Sydney Film Festival goes digital with loaded 2020 program

The 67th Sydney Film Festival was officially launched this week, taking the festival online and national for the very first time.

Making the announcement earlier this week, Festival Director Nashen Moodley says everything has nothing has changed since last year’s event.

We aren’t together in a dark cinema sharing new ideas and worlds – but film is still where we look for them. So, Sydney Film Festival is back this year with a virtual program available to all homes across Australia.

“This year’s special 67th Sydney Film Festival: Virtual Edition and Awards presents a distilled essence of Sydney Film Festival, where audiences can not only watch mind-boggling films but support the filmmakers who’ve made them,” said Nashen Moodley, “SFF has always been about community and dreaming together through film.”

All films will screen with bonus material exclusively filmed for SFF, including filmmaker introductions and the screening, followed by question and answer sessions.

Support for the Virtual Edition came from filmmakers past and present – from Bryan Brown to RJ Mitte to Nicole Kidman, all saying ‘Being part of Sydney Film Festival means a lot’.

“The Festival presents Australian stories from a kaleidoscope of perspectives in three strands. From remote Western Australia – a snapshot of Australia’s only entirely-Indigenous police station, to Antarctica, where we journey with women in STEM leadership; the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Australian Documentary comprises 10 outstanding feature length Australian stories that are surprising, compelling, heart-warming and brilliant.

“The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films is a short film springboard that has kick-started the careers of many prominent filmmakers including Warwick Thornton, Ariel Kleiman, Cate Shortland, Jane Campion, Phillip Noyce and Ivan Sen. The Festival’s short film competition is now in its 51st year.

“Returning to the Festival is Screenability, an exciting platform for screen practitioners with disability, in partnership with Screen NSW. This year the Festival presents three cutting-edge short films from multi-disciplinary artist and writer, Emily Dash, former Youth Paralympian Adam Bowes and award winning theatre director Anthea Williams.

“We also hear from Europe’s rising female stars in the Festival’s Europe! Voices of Women in Film program – a selection of 10 essential films from exciting women directors that traverse family dramas, a gritty love story, gender stereotypes and much more.

“Finally, it is our great delight to present two new collaborations. Relive, or discover for the first time, 40 world-class cinematic gems from the Festival’s past, for free, with SBS On Demand presents Sydney
Film Festival Selects.

“The Festival is also part of We Are One: A Global Film Festival, a free, global, online film festival, opening 29 May for audiences everywhere. This first-ever collaboration of the world’s greatest film festivals presents selections from each of the festivals involved.”

“The Sydney Film Festival’s contribution is two ground-breaking Australian films from First Nations directors: Mabo (Rachel Perkins), and Mystery Road (Ivan Sen). Funds raised from the Sydney Film Festival films will assist the GO Foundation to provide educational pathways for Australian Indigenous students through school
(and beyond) following the COVID-19 crisis.”

This year’s program also features LGBTIQ+ stories including A Perfectly Normal Family, the debut film from director Malou Reymann inspired by his own father’s gender identity, and the short films I Want To Make A Film About Women, and Her Own Music.

Sydney Film Festival runs from 10th – 21st June 2020. For more information head to

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