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'Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles' Is SXSW Sydney's First Big Local World-Premiere Film

Can't wait to watch your way through the first SXSW Screen Festival Down Under? Wristbands go on sale on Friday, August 25.
By Sarah Ward
August 21, 2023
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By Sarah Ward
August 21, 2023
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For its first-ever festival away from Austin, SXSW will paint Sydney red, blue, purple and yellow. It'll also throw hot potatoes into the mix. And, it'll celebrate an Australian act like no other: the Hottest 100-topping, Mardi Gras-attending, Falls Festival-playing, Little Nas X-adored skivvy fans that are The Wiggles.

Two of past big announcements in Australia's screen industry are set to combine in the Harbour City from Sunday, October 15–Saturday, October 21: documentary Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles and SXSW Sydney's Screen Festival. Both were first revealed in 2022, and now they'll join forces this year, with the fest hosting the world premiere of the film.

Wake up, SXSW Sydney attendees: the event's first big local movie debut will get you feeling nostalgic before it heads to Prime Video. Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles tells exactly the tale you think it will, following the group's career over more than three decades, including the new levels of fame and popularity that 2022 threw their way.

Sure, Dorothy the Dinosaur mightn't need an origin story, but OG Wiggles Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Greg Page and Jeff Fatt are getting one, with Sally Aitken (Valerie Taylor: Playing with Sharks, David Stratton: A Cinematic Life) directing. The feature-length film promises never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, too — and the SXSW Sydney screening will feature The Wiggles in attendance, including for Q&As and performances.

The film joins a lineup that already includes nine previously announced titles, covering everything from flicks starring Indonesian rappers and documentaries about Tokyo Uber Eats rider to movies featuring viral Chinese dance crazes.

Can't wait to watch your way through the fest? SXSW Sydney has also announced that Screen Festival wristbands go on sale on Friday, August 25, starting at an early-bird price of $240 and getting people wearing one into unlimited screenings.

The SXSW 2023 Sydney Screen Festival also includes an array of speakers, with Queer Eye star Tan France set to hit Australia to get chatting. Indigenous filmmakers Leah Purcell (The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson), Kodie Bedford (Mystery Road: Origin) and Jub Clerc (Sweet As) will also take to the stage; Osher Günsberg is on the SXSW Sydney bill recording an episode of his podcast Better Than Yesterday with a yet-to-be-announced special guest; and Gone Girl, The Nightingale, The Dry, Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers producer Bruna Papandrea and Binge's Executive Director Alison Hurbert-Burns will also appear.

As well as showering viewers with movies and TV shows, with more titles to come — including First Nations Screen Festival programming by Winda Film Festival founder Pauline Clague — SXSW Sydney's film- and TV-focused strand will feature red-carpet premieres; digital and social content; an XR showcase; Q&As and panel discussions; parties and mentoring; and a screen market for industry deals.

Free outdoor screenings are also slated, alongside indoor sessions at The ICC's Darling Theatre, Palace Cinemas Central and other yet-to-be-revealed venues.

All of the above falls into the broader SXSW Sydney festival, which has been dropping lineup announcements for six months now, including in its first batch of speakers and musicians back in February, more music highlights and must-attend parties in May, details of its gaming strand in June, then two more rounds of speakers in July.

SXSW Sydney will run from Sunday, October 15–Sunday, October 22 at various Sydney venues, with the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival running from Sunday, October 15–Saturday, October 21 at The ICC's Darling Theatre, Palace Cinemas Central and more venues to be announced. Head to the SXSW Sydney website for further details.

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Published on August 21, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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