Hidden Sydney: SUFF Curator Katherine Berger’s Five Local Gems
This is not a travel guide. This is a local's map of Sydney. These are the five places where Sydney Underground Film Festival co-director Katherine Berger goes to recaffeinate, play, rummage, work and party. SUFF is on Thursday to Sunday this week. Since 2007, the festival has been dedicated to fostering a truly alternative and experimental film culture in Sydney. In the past, it has premiered Oliver Stone's South of the Border, revisited cult classics like Red, White and Blue, and given a platform to emerging filmmakers working out on a limb. Check out our preview or buy tickets online. And keep an eye out for Katherine's upcoming lo-fi mockumentary Zombie Massacre III.
SUFF finally moved from working out of a lounge room into a nice big office at Sydney College of the Arts (a wonderful form of sponsorship!). It's complete with retro bar bought on eBay for $30! I also love that that the college sits within Callan Park, Rozelle; where there are so many interesting nooks and crannies to discover – hidden gardens, a bamboo forest, water views, decrepit old buildings and even an informal cat sanctuary!
Just off Marrickville Road on Victoria Road is Everest Kitchen, one of my favourite restaurants. I love the food here and always kick off with the vego traditional entree set. I could eat the soy bean salad and dumplings with beaten rice all day!
My Saturday morning ritual is first coffee then getting to the Anglicare Charity Store Depot on Carlton Crescent in Summer Hill by 9am. It's hilarious watching the eager shoppers inch forward and then basically run when they open the doors! Here you can buy second-hand clothes by the kilo ($8) and all shoes are $5. I strongly believe in op-shopping and rarely ever buy new clothes (could be my lack of budget also!) but I do believe we are a culture of over-consumption. Mind you, I probably over-consume in vintage shopping!
I live in Summer Hill, which I think is a great little suburb or village as it’s referred to. However, what blows my mind that in an area of basically two streets there is now ten cafes! I just imagine what if one day there was no more coffee beans? But I have to say the latest café to open, The Drugstore, is pretty cool. It's decked out all retro with neon lights, quality coffe and top-notch baristas. (PS. Plus it's right next door to Vinnies!)
The Factory Theatre has been home of the Sydney Underground Film Festival since its inception 6 years ago. This venue suits the festival for its location in a somewhat of an industrial area (it used to be a printing factory), plus they have always allowed us to show some weird, messed up, crazy, and sometime quite risqué films - so they are pretty cool in our book.