Sydney Film Festival: Back by Popular Demand

Sydney Film Festival doesn't just stick to its main 12-day run — it screens encore sessions for four days afterwards.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 11, 2024


Whether you spend all day each day at Sydney Film Festival when it rolls around every year, or just fit which flicks you can into your schedule, no movie lover ever wants the Harbour City's annual celebration of cinema to end. That goes double for the fest crew itself, with the team understanding that managing to catch everything that you want to during SFF is impossible. The solution: adding extra days after the event's official closing night for more sessions.

For a few years now, SFF puts on a Back By Popular Demand program post-fest — and this year is no different. Yes, closing night is still on Saturday, June 16. But across Monday, June 17–Thursday, June 20, you can watch a handful of the festival's films at Dendy Newtown, Palace Cinemas Norton Street and Ritz Cinemas Randwick.

From 2024's most-popular titles, 16 pictures are getting encore showings. Each movie is only popping up once more in the Back By Popular Demand season, so this is still a case of needing to snap up tickets quickly. Three such highlights: I Saw the TV Glow, the Sundance hit from We're All Going to the World's Fair's Jane Schoenbrun that's about two teens grappling with their favourite television show getting cancelled; Sasquatch Sunset, which is directed by the Zellner brothers (Damsel), and stars Riley Keough (Daisy Jones & the Six) and Jesse Eisenberg (Fleishman Is in Trouble) as a sasquatch family; and Problemista, as directed by and starring Los Espookys' Julio Torres opposite Tilda Swinton (The Killer).

Other returning films include Saoirse Ronan (Foe) as a recovering addict in page-to-screen adaptation The OutrunIn Vitro, an Aussie sci-fi thriller about a couple doing biotech experiments, which features Succession alum Ashley Zukerman; and La Cocina, a restaurant-set dramedy starring Rooney Mara (Women Talking) and directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios (A Cop Movie). There's also Grand Tour, which hails from 2015 Sydney Film Prize-winner Miguel Gomes (Arabian Nights) — and All We Imagine As Light, the first Indian film to play in Cannes' competition in three decades.

Viewers can also catch thriller Brief History of a Family from China, documentary Agent of Happiness from Bhutan, Berlinale Teddy Award-winner All Shall Be Well and Silver Bear-winner Dying, plus the Cannes-debuting Motel Destino, Italian box-office hit There's Still Tomorrow, biodoc Charmian Clift — Life Burns High and the Taika Waititi (Next Goal Wins)-produced We Were Dangerous.

In total, the encore sessions feature 19 films, with the extra three covering sessions in the fest's Nancy Savoca: True Love Stories retrospective: 1989 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner True Love, Dogfight with the late, great River Phoenix and Household Saints.


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