Our Picks for Sydney Film Festival in Cinemas and Online Nationwide


With cinemas reopening throughout New South Wales from 11 October, Sydneysiders will soon be jumping for joy at their newly reclaimed freedoms. Traditionally held in June, Sydney Film Festival will run this year from 3-14 November with an incredible program of local and international cinema. Just the ticket to get that cultural hit you’ve been craving!

And they won’t be the only ones to benefit – this year, the festival will include an online portion of the program, which means that ANYONE IN AUSTRALIA can rent from their stellar online program. Thanks Sydney!

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Check out the On-Demand Program!



Mary Hussain converted to Islam when she married Ahmed, and is now in her early 60s. Following his unexpected death, she discovers that he had a secret life just twenty-one miles away from their Dover home, across the Channel in Calais. The shocking discovery compels her to go there to find out more.

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Exec produced by Cate Blanchett, Greek writer-director Christos Nikou’s debut feature is a surreal and enigmatic exploration of identity and reality. As a sweeping pandemic causes people to develop sudden amnesia, a man finds himself enrolled in a recovery program. His treatment: performing daily tasks prescribed by his doctors on cassette tape, and capturing these new memories with a Polaroid camera.

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Former NRL star, Dean Widders, is a man on a mission to bring an Indigenous Australian pre-game ‘unity dance’ to the game, matching the haka of their Maori counterparts, and enhancing First Nations pride more broadly.

Featuring several NRL greats, prominent First Nations figures like Stan Grant and Adam Goodes, and the Bangarra Dance Theatre, ARAATIKA: RISE UP! is the story of one man’s determination and a spirited call-to-arms to stand behind Indigenous Australia.

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An unlikely team of Zimbabwean refugees turned sommeliers shake up the international wine establishment when they compete in the World Wine Tasting Championships. BLIND AMBITION is an inspiring underdog story for the ages.

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In the late summer along the Australian coast, Bosch, a young father goes on the run for drug dealing with his surf gang. In tow is his teenage son, Rockit, who believes he is on a magical holiday with his father. BOSCH & ROCKIT, will journey through boyhood and manhood in an unforgettable true story about love, forgiveness and magic.

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If you're in Sydney, soak up the joys of the big screen experience!


This film is an endeavour to consider cows. To move us closer to them. To see both their beauty and the challenge of their lives. Not in a romantic way but in a real way. It’s a film about one dairy cow’s reality and acknowledging her great service to us.

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Described as a cross between ancient mythology and a spacey acid trip, following its win of the NEXT Innovator Award at Sundance. As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a baku (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature), they must decide whether to hide these rare beasts, or display them in the confines of a zoo.

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Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival and winner of the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, FLEE weaves together a stunning tapestry of images and memories to tell the deeply affecting story of a man grappling with his traumatic past in order to find his true self and the real meaning of home.

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In the depths of an ancient forest, something has been growing. Something older than humanity itself, and perhaps greater too. When a park ranger discovers a strange man and his son living wild, she stumbles onto a secret that is about to change the world.

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In post-war Germany, Hans is imprisoned again and again for being homosexual. The one steady relationship in his life becomes his long time cell mate, Viktor, a convicted murderer. What starts as revulsion grows into something called love.

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Nominated for two BAFTA awards, LIMBO is a funny and poignant cross-cultural satire that subtly sews together the hardship and hope of the refugee experience. Omar is a promising young musician. Separated from his Syrian family, he is stuck on a remote Scottish island awaiting the fate of his asylum request.

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From the extraordinary mind of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, MEMORIA centres on a Scottish woman who, after hearing a strange banging sound at daybreak, begins to experience a bizarre sensory syndrome while she’s traveling through the jungles of Colombia.

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Paris, 13th District today. Emilie meets Camille, who is attracted to Nora, who crosses the path of Amber. Three girls and a boy redefine what modern love is.

Palme d’or winner Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bones, Dheepan) is back with an adaptation of the graphic novel Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine, a modern tale of love and friendship, co-written with Léa Mysius and Céline Sciamma and filmed in a sumptuous black and white.

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Acclaimed director Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire – winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes and the Audience Award at MIFF 2019) returns with a delicate tale of childhood and an intergenerational connection that crosses through time.

As eight-year-old Nelly adjusts to the passing of her grandmother, she befriends a young girl in the forest, striking up an intimate friendship with this mysterious yet somehow very familiar girl. Using its beguiling premise to explore the complexity of mother–daughter relationships, this highlight of the 2021 Berlinale competition is a sensitive portrayal of the yearnings and anxieties of pre-adolescence with a touch of magic realism.

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Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Verite Filmmaking Special Jury Award at Sundance. Zimbabwe is at a crossroads – the new leader of the opposition party, Nelson Chamisa, is challenging the old guard, the acting president Emmerson Mnangagwa, also known as ‘the crocodile’. The election will be the ultimate test for both the ruling party and for the opposition. How will they interpret the principles of democracy in a post-Mugabe era – in discourse and in practice?

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A profound cinematic and musical reflection on how rivers have shaped both the planet’s elaborate landscapes and all human existence. RIVER is the sequel to the 2017 hit documentary MOUNTAIN, reuniting the creative team of director Jennifer Peedom, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, narrator Willem Dafoe and writer Robert Macfarlane.

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Watch Sydney Film Festival's online program anywhere in Australia!


Hot off its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival, THE JUSTICE OF BUNNY KING stars the much-loved Essie Davis (Babyteeth, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and rising star Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit, Leave No Trace).Bunny King is a mother of two, a rough-cut diamond with a sketchy past. While battling the system to reunite with her children, a confrontation leads her to take her niece Tonyah under her wing. With the world against her and Tonyah, Bunny’s battle has just begun.

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From Academy Award-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), THE RESCUE is the edge-of-your-seat account of the rescue of 12 Thai school boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave system in 2018.

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Winner of the Best Actress Award in main competition Cannes 2021. Julie is turning thirty and her life is an existential mess. THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD is an intelligent and witty look at navigating the complex world of dating and relationships.

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Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. In four thematically connected episodes centred around the death penalty, critically acclaimed Iranian director, Mohammad Rasoulof, tells the stories of four men faced with an unthinkable but simple choice. Whatever they decide holds the power to corrode themselves, their relationships, their entire lives.

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The latest masterpiece from Christian Petzold, director of Barbara and Transit. Winner of the prestigious FIPRESCI Award and the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival, UNDINE is a bold reimagining of an ancient myth. Undine is a historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. When the man she loves leaves her, the myth catches up with her. Undine must kill the man who betrayed her and return to the water she once came from.

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In a cluttered news landscape dominated by men, emerges India’s only newspaper run by Dalit (‘low caste’) women. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her journalists break traditions, redefining what it means to be powerful. Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival, WRITING WITH FIRE is an eye-opening and inspiring documentary you won’t want to miss.

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