Believe it or not, but the 65th Sydney Film Festival is just around the corner! Set to showcase the best of cinema from around the world months before it's seen elsewhere, it's an exciting time for movie lovers. Today, the first wave of films have been announced for this year's calendar, so SWITCH is excited to check out the first 26 films on offer for SFF 2018!
The stars will be out in force - Aussie Mia Wasikowska leads the pack in the bold psychosexual thriller 'Piercing', along with Martin Freeman in the spine-tingling British chiller 'Ghost Stories'. 'Anchor and Hope' delivers more star power with Natalia Tena ('Harry Potter') and Oona Chaplin ('Game of Thrones') alongside her mother, Golden Globe nominee Geraldine Chaplin.
There's a number of Oscar-nominated films leading this batch - 'The Breadwinner' was in the running for Best Feature Animation, while 'The Insult' was up for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Another highly-anticipated foreign film comes in the form of 'Foxtrot' from Israeli director Samuel Maoz, which took out the Venice Film Festival’s 2017 Grand Jury Prize.
There's plenty more award winners in the mix too: starring Chloë Grace Moretz comes 'The Miseducation of Cameron Post', which was awarded the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award, while a nominee for the same award, 'American Animals', will also screen, starring Evan Peters ('American Horror Story') and Barry Keoghan ('Dunkirk', 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'). From Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio ('A Fantastic Woman'), the highly-anticipated 'Disobedience' starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams will screen, along with Debra Granik’s ('Winter’s Bone') 'Leave No Trace' featuring young New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie. We'll also be able to catch director Małgorzata Szumowska's ('Body', 'In The Name Of') Berlinale Silver Bear winner 'Mug', plus Sundance 2018 Special Jury Prize winner, 'Genesis 2.0', a documentary following scientific efforts to resurrect the woolly mammoth.
There are some more really exciting documentaries in the mix. 'Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist' profiles fashion designer and punk icon Vivienne Westwood. There's also a look at a 13-year-old prodigy in 'Chef Flynn'; 'Inventing Tomorrow', which ask students to get creative with the problems facing our planet; a look at the case that spawned American true crime with 'Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders'; the life of a brave soldier deactivating landmines in Iraq using only a pen knife in 'The Deminer'; and 'The Long Season', an intimate record of daily life for women in a Syrian refugee camp. It's also a chance to see some great real-life music stories, from Afghanistan’s only metal band in 'Rockabul' to 'I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story', an Australian documentary about intense love of boybands, from The Beatles to One Direction.
There's some more great Aussie offerings too - the entire family can enjoy 'Maya the Bee: The Honey Games' on a new outing voiced by Richard Roxburgh, Justine Clarke, and The Umbilical Brothers’ Dave Collins and Shane Dundas. We'll also see the debut feature from Jason Raftopoulos, 'West of Sunshine', starring Damien Hill (Pawno) alongside his real-life stepson Ty Perham. Plus Gillian Armstrong's 'My Brilliant Career' has been restored and will screen in pristine condition.
We're not the only ones excited. Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley revealed, "The 2018 Sydney Film Festival is once again proud to kick-start exciting conversations and showcase powerful ideas and bold statements that open eyes, expand horizons and enrich the lives of our audiences and community."
For tickets and more details on the sneak peek films, head to www.sff.org.au now.