Showing all posts tagged: Sydney Film Festival

Close by Lukas Dhont wins 2022 Sydney Film Prize

21 June 2022

Belgian film director and screenwriter Lukas Dhont’s 2022 feature Close was named winner of the 2022 Sydney Film Prize, on the closing night of this year’s Sydney Film Festival.

Thirteen-year-olds Leo and Remi are best friends. We meet them running happily through vast fields of flowers. They dream of unimaginable wealth, of being stars on YouTube. Remi is an aspiring musician, and Leo is his greatest fan. Theirs is a loving and genuine friendship. And then they start high school. For the very first time, their closeness comes into question as they are teased and taunted by their schoolmates. Gradually a rift develops between the friends, with tragic consequences.

So far I can’t find any information about a theatrical season in Australia, so at the moment it looks like streaming or the film festival circuit are your best bets. No actual trailer that I can find either, but there is this short clip from the film here.


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Before, Now & Then, by Kamila Andini, Sydney Film Prize contender

18 May 2022

Before, Now & Then, trailer, by Indonesian filmmaker Kamila Andini, is one of twelve films in competition for the Sydney Film Prize, at the 2022 Sydney Film Festival:

Kamila Andini tells a very personal story set against the backdrop of tumultuous political times in Indonesia in this beguiling period drama. Nana (a luminous Happy Salma) loses her family, including her husband, in the war in West Java. Years later, now in the 1960s, we meet her again. Her poverty now a thing of the past, she has remarried a significantly older man, Mr Darga, who is wealthy and a philanderer. Though her life is comfortable, Nana’s dreams are still occupied by the past.

A chance discovery of a carelessly forgotten item of clothing leads Nana to discover that Darga is having an affair with an even younger local woman, Ino. What follows is unexpected. Rather than a confrontation, Nana and Ino become friends, and take comfort in each other, jointly imagining a path to freedom. Meanwhile, through talk in the town of secret communists, and on radio broadcasts, the political tensions that will alter the future of Indonesia are made clear.

Before, Now & Then, also known as Nana, is competing against eleven other films for the Sydney Film Prize, the winner of which will be announced on Sunday 19 June 2022.

It looks like a tight contest to me.


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Keep Stepping, a documentary by Luke Cornish

19 April 2022

Keep Stepping, trailer, by Sydney based documentary maker Luke Cornish, which has its world premiere at the 2022 Sydney Film Festival, explores the world of competitive street dancing in Australia.

On Sydney’s urban fringe, two young women battle for a better life in the underground world of competitive street dance. Patricia, Romanian-born and hanging out for a visa, is a breakdancer. Gabi, of Chilean-Samoan heritage, pops with power. Both dream of escaping the rough hand they’ve been dealt. Will a win at Australia’s biggest dance competition Destructive Steps – in which 60 contestants compete in the preliminary rounds – be their golden ticket? Or will the external pressures of financial hardship and volatile relationships stop them from even reaching the dancefloor?


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Sydney Film Festival announces first 22 films for 2022

6 April 2022

The Sydney Film Festival has unveiled the first twenty-two movies that will be featured at this year’s event. Among their number is The Passengers of the Night (Les passagers de la nuit), directed by French filmmaker Mikhaël Hers, and starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, as a woman trying to get her life back on track.

Election night, 1981. Socialist François Mitterrand has been declared president and there are hopeful celebrations across Paris. But it is not a happy night for Elisabeth (Gainsbourg, Antichrist), whose marriage has come to an unexpected end. She must find the means to support herself and two teenaged children. When she lucks upon a job on her favourite talkback radio show, she meets Talulah (Noée Abita, Slalom, SFF 2021), a charismatic young woman who is struggling, and invites her home. Free-spirit Talulah has a lasting impact, inspiring confidence in each of the family members.

I couldn’t find a trailer, but did locate a clip of this scene from the film.


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Trailer for Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World”

15 October 2021

The Worst Person in the World (trailer), the latest work by Norwegian film director Joachim Trier, stars Renate Reinsve as a young woman named Julie who has trouble finding a balance between her love life and professional life. Peter Bradshaw, film writer for The Guardian described Trier’s feature as an instant classic. The Worst Person in the World screens three times as part of the Sydney Film Festival in early November.


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The Power of the Dog, by Jane Campion

14 October 2021

The Power of the Dog, the latest film by Sydney based New Zealand director Jane Campion stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, a rancher living in the American state of Montana in the nineteen-twenties.

When his brother George (Jesse Plemons) marries the widowed Rose (Kirsten Dunst), a furious Phil takes to tormenting Rose, and her son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Quite abruptly though, he seems to soften his stance, and begins warming to Peter. But is Phil’s change of heart sincere, or does he have an ulterior motive? The Power of the Dog screens at this year’s Sydney Film Festival on Friday, 5 November.


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The French Dispatch, by Wes Anderson

13 October 2021

The French Dispatch is the twentieth (or so) film by prolific American filmmaker Wes Anderson, and will be the closing feature of this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Set in the offices of a fictional American magazine, in a fictional French town named Ennui-sur-Blasé, the story follows the ins and outs of the paper’s journalistic staff.

Long time Anderson collaborators Owen Wilson and Bill Murray are among the star studded cast that includes Willem Dafoe, Anjelica Huston, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Liev Schreiber, Saoirse Ronan, Jeffrey Wright, and Léa Seydoux. Count me in then for the closing night of the Sydney Film Festival.


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Petite Maman, the new feature by Céline Sciamma

12 October 2021

The Sydney Film Festival opens on 3 November 2021, and hopefully heralds a hopefully welcome return to seeing movies at the cinema, after months of COVID enforced lockdowns. To mark this momentous occasion over the next few days, I’ll be posting trailers for some of the films screening at the festival this year.

Petite Maman is the latest feature by French filmmaker Céline Sciamma, director of the exquisitely heartrending Portrait of a Lady on Fire. At first glance Petite Maman appears to be a story about two young girls who become friends, but as we learn one of the girls is the mother of the other, who through some quirk of space-time has moved through time as a child to meet her daughter.


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Here Out West, the Sydney Film Festival opening feature

11 October 2021

Here Out West, which screens on the opening night of the Sydney Film Festival, on 3 November 2021, is an anthology film, combining eight stories which merge into one feature. Set over the course of a day, in Blacktown, a suburb in the west of Sydney, the story follows events precipitated by a woman who kidnaps her grandchild from a hospital, and goes on the run. Five directors, Leah Purcell, Fadia Abboud, Lucy Gaffy, Julie Kalceff, and Ana Kokkinos collaborated in the production of this feature.


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