SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST FILMS FOR 2019
Date: 5-16 June 2019
Buy / Ticket: https://www.sff.org.au/tickets/buying-tickets/
“These first 25 films are a mere taster of the incredible program in store, from the devastating human impact on the world around us, to captivating stories from unique communities, and spotlights on the most accomplished artists of our generation.”
Leading the pack…Leading the titles announced today is "The Final Quarter," documenting AFL champion footballer and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes’ divisive public call-out of racism, and Australia’s heated response. Renowned Australian documentarian Ian Darling (Suzy and the Simple Man – SFF 2016) chronicles the final years of the Sydney Swans player’s career, as the cheers turned to boos.
40 years in the making, Sydney Pollack’s "Amazing Grace" captures a never-before-seen, spine-tingling 1972 performance by iconic diva Aretha Franklin. The legendary live show was recorded for her Grammy Award-winning album Amazing Grace – to this day, the highest selling live gospel album of all time.
Robert Pattinson (Good Time – SFF 2017, The Rover – SFF 2014), Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and hip hop icon André 3000 star in sexually charged sci-fi thriller "High Life," from acclaimed French director Claire Denis (Chocolat); Dev Patel (Lion) is a compelling presence in Michael Winterbottom’s (On the Road – SFF 2017) thrilling, modern film noir "The Wedding Guest"; and "Papi Chulo" features Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer (In Time) as a gay TV weatherman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a straight Latino migrant worker.
"In Fabric" brings more star power with Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) and Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Without a Trace) in British visionary Peter Strickland’s (The Field Guide to Evil – SFF 2018) mesmerising tale of a demonic red dress.
Also featuring on the list is winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Screenplay "Piranhas," about a group of 15-year-olds in Naples going from petty thieves to gun-toting gangsters virtually overnight.
New works from Australian storytellersCloser to home, "She Who Must Be Obeyed Loved" is a celebration of the life of the trailblazing Indigenous filmmaker Alfreda Glynn, by her own daughter Erica Glynn (In My Own Words – SFF 2017) and granddaughter Tanith Glynn-Maloney; and Adelaide filmmaker Sophie Hyde’s hilarious "Animals" features Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development) and Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) as best friends who live in a haze of drink, drugs and one-night stands, cutting a swathe through Dublin until their friendship is tested when one of them falls in love.
International festival winners and nomineesChoice cuts from the international festival circuit include: the double Oscar-nominated epic "Never Look Away," a beautiful and tragic love story inspired – controversially – by the life of German artist Gerhard Richter, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others); and winner of the Horizon Prize at Venice, as well as Best Director prizes at the Cairo and Thessaloniki film festivals, "Manta Ray," a visually unforgettable story about the unusual friendship between a Thai fisherman and a Rohingya refugee.
Winner of the NETPAC Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Ash Mayfair’s exquisite debut "The Third Wife" focusses on a teenager in an arranged marriage in 19th century Vietnam who learns quickly about her world’s suffocating patriarchy; and winner of the Youth Jury Award at San Sebastian International Film Festival, "Journey to a Mother’s Room," an intimate and funny portrait of a tight mother-daughter bond that’s tested by separation.
Outstanding documentariesSydney Film Festival’s documentary program continues to bring the most fascinating stories about people, places, enterprises and phenomena from around the world.
"The Kleptocrats" is a jaw-dropping exposé on Malaysia’s 1MDB wealth fund scandal, playing out like a Hollywood movie complete with stars, villains and billions of dollars at stake; and "Anthropocene: The Human Epoch" is a visually stunning essay on the human race’s devastating impact on the Earth, from the trio behind multi-award-winners Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark (SFF 2014)
The Festival also shines a light on renowned contemporary artists. British rock star PJ Harvey’s restless, probing genius shines in "A Dog Called Money," documenting the performance-art process behind the recording of her 2016 album The Hope Six Demolition Project; and "Yuli" is a moving biography of Cuban ballet luminary Carlos Acosta, the first black principal dancer of the prestigious Royal Ballet.
Stories from communities across the world include: "Midnight Family," following a family in Mexico City operating one of many private ambulances hustling for work in the megapolis; "Up the Mountain," a meditative work about an artist and his community in a Chinese mountain village, evoking a fast-disappearing way of life; and "School of Seduction – Three Stories from Russia," about workshops in Putin’s Russia where you can learn ‘skills for seducing wealthy men’, and the women who attend them.