Homegrown films under the stars on Sydney Harbour.

It's beginning to look a lot like summer — or, as we may as well call it in Sydney, outdoor movie-watching season. One of Sydney's favourite (and most dramatically panoramic) outdoor movie events, St George Openair Cinema, has a killer 21st season in store. If you like watching homegrown films under the stars, get excited.

Already announced, the 2017 program will kick off with a preview of Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and eight-year-old newcomer Sunny Pawar. Based on a true story you might've seen splashed across the local media over the past few years, it tells the tale of Saroo Brierley. He became separated from his older brother at the age of five, first ended up nearly 1,500 kilometres away from home, and then forged a new life in Australia — before taking to Google Earth more than two decades later in an attempt to find his long-lost family.

This year's a 39-night season, running between January 7 and February 17, and featuring 20 premieres and preview screenings and a selection of 2017 Oscar contenders including JackieManchester by the SeaLoving, Gold, Hidden Figures and the long-awaited sequel T2 Trainspotting. This summer's anticipated new releases are on the bill too, including La La Land, Why Him?, A United Kingdom and Passengers, as well as 2016 highlights like Nocturnal Animals, Arrival, The Founder, Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Plus, on Australia Day, you can catch a preview of David Stratton's Stories of Australian Cinema.

More than 1500 patrons per evening are expected to flock to Mrs Macquaries Point adjacent to Royal Botanic Gardens, so get your tickets locked down.

UPDATE DECEMBER 20, 2016: St.George OpenAir Cinema has extended its season program to meet popular demand. From 9am on Wednesday, December 21, you can buy tickets to the Australian premiere of Martin Scorsese's Silence (Jan 22) and the highly anticipated Australian coming of age film Jasper Jones (Feb 19). Extra screenings of Lion (Feb 20), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Feb 21) and one of our ten favourite films of 2016La La Land (Feb 22), have also been scheduled.

Published on November 15, 2016 by Sarah Ward

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