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SFF17_SMH Program_Marita.indd 4
4/5/17 10:51 am
We have another knock-out festival planned
for you this year. The Sydney Film Festival is
an absolutely essential part of Sydney’s festival
calendar and it seems everyone agrees.
This is my eighth – and last – year as Chair of the
Sydney Film Festival. Over the past eight years
the team at the Festival has achieved incredible
things and delivered outstanding festivals.
We’ve almost doubled our attendance,
developed a vast array of new partnerships,
welcomed a wonderful community of
philanthropists and strengthened relationships
with the NSW film industry. We’ve also
continued to innovate by introducing new
programs, expanding our reach into new
venues and broadening the reach of our
Travelling Film Festival.
The New South Wales Government, through
Screen NSW (now Create NSW) and Destination
NSW, has been a vital supporter of the Festival
for a long time, including this year. So too has
the City of Sydney and Federal Government
through Screen Australia. We are very grateful
for that ongoing support. It’s not possible to list
all of our many valued partners and supporters
here, but they are acknowledged throughout
the program. I did want to single out though
our distinguished partner Lexus Australia and
its support of the Lexus Short Film Fellowship,
which provides the opportunity for emerging
filmmakers to have their stories heard.
I’d like to thank the dedicated and incredibly
hard working team at the Sydney Film Festival
led by Leigh Small, Nashen Moodley and Jenny
Neighbour. Each year they continue to surpass
the successes of the prior year. My thanks also
to the Board members – current and past – who
have served on the Board with great passion
and commitment during my time as Chair.
Finally, thanks to the many volunteers who
assist the festival and to all of you, our audience,
who join us in increasing numbers year-on-year.
I wish you all an entertaining, thought
provoking and memorable 12 days!
The Sydney Film Festival is the culmination
of a year of hard work, and in many ways,
the Festival is the same as the films we screen.
Both are the products of people with a wide
range of knowledge, skills, talents and points
of view all working together to create a cohesive
whole. Now in its 64th year, SFF continues
to bring together all those disparate and
often-rarely-seen international points of view,
opening a window into the lives of people and
places you might never otherwise experience.
Hundreds of films from across the world come
together in one place, to show all the world
from every angle. It’s a multidimensional
survey of who, what, where and why we are
today: a status report on the human condition,
the state of the planet and the hopes, fears
and dreams of all who share it.
When you consider the festival as this kind
of polysided, multi-angled gem, it helps us
realise what a powerful phenomenon it is.
A true one of a kind, typified by the dozens
of incredible films from around the world that
Sydneysiders won’t get another chance to
experience on the big screen.
This year we also proudly celebrate the tenth
anniversary of the Sydney Film Prize, and all
the wonderful films and filmmakers that have
appeared in the Official Competition over this time.
It is a slate of exciting films yet again, but I’m
also eager for audiences to experience our
many other sections. We offer the genre delights
of Freak Me Out, the Indigenous cultures of First
Nations, our spotlight on Canada, our expanded
VR programs at The Hub and much more.
I must also mention our Festival Chairman
Chris Freeland, in his last year as Chair after
eight years. He has been instrumental in the
Festival’s continued success and we thank him
for his leadership and support.
Every year, Sydney Film Festival creates a time
and a space for us to reflect on what is
important, good and bad and scary and hopeful
and, well, everything, to everyone, everywhere.
Welcome once more to that special time of year.
THe HoN. DoN HARwIN mP
MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
For those of us who are over stimulated with
the onslaught of content available on every
size screen imaginable, the opportunity to
gather and experience well-crafted stories
from all over the world is still a unique delight.
The Sydney Film Festival, in its 64th year, has
well and truly made its mark on our calendars.
A much anticipated event for our global city,
confirming Sydney’s status as the screen
capital of Australia.
Attracting thousands of film-buffs, filmmakers
and film-lovers from across the state each
year, I am very proud of the NSW Government’s
continued support of this fabulous event. Our
film culture is more vibrant and alive than ever.
This passion for film is what cemented
Sydney’s status as one of eight UNESCO Cities
of Film around the world. We will once again
award The Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Prize.
This prize, awarded by Create NSW, recognises
a NSW-based screen practitioner, a trailblazer
whose work stands for innovation and
imagination and achieves extraordinary impact.
The Sydney Film Festival is the perfect
platform to showcase the best in new
Australian cinema, documentaries, shorts,
retrospective wonders and more. But the
Festival is more than just screenings; it is
an immersive experience, it is two weeks
of discussing films, arguing about them,
unpacking cinematic form and storytelling with
fellow filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts.
And we’re sharing this experience with Regional
NSW. The Travelling Film Festival takes the very
best of the Sydney Film Festival on the road
to nine locations including Port Macquarie,
Tamworth, Ulladulla and Wagga Wagga.
I warmly invite you to discover this year’s
Sydney Film Festival, an outstanding collection
of essential, local and world cinema.
Congratulations to all who have made it
possible for us once again to come together
and enjoy another fantastic Festival.
LORD MAYOR OF SYDNEY
On behalf of the City of Sydney, I am delighted to
welcome you to the 2017 Sydney Film Festival.
One of the most diverse film festivals in the
world, Sydney Film Festival has a fantastic
history of bringing the community together
in a whirlwind celebration of film. With a range
of films from around the world, and in many
forms – animation, documentary, feature and
short film – the Festival has something for
every taste, including an extended program
for families. David Stratton’s retrospective of
Akira Kurosawa at the Art Gallery of NSW is
sure to be a highlight of this year’s Festival.
The City of Sydney is very proud to support the
Sydney Film Festival. Now in its 64th year, the
Festival contributes to Sydney’s international
reputation as a culturally relevant and
innovative city, and continues Sydney’s long
tradition as a city of film.
I am particularly pleased by the long-running
partnership between the Festival and City of
Sydney libraries. This partnership produces
engaging programs each year, tailored to the
festival theme and changing trends in the
filmmaking industry. These events have proven
very popular, and provide community members
with the opportunity to be creative and have
firsthand access to film experts.
I am pleased the Sydney Film Festival Hub and
VIP Lounge will once again return to Lower
Town Hall, at the heart of the city. The Hub is
always popular, providing an atmospheric venue
for film lovers to socialise and enjoy the many
talks on offer. The Hub and features like the film
festival TV screen in Pitt Street Mall ensure the
film festival atmosphere pervades the city.
The Festival is also a wonderful way of
showcasing some of Sydney’s most iconic
buildings. Seeing a film in atmospheric venues
like the State Theatre or Art Gallery of NSW
can only enhance the filmgoing experience
and inspire people to experience more of
what the city has to offer.
I hope you have a wonderful experience at this
year’s Sydney Film Festival.
SYDNeY FIlm FeSTIVAl 2017
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