julia Gillard’s stint as Prime Minister.

In addition to the main event, SFF will also be offering an On Demand Program which will run online from 12-21 November. 

Offerings for the online program include When A City Rises, an urgent and illuminating documentary that tells the story of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests; and The First 54 Years — An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation, a step-by-step guide to colonial occupation from director Avi Mograbi, using Israel’s 54-year occupation of the Palestinian territories as a case study.

The festival will also award its inaugural Sustainable Future Award — a $10,000 cash prize presented to a narrative or documentary film of any length that deepens our knowledge and awareness of the impact of the global climate emergency.

From around the world, the shortlisted films are: Australian documentaries, Burning and A Fire Inside, each exploring the 2019-20 bushfires in very different ways; two from Scandinavia — Berlinale-selected From the Wild Sea and CPH:DOX-selected How to Kill a Cloud; tales from the frontlines of climate change in The Magnitude of All Things; Jen Peedom and the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s latest collaboration River narrated by Willem Dafoe; an inspiring life story of an eco-warrior in The Seeds of Vandana Shiva; and stunningly beautiful yet shocking Georgian documentary Taming the Garden.

For the full lineup of films and related events, head to the Sydney Film Festival’s official website.

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