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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Sydney Film Festival: Summer Season

SFF is hosting its first-ever program in conjunction with Sydney Festival, screening five films at the State Theatre over one January weekend.
By Sarah Ward
November 12, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
November 12, 2020
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There's nothing quite like seeing a movie at the State Theatre during the Sydney Film Festival. The grand site doesn't operate as a cinema year-round, which makes the experience extra special — and then there's the decor, the history, the three tiers of seating, the knowledge that you're surrounded by a hefty crowd of people and just the general buzzing atmosphere. Of course, given that SFF had to go virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, Sydney cinephiles didn't get a stint at the State this year. And you won't before 2021; however, you will be able to watch five movies there in January.

For the first time ever, SFF is teaming up with Sydney Festival to screen a summer season — over one weekend, between Friday, January 15–Sunday, January 17, and all at the State. You can pick one or two flicks to go to, or book in for the entire five. And it'll be socially distanced, of course, but the venue is mighty cavernous as it is.

The lineup might be compact, but it's powerful. Firestarter — The Story of Bangarra is a compelling and moving documentary about the dance theatre that provides its name, particularly focusing on the Page brothers. Also on the homegrown front, outback western High Ground has had audiences talking — and rightfully so — since it premiered at the Berlinale. And then there's Aussie doco Girls Can't Surf, about the female surfers who made their mark on the sport.

Rounding out the lineup are two festival faves from other parts of the globe. Minari stars Steven Yeun as the patriarch of a Korean American family, while Another Round features the great Mads Mikkelsen as a teacher who, with his pals, decides to test the theory that humans actually need more alcohol in their blood.

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