The 64TH Sydney Film Festival announces the first list of stars and filmmaker guests to attend the Festival 7-18 June.
These distinguished industry guests will attend the Australian and world premieres of their films, walk the Festival’s red carpets, introduce their films and participate in talks, panels and Q&A sessions. Please note: there may be further announcements of Festival guests. For the most up-to-date information, visit sff.org.au.
The Festival together with Vivid Ideas, part of the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, Vivid Sydney, will present five FREE Meet the Filmmaker talks at The Hub, Town Hall. All together, the 2017 Sydney Film Festival will present a vast array of free talks, panel discussions and events, traversing a huge range of topics.
Cannes-winning Indigenous Australian director Warwick Thornton will present the world premiere of his Official Competition (Sydney Film Prize) contender We Don’t Need a Map on Opening Night at the Festival. Speaking at The Hub (Sunday 11 June, 3.45pm), Thornton will explore the themes of his film, which investigates Australia’s relationship with the Southern Cross, from astronomy to Indigenous spirituality, and colonial history to the present day.
Celebrated Korean director Bong Joon-ho will also attend the Festival to present his Cannes Competition contender, the SFF Closing Night film Okja, starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and An Seo-hyun.
David Wenham will present the world premiere of his feature film directorial debut Ellipsis, and will be the subject of this year’s Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture (Public Holiday Monday 12 June, 4:00pm) at the Art Gallery of NSW; in conversation with film critic, author, and former director of the Sydney Film Festival (1966–1983) David Stratton.
Hollywood based Emmy-winning Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn will attend the premiere of his film Una, directed by celebrated Australian theatre director Benedict Andrews. The film is also in Competition for the Sydney Film Prize. Mendelsohn will discuss his extraordinary career at a free public talk at The Hub (Saturday 10 June, 2:00pm).
Guests associated with Official Competition titles are: Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi (On Body and Soul), French director Alain Gomis (Félicité), actor Sherwan Haji (The Other Side of Hope), Mexican director Amat Escalante (The Untamed), Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat (Wolf and Sheep), and Haitian American producer Hébert Peck (I Am Not Your Negro).
Oscar-winning actor and political activist Vanessa Redgrave will present her Cannes selected documentary Sea Sorrow – the 80 year-old’s directorial debut about the global refugee crisis. She will join Margaret Pomeranz on Saturday 17 June at 2pm for a free public talk about her film at The Hub.
Red Dog director Kriv Stenders will present the world premieres of two of his films at the Festival this year. Australia Day is a hard look at the frayed edges of Australian society, with an all-star Australian cast (Bryan Brown, Shari Sebbens, Isabella Cornish, Matthew Le Nevez, and Sean Keenan). His new documentary The Go-Betweens: Right Here takes an intimate look at ’70s Aussie rock-band The Go-Betweens.
Australian actor Danielle Macdonald will attend the Festival to present the premiere of her breakthrough US role Patti Cake$, the story of an underdog New Jersey rapper from US director Geremy Jasper.
Acclaimed Indigenous director Wayne Blair and other members of the film team will present the first two episodes from their highly anticipated second series of Cleverman.
Dutch director Arash Kamali Sarvestani, will present his extraordinary project: Chauka Please Tell Us the Time, which documents the day to day life of detainees on Manus Island. The film is made from footage captured secretly on a mobile phone by his co-creator, Iranian-Kurdish journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani. Sarvestani will discuss his film at the Hub (Sunday 11 June, 2:00pm) after the premiere.
Haitian American producer Hébert Peck will attend the Festival for his Oscar-nominated cine-essay on race in America I Am Not Your Negro, narrated by Samuel L Jackson, and will discuss the film at the Hub (Tuesday 13 June, 2:30pm), after the screening.
New Zealand filmmaker Gaylene Preston will attend to present her film My Year with Helen and discuss her year-long project about former NZ Prime Minister and UN Secretary-General candidate Helen Clarke.
Samoan New Zealand Tusi Tamasese, director of the first-ever Samoan feature (The Orator, 2011), will discuss his new feature, Berlinale-selected One Thousand Ropes, and talk about his approach to storytelling at the Hub (Monday 12 June 4:15pm).
Emerging women directors and industry trailblazers from Europe join Europe! Voices of Women in Film. Industry guests from across the Continent will come to Sydney to introduce their films and take part in a public talk: In conversation with European Women Filmmakers (Sunday 11 June, 12:00pm).
In attendance to present their films to Festival audiences are: Award winning Georgian filmmaker Rusudan Glurjidze (House of Others), acclaimed Irish filmmaker Neasa Ní Chianáin (School Life), Swiss actress Rachel Braunschweig (The Divine Order), promising UK filmmaker Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling) who was last year awarded a £50 000 IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award, Macedonian filmmaker Teona Strugar Mitevska (When the Day Had No Name), and Afghan filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat (Wolf and Sheep), at 20 years old the youngest director ever selected for a Cannes Cinéfondation Residency.
The Festival’s new Screenability program will bring two filmmakers with disability, Australia’s Daniel Monks and Switzerland’s Manuël von Stürler, to the Festival to present their films Pulse and Lust for Sight.
And virtual reality pioneers Shaun Gladwell and Leo Faber of ground-breaking VR collective BADFAITH will be at the festival to discuss creativity, experimental experiences and their program of 13 immersive VR works at The Hub (Tuesday 13 June, 5:00pm).
Sydney Film Festival runs 7 – 18 June 2017.
Tickets for Sydney Film Festival 2017 are on sale now. Please call 1300 733 733 or visit sff.org.au for more information.