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Sydney Film Festival Has Postponed Its Already-Delayed 2021 Event to November

The annual festival already moved to August from its traditional June time slot, and is now shifting again due to Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown.
By Sarah Ward
August 03, 2021
By Sarah Ward
August 03, 2021

It has been a tumultuous two years for the Sydney Film Festival. First, the event moved completely online in 2020, as many fests did. Then, it hosted a brief summer season this January, welcoming cinephiles back to the State Theatre. And, in the hope that running the huge movie-filled festival as normal might've been more of a possibility later in the year, SFF then shifted from its usual June dates to the end of August for 2021. Obviously, the Greater Sydney region's current extended lockdown has now gotten in way of the latter, and its planned run Wednesday, August 18–Sunday, August 29 now during the city's stay-at-home period. So, unsurprisingly, the fest's organisers have announced that they're shifting this year's SFF to November.

Movie buffs, you'll need to block out Wednesday, November 3–Sunday, November 14 in your calendar, as that's when SFF's 68th edition is now scheduled to take place. And, you can start looking forward to a festival that won't require carting your winter coat around, sipping soup in the State or enjoying the rush between cinemas because it keeps you warm — because this year's fest will now be a late-spring affair.

Which venues SFF will screen in, and how many of its already-announced first 22 films will still grace its screens — and what the rest of the program will look like, too — is all yet to be announced. It is expected that the fest's lineup will undergo some tinkering, however, given that some of the titles already unveiled will have already reached cinemas in general release before November. So far, that includes Zola, the wild Sundance hit based on a lengthy 148-tweet Twitter thread.

When the rest of the program will be announced also hasn't been revealed, although SFF normally doesn't unveil its full lineup until around a month before the festival — so, it's safe to assume further details will arrive by early August.

Standout movies currently on SFF's bill include New Zealand's The Justice of Bunny King, which stars Essie Davis (Babyteeth) and Thomasin McKenzie (Old); Riders of Justice, a revenge-fuelled Danish comedy led by the inimitable Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round); 2020 Berlinale Golden Bear winner There Is No Evil, a searing Iranian drama about the death penalty; and Undine, the alluring and beguiling latest film from German auteur Christian Petzold. The festival has also already announced a retrospective dedicated to Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.

SFF joins Vivid in postponing due to the current outbreak and lockdown — and doing so after already delaying its 2021 dates in an effort to avoid cancellations, rescheduling or being impacted by restrictions. At present, Vivid is due to run from mid-September. 

The 2021 Sydney Film Festival will now take place between Wednesday, November 3–Sunday, November 14. For further information, head to the festival website.

Published on August 03, 2021 by Sarah Ward


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