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SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2011
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2011
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HON. GEORGE SOURIS MP
MINISTER FOR TOURISM, MAJOR EVENTS, HOSPITALITY
AND RACING, AND MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
It hardly seems a year has passed since I welcomed
you to the 57th Sydney Film Festival, where we saw
a cornucopia of films that fired us up, freaked us out,
pushed us to the edge and wrapped us in the arms of
love. Last year's SFF stood out as an outstanding event
– highly successful and delivering an unforgettable
and inspired 13 days of film.
That was last year. Never content to rest on their
laurels, Clare Stewart and SFF’s programming team
will engage and delight you again with an even more
captivating program to challenge and transport you
this June. Better still, this year's festival is taking over
more of Sydney with the introduction of the Virgin
Atlantic Hong Hong Hideaway – our official Festival
Lounge at Grasshopper, the Meet the Filmmakers
talks at the Apple Store, and SFFTV@Martin Place.
The Sydney Film Prize continues to go from strength
to strength, and I'm delighted to welcome iShares as
the new sponsor for the Official Competition, now
in its fourth year and rapidly becoming a much-
anticipated highlight of our festival.
SFF has always been a collaboration between a number
of partners, and it would not be possible for us to
deliver this year's program without the support of
our government partners. In particular, I recognise
the NSW government, Events NSW and Screen
Australia. Thank you also to the City of Sydney, our
longstanding local government partners. To all our
other partners – from our Distinguished, Supporting
and Festival Supporters to our Media, Production,
Venue, Cultural and Restaurant Partners, I would
like to say a very sincere thank-you for your ongoing
I can think of no better way to welcome in a Sydney
winter than by sharing the visual sensation of great
cinema with family and friends. I look forward to
experiencing this year's Festival with you.
The NSW Government is proud to continue its
support for the Sydney Film Festival, now in its
The Festival is one of the great Sydney experiences,
drawing audiences from Australia and across the
world to see what world cinema has to offer, as well
as a showcase of Australian feature films, short films
and documentaries. More than 1,460 Australian films
have premiered throughout the festival’s history.
At a time when screens in all sizes are more portable
and accessible than ever, nothing beats being part of
a cinema audience with people who love their movies
and thrill at seeing something new and different.
The Sydney Film Festival is a major event on the
international film calendar and one of the flagship
cultural events for Sydney and New South Wales
attracting international attention and interest.
This year marks Sydney’s first year as a UNESCO
City of Film. This is further recognition of Sydney’s
international reputation as a world-class centre for
screen production, promotion and exhibition and
an acknowledgement that Sydneysiders enjoy a wide
variety of films and screen experiences.
The NSW Government is committed to harnessing
the energy, talent and creativity of this state’s screen
industry. The Festival plays an important role in
promoting NSW’s filmmaking credentials, attracting
new productions and developing our industry talent
base. NSW has a world-class creative workforce,
including Oscar®-nominated cast and crew and the
most extensive screen infrastructure in Australia.
Making NSW the number one State for screen
production depends on strong local and international
production levels, a screen workforce that is
challenged and supported, and a community that can
experience and enjoy its screen culture. The Sydney
Film Festival showcases the vibrancy of the NSW
I would like to thank the Chair and Board members,
the Festival Director and tireless management, the
dedicated staff and the audience, supporters and
sponsors who make the Sydney Film Festival one
of the world’s great screen events.
I hope you enjoy the festival and all it has to offer.
It is with enormous pleasure that I invite you to the
2011 Sydney Film Festival.
Between our high-octane Opening Night premiere
of Joe Wright’s Hannah starring Cate Blanchett and
Eric Bana and our Closing Night premiere of Mike
Mill’s delicious romantic comedy Beginners with Ewan
McGregor and Christopher Plummer, you will find
the very best cinema from around the world.
From the daring stylistic approaches in our Official
Competition selection – of which courage is one
of the defining values – through the inspirational
subjects and investigations in the FOXTEL
Australian Documentary Prize line-up, this year’s
festival is a rousing chorus of unfettered vision,
enquiry and creativity.
While Sydney Film Festival will again entertain,
confront and delight you, a robust and inclusive
film culture also stands for diversity of approach and
opinion. For lovers of film, these last twelve months
have been defined by a singular event that not even
the boldest cinematic imaginations could have
conjured – the sentencing to six years imprisonment
of Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad
Rasoulof, along with the deprivation of their rights
to make films and communicate outside or leave
Iran for 20 years, on charges of making films against
their country. This rocks the foundations of what we
understand freedom of expression to be and I urge
you to attend our tribute program (pg.44-45) in
honour of Panahi and Rasoulof.
We must relish this year’s festival program – the
laughter, the challenges and the joys – with a
resounding awareness that we are rich because we can.
During the festival, the city will be populated by some
of the most interesting filmmakers from Australia and
around the world so keep an eye on our website for
our roster of festival guests, some of whom you can
already identify within these pages.
I congratulate and thank all the filmmakers whose
accomplishments are on show at the festival and
extend that gratitude to the SFF Board, CEO Leigh
Small, my programming colleague Jenny Neighbour
and the entire festival team, along with all the
companies, organisations and individuals who make
Sydney’s one film festival.
Outdoor Screen partner
Festival Lounge partners
Australian Documentary Prize partner
Australian Short Film Awards partners
Audience Awards partner
Principal State Government partner
Official Competition partner
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