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Sydney Film Festival 2019

With Adam Driver and Bill Murray fighting zombies, Cannes Film Festival hits and no fewer than 307 films screening across 12 days, this year's SFF is panning out to be a big one.
By Sarah Ward
April 17, 2019
By Sarah Ward
April 17, 2019

in partnership with


Sydney Film Festival's full program has finally dropped and when this year's festival rolls around, it'll do so with Oscar nominees, festival award winners and Sundance hits, plus the world premiere of an important Australian documentary. Throw in plenty of famous faces, a few more local flicks and a heap of acclaimed docos, and another busy fest is in store between Wednesday, June 5 and Sunday, June 16.

After staying local with its 2019 retrospective — a showcase of ten films by trailblazing female Aussie directors — SFF is also keeping close to home with a lot of its lineup. Fittingly, Sydney audiences will be the first in the world to see The Final Quarter, a documentary about the horrific racism faced by former Sydney Swans AFL player Adam Goodes, as well as his determination to call it out and the response he received. Other homegrown highlights include a Michael Hutchence doco Mystify, the Mia Wasikowska-starring Judy & Punch, Vietnam War era-flick Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, dystopian sci-fi I Am Mother and Jennifer Kent's exceptional The Nightingale.

On the star-studded front, Sydneysiders will finally get to see Claire Denis' High Life, Elisabeth Moss as a Courtney Love-style alt-rock singer in Her Smell, the stellar sci-fi flick that sends Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche into space in a bleak but enthralling way as well as Adam Driver and Bill Murray battling zombies in Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die, which comes to SFF straight from Cannes Film Festival. While the festival typically announces a whole swag of Cannes titles closer to the fest, it has already bagged a few, including Pedro Almodóvar's Pain and Glory, starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz; Parasite, the latest satire by Okja filmmaker Bong Joon-ho; and Kleber Mendonça Filho's fiercely political Bacurau,

As for SFF's $60,000 prize, Sundance standout The Souvenir (starring Tilda Swinton and her daughter Honor Byrne Swinton) and Berlinale Golden Bear winner Synonyms are among the 12 titles competing. With so many highlights screening in just a number of days, prepare to spend plenty of time in a darkened room.

The 2019 Sydney Film Festival runs from June 5 to 16. To check out the full program and to buy tickets, head to the festival website.

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