Sydney Film Festival

Plan your holiday to Sydney around the Sydney Film Festival. This film festival is one of the longest lasting in the world and is full of great movies and fun family memories.

The Sydney Film Festival is an annual event that celebrates the best in films, documentaries and animation from all over the world. As one of the world's longest-running film festivals, it carries plenty of history and prestige, and plays a major role on the New South Wales cultural calendar each year.


The festival spans 12 days and takes place at venues around the city. Films have been showing in the past at venues such as Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, the Art Gallery of NSW, State Theatre, Skyline Drive-In Blacktown and the the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne. More unique venues have included the Apple Store Sydney and SFFTV @ Martin Place. There is often a Sydney Film Festival Hub at the Town Hall, which features entertainment, exhibitions, talks, discount ticket booth and more.


Held in Sydney around June of each year, the event brings in guests from across Australia and abroad. If you are looking for a holiday that blends art and culture with the excitement of a big city, this could provide the perfect opportunity.  


About the Festival

The dominant program at the Sydney Film Festival is the Official Competition, established in 2008 to celebrate cinema that is 'courageous, audacious and cutting-edge'. Twelve titles are selected for contention in the Official Competition, with $60,000 and the Sydney Film Prize awarded to the winner. This major prize is decided by a jury of five Australian and international filmmakers, along with industry professionals. This element of the program is endorsed by Federation Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films.


The Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Australian Documentary supports excellence in Australian movie making, as does the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films. Along with the Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award and the Foxtel Movies Audience Awards, these encourage and support Australia's exceptional film making efforts.


If you can't make it to the Sydney event, don't panic. Sydney Film Festival operates all year round in different parts of the country, as the Travelling Film Festival brings films to 19 different regional locations throughout Australia. The event is supported by the NSW Government, Federal Government and City of Sydney through various programs including Screen NSW and Screen Australia.


Events and Features

To get a sense of what future festivals will look like, cast your gaze to the 2014 event. The 61st Sydney Film Festival showcased183 titles from 47 different countries, including 15 world, 122 Australian and 6 international premieres.


The Hub returned to the Town Hall for its third year, featuring 25 free events and plenty of talks and live performances. 'Two Days, One Night' was the ultimate winner of the Sydney Film Prize. The film stars Marion Cotillard and was noted for its masterful storytelling and realistic world view. Jury President Rachel Perkins praised the film's "celebration of a woman's power and vitality". The film took home a $61,000 cash prize and recognition of the best out of the 12 features selected.


Sydney Film Festival Official Competition winners of previous years include: Only God Forgives (2013), Alps (2012), A Separation (2011), Heartbeats (2010), Bronson (2009) and Hunger (2008).



If you plan on going to several films through the festival, a Flexipass of 10, 20 or 30 tickets could save you a considerable amount of money. You can also purchase tickets individually from selected Sydney Film Festival box office locations, online through the official website or via a ticketing phone line.


Individual ticket prices vary by age, and it should be noted that many of the Sydney Film Festival movies are classified as 18 plus, meaning no one under the age of 18 can attend those screenings. Check film classifications before purchasing tickets, and be prepared to provide proof of age upon request.


(Photo courtesy of Brad Ovenell-Carter)

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