The end of lockdown in NSW means the return of so many good things, including the 2021 Sydney Film Festival! With restrictions easing for venues, the film festival is going ahead and the program is stacked.
This year’s SFF is special not just because of its epic lineup of films but also because it’s the first time many Sydneysiders will have been allowed in a cinema for over three months.
SFF 2021 is taking place from November 3 – 14 and will screen 233 films from 69 different countries. As usual, it will be home to both homegrown Aussie films and international heavyweights.
Tickets for all the films are on sale now so get amongst it and support our local theatres!
Sydney Film Festival 2021 highlights
Dune is hands down one of the biggest hitters in the Sydney Film Festival lineup this year. The film was delayed until December 2 in Australia meaning SFF will give audiences the chance to see the film almost a month early.
Denis Villeneuve’s epic is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel and all the reviews have been raving so far. Dune has been limited to just one screening during this year’s festival, so get in quick if you want to see it.
Screening: November 10, 8:30 pm. Event Cinemas George St.
It’s worth noting that single adult tickets for Dune have sold out already, though Concession, Youth, Group 10+ and Companion Card tickets are still available.
Here Out West
This year’s opening night film is Here Out West which tells eight interconnected stories from talented Western Sydney writers and is brought to the screen by a stellar lineup of female directors.
The opening night session of Here Out West is invitation only but locals will be able to catch the film at two other screenings during the festival.
- November 5, 8:00 pm. Casula Powerhouse.
- November 6, 6:15 pm. Ritz Cinema Randwick.
The French Dispatch
SFF is ending the week with a bang and is screening Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch as the closing night film. The film is a stylish, rich and funny tribute to journalism and The New Yorker.
Screening: November 14, 7:00 pm. State Theatre.
The Power of the Dog
Jane Campion’s latest is Power of the Dog and it earned her Best Director at Venice in 2021. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons in a tense Western that explores masculinity.
- November 5, 6:00 pm. State Theatre.
- November 6, 3:30 pm. Ritz Cinema Randwick.
The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Aussie legend Leah Purcell writes, directs and stars in The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson. The period western follows a determined mother protecting her children and is a reimagining of Henry Lawson’s classic through an Indigenous female gaze.
- November 6, 6:00 pm. State Theatre
- November 7, 12:00 pm. State Theatre
- November 9, 6:15 pm. Ritz Cinema Randwick.
You may have heard of Titane as that bizarre movie about sex with cars. Well, it’s coming to Sydney Film Festival.
Titane won the 2021 Cannes Palme d’Or and is a combination of body horror, serial killing, gender fluidity and family drama. And sex with cars. Everything you need in a movie right?
- November 4, 8:45 pm. State Theatre
- November 9, 8:30 pm. Ritz Randwick Cinema
- November 13, 6:15 pm. Dendy Newtown.
Night Raiders is a thrilling sci-fi Indigenous tale of resistance from Danis Goulet and executive produced by Taika Waititi. It tells a story set in the not-too-distant future where all children are property of the state and they are forced to fight in wars for draining resources.
- November 4, 7:00 pm. Dendy Newtown
- November 7, 3:00 pm. Ritz Cinema Randwick
Incarceration Nation tells the eye-opening story about Australia’s appalling history of Indigenous incarceration. First Nations filmmaker Dean Gibson takes us into our prison system’s deplorable history and interviews experts, victims and families.
Screening: November 10, 6:15 pm. Event Cinemas George St.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
The Eyes of Tammy Faye stars Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield star in the story of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker who created the world’s largest religious TV network with her husband in the ’70s and ’80s.
- November 3, 6:00 pm. Hayden Orpheum Cremorne.
- November 14, 6:00 pm. Event Cinemas George St.
Everyone remembers the 2019-20 Australian bushfires. Oscar-winning filmmaker Eva Orner takes a look at the dark side of this event and Australia’s terrible record on climate action in her documentary Burning.
- November 6, 3:15 pm. State Theatre.
- November 8, 6:00 pm. Hayden Orpheum Cremorne.
This is just a sample of the amazing film lineup from the 2021 Sydney Film Festival. You can check out the full festival program here.
If you miss out on a cinema session for one of the films don’t despair! Sydney Film Festival is also bringing back its streaming on-demand platform which allows audiences to pay a fee to rent and watch selected films at home.