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Sydney Film Festival Has Dropped the First 22 Movies You'll Be Watching at Its Jam-Packed 2022 Fest

Aussie horror, international festival hits and the latest from newly minted Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain — they're all on SFF's 2022 lineup so far.
By Sarah Ward
April 06, 2022
By Sarah Ward
April 06, 2022

When any and every film festival rolls around, plenty of numbers get mentioned. With the 2022 Sydney Film Festival now fast approaching, the Harbour City's annual cinema showcase is no different. This year will mark the fest's whopping 69th event, as well Festival Director Nashen Moodley's 11th time bringing the latest and greatest flicks to the glorious State Theatre and other Sydney picture palaces — and, if its first 22 movies are anything to go by, it's set to be another winner.

There's no such thing as a bad SFF, of course, because its program always spans so far and wide — and how you watch your way through it is always dictated by personal choice. But 2022's event already has a new Aussie horror standout that proved a hit at SXSW, the latest from freshly minted Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain, multiple Sundance award recipients, and the new comedy from inimitable Berberian Sound StudioThe Duke of Burgundy and In Fabric filmmaker Peter Strickland. Yes, we're already spoiled for choice.

Taking place between Wednesday, June 8–Sunday, June 19 — back in its usual timeslot after moving to November in 2021 due to lockdowns and restrictions — SFF 2022 will show some local love to Sissy, the aforementioned Australian horror film. Starring The Bold Type's Aisha Dee, it follows a successful social media influencer who gets stuck in a remote cabin with her old high-school bully. Also in the homegrown camp: street dancing documentary Keep Stepping, car-bound docudrama The Plains and the music fest-focused 6 Festivals, with the latter about three friends who decide to hit up as many live gigs as possible after one is diagnosed with brain cancer, and also featuring cameos by the likes of Bliss n Eso and Peking Duk.

Hailing from further afield are the Chastain-starring The Forgiven, which also marks the latest movie by Calvary and War on Everyone's John Michael McDonagh; Strickland's Flux Gourmet, which sees the director reteam with Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie; 80s-set, Charlotte Gainsbourg-led Parisian drama The Passengers of the Night; and genderqueer musical Please Baby Please, which follows a 50s couple in Manhattan who witness a violent incident and undergo a sexual awakening.

Or, there's also Sundance Film Festival-winning doco The Territory, which follows an Indigenous fightback over rainforest land seized for farming; Yuni, the latest coming-of-age tale by Indonesian The Seen and Unseen filmmaker Kamila Andini; We Met in Virtual Reality, a documentary filmed entirely inside the world of VR; and Incredible But True, a time-travel caper from Deerskin and Rubber's Quentin Dupieux.

Other titles of interest include Bootlegger, which stars Reservation Dogs' Devery Jacobs; doco A House Made of Splinters, another Sundance winner that was filmed in pre-invasion Ukraine; Sirens, about the Middle East's first all-female, queer death metal band; and Gentle, which stars real-life bodybuilder Eszter Csonka.

As for what'll join them — among a lineup that usually spans hundreds of films — that'll be revealed on Wednesday, May 11.

You can already start getting ready to spend most of June in a cinema, though, obviously.

The 2022 Sydney Film  Festival will run between Wednesday, June 8–Sunday, June 19. Check out the event's just-announced titles by heading to the festival website. The full program will be released on Wednesday, May 11 — head back here then for the rundown.

Published on April 06, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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