Guests at SFF

The 64TH Sydney Film Festival announces Korean-American actor and The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun will join director and 2017 Cannes Palme d'Or contender Bong Joon-ho, and Australian actor Daniel Henshall (Snowtown) at the Sydney Film Festival in June (7-18).  Their film Okja will premiere at the Festival, direct from sparking controversy in Cannes.

The Festival also reveals former New Zealand Prime Minister and UN Secretary-General candidate Helen Clark will attend with director-producer Gaylene Preston for the World Premiere of her documentary My Year with Helen.

These Festival guests join an incredible line-up with some of the world’s most exciting filmmakers and industry stars, both local and international. 

Festival audiences can see and hear from Oscar-winning actor and political activist Vanessa Redgrave, Hollywood based Emmy-winning actor Ben Mendelsohn, Cannes-winning Indigenous director Warwick Thornton, 2017 Berlinale Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize winner Alain Gomis, 2017 Berlinale Golden Bear winner Ildikó Enyedi, Australian director-writer-producer David Wenham, Red Dog director Kriv Stenders, and acclaimed Indigenous actor and director Wayne Blair.

These luminaries and many more will join audiences at the premieres of their films, in talks, panels and at Q&A sessions. The Hub at Town Hall will also host FREE Meet the Filmmaker talks: a collaboration between the Sydney Film Festival and Vivid Ideas, part of the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, Vivid Sydney.



Okja

A young girl fights to save her best friend, a gigantic animal named Okja, in the great Korean director Bong Joon-ho's Cannes Competition contender starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and An Seo-hyun.

My Year With Helen

The story of an exceptional woman: New Zealand's first elected female Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and her campaign to become United Nations' first ever-female Secretary-General

Sea Sorrow

At the age of 80, Oscar-winning actor and political activist Vanessa Redgrave has directed her first film, a heartfelt response to the refugee crisis. Selected for Cannes 2017.

We Don't Need a Map

Filmmaker Warwick Thornton investigates our relationship to the Southern Cross, in this fun and thought provoking ride through Australia's cultural and political landscape.

Chauka Please Tell Us The Time

Manus Island is the setting for this unique collaboration between an Iranian-Kurdish journalist detainee and an Iranian-Dutch filmmaker, made with footage from a mobile phone.

One Thousand Ropes

A Samoan man with a violent and tragic past seeks reconciliation with his estranged daughter in a fantasy-tinged tale of family, redemption and the power of forgiveness.

RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

A stomping tribute to Native American musicians, crammed with concert footage, celebrating their weighty yet unheralded contribution to music, from Hendrix to Metallica.

Window Horses - The Poetic Persian Epiphany Of Rosie Ming

A charming feature from one of Canada's best loved, award winning animators, Ann Marie Fleming, voiced by Sandra Oh, Ellen Page and Don McKellar.

I Am Not Your Negro

Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerising Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.

Wolf and Sheep

This debut feature by a groundbreaking Afghan woman director, a Cannes Director's Fortnight-winner, is an extraordinarily daring and rare view of Afghan rural life and mythology.

On Body and Soul

Winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear, On Body and Soul is about the unconventional romance between two co-workers who discover that each night they have exactly the same dreams.

Félicité

Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale, this is a surprising, music-infused drama about a proud and spirited woman working as a singer in Kinshasa.

The Untamed

A creature of another world unleashes people's base sexual impulses in this imaginative meld of social realism and erotic sci-fi which won the Venice Silver Lion for Best Director.

The Other Side of Hope

Aki Kaurismäki's new film is a funny and melancholic tale of the friendship between a Syrian refugee and a Helsinki restaurant-owner. Berlinale Silver Bear winner for Best Director.

The Levelling

Ellie Kendrick (Game of Thrones' Meera Reed) stars in this emotional drama set on a Somerset dairy farm beset with troubles.

House of Others

Winner of the East of the West Grand Prix at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, this is a visually stunning drama about two families struggling to adjust in a post-war world.

School Life

A spirited documentary featuring two soon-to-retire teachers at an Irish boarding school who view their charges with equal parts eccentricity and care.

When The Day Had No Name

A night out for a group of teenaged boys is the starting point for this devastating look at ethnic tensions and the effect of the cycle of violence on young Balkan men.

The Divine Order

Women of a small Swiss village band together to campaign for the women's right to vote, ahead of the crucial 1971 ballot, in this rousing, inspirational film.

Madame

World Premiere: Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel, Rossy de Palma and Michael Smiley star in this romantic comedy about an unexpected love affair that starts at dinner and spreads to the Paris streets.

Spookers

If you've ever wondered what possesses someone to work as a creepy clown or zombie bride and scare the hell out of theme park visitors, then Spookers has the answers.

Lust For Sight

When a filmmaker is told by his doctor that he can't see colours, he sets out to define what it means to see. The knowledge that he may lose it all fuels his lust for sight.

Hotel Salvation

An old man drags his busy son to Varanasi so that he may die and attain salvation there in a comedy about death that, at heart, is a delightful, poignant celebration of life.

By the Time it Gets Dark

The exciting rise of Thai experimental cinema continues with Anocha Suwichakornpong’s surreal meditation on the passage of time and the quest for truth.

Holy Air

In this clever comedy, a Nazareth businessman must negotiate with the holy city's rulers, gangsters and his own family when he tries one last idea to get rich, selling 'holy air'.

Mrs K

A wildly enjoyable Tarantino-esque martial arts thriller. Veteran Hong Kong action star Kara Wai returns in kick-ass form as a housewife taking on the underworld.

Ordinary People

Winner of the People's Choice award at Venice, this humanist drama follows two destitute teenage parents whose baby is kidnapped on the chaotic streets of Manila.

Vaya

Stranger than fiction, the true stories at the heart of Akin Omotosoi's Vaya came out of a writing workshop for homeless people in Johannesburg.

White Sun

Two brothers separated by political beliefs must come together to bury their father in this finely-crafted look at Nepali's difficult rebirth after decades of war and unrest.

An Insignificant Man

A captivating portrait of political leader Arvind Kejriwal, aka “The Bernie Sanders of India”, filmed over one extremely eventful year as he seeks to disrupt Indian politics.

Motherland

A vibrant Sundance award-winning Filipino documentary filmed in the busiest maternity hospital in the world, that reveals an overcrowded, hectic and yet profoundly humane environment.

Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves

Best Canadian Film at the Toronto Film Festival: an extraordinary, audacious film about four Quebec students who take protest to the verge of terrorism.

Una

Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn star in this emotionally powerful debut by Australian and international theatre director Benedict Andrews.

Ellipsis

David Wenham’s feature film directorial debut is a touching love letter to Sydney. This World Premiere is an improvised experiment about the random meeting of two strangers.

Australia Day

On Australia Day three young people from diverse cultural backgrounds are running scared. Kriv Stenders (Red Dog) takes a hard look at the frayed edges of Australian society.

The Go-Betweens: Right Here

The intensely passionate, creative and fraught set of relationships that formed one of the most loved bands in Australian rock history is explored in this classy documentary.

Patti Cake$

Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald is sensational as Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper from New Jersey who's determined to make her mark on the music scene.

Cleverman Season 2: Episodes 1 & 2

The top-notch team and cast behind the critically acclaimed Cleverman return for the second season with their innovative blend of mythology and futuristic thrills.

The Opposition

A David-and-Goliath battle over a slice of Papua New Guinea paradise, Hollie Fifer's documentary finally reaches our screens following court action in Australia.

Blue

The world premiere of an invigorating Australian documentary: a beautifully crafted wake up call to the state of the earth’s oceans, dedicated to creating awareness and change.

Chasing Coral

The Great Barrier Reef takes centre stage in this Sundance winner that raises awareness of the dire fate of coral reefs by filming the phenomenon “coral bleaching”.

In My Own Words

The raw, heartfelt and often funny journey of adult Aboriginal students and their teachers as they discover the transformative power of reading and writing for the first time.

Connection to Country

The Indigenous people of the Pilbara battle to preserve Australia’s 40,000-year-old cultural heritage from the ravages of a booming mining industry.

Mountain

An epic cinematic and musical collaboration between Sherpa filmmaker Jennifer Peedom and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, that explores humankind's fascination with high places.

That's Not Me

An aspiring actor takes advantage of her identical twin sister's success and fame in this hilarious Australian indie influenced by Girls and Bridesmaids.

Ali's Wedding

Ali’s arranged marriage is looming, but he loves someone else. What’s a Muslim cleric’s son to do? This Australian comedy won an AWGIE for Best Original Screenplay.

Pulse

Pulse is the ambitious debut of the talented Daniel Monks, who writes and stars in this body swap drama blending sci-fi with sexual teen angst and identity crisis.

Defiant Lives

The history of the disability rights movement, featuring a litany of impressive activists determined to create a world where everyone, regardless of impairment, is valued and can participate fully.

The Pink House

The story of Kalgoorlie's last original gold rush brothel, servicing the miners since 1904, through the eyes of the whimsical Madam Carmel, 70, and its longest-serving lady of the night, BJ.

Virtual Reality at the Hub

Open your mind and expand your imagination with Japanese robots, dance battles on the streets of Sydney, an Antarctic dive and more. Don a virtual reality headset and transport yourself.

Lady Macbeth

The arranged marriage between beautiful Katherine and wealthy landowner Alexander is the beginning of a gripping and violent psychodrama that's far from a traditional bodice-ripper.

Hope Road

In the latest film from festival favourite Tom Zubrycki, a South Sudan refugee returns to his village to build a school, but his ambitious plans are challenged when life intervenes.

OtherLife

An inventive sci-fi thriller with a complex woman protagonist, OtherLife is the exciting new film from talented Australian director Ben C. Lucas (Wasted on the Young, SFF 2010).

Barbecue

An epic, mouth-watering celebration of the tradition of barbecuing across the world: from South African braais and Texan pitmasters to a New Zealand hangi.

The Last Goldfish

A daughter's search for her lost family stretches from Australia to Trinidad and WWII Germany. Rich with archival images, Su Goldfish's autobiographical documentary echoes through all those touched by forced migration.

PACmen

‘PACmen’ takes us into the inside workings of a Super-PAC to answer one of the lingering questions of America's strangest election: why did Ben Carson run for president?

Roller Dreams

Venice Beach, CA, 1984, and the birth of a new phenomenon: roller dancing! The beyond-hip talent draws massive crowds, but politics, money and gentrification conspire to end the dream.

Rip Tide

Disney star Debby Ryan makes her Australian film debut in this perfectly-pitched tween feature about surfing, romance and deciding what to do with your life.

The Sun at Midnight

An urban teen encounters a mystical hunter in this charming debut feature shot in Canada's magnificent, remote Northwest Territory.

Rocking the Foundations

A new restoration of Pat Fiske's outstanding 1985 documentary on a NSW union's past endeavours to preserve Sydney's parks, neighbourhoods and historical buildings

The Well

Repressed desires surface in this haunting psychological drama with Pamela Rabe and Miranda Otto. This Australian classic deserves rediscovery 20 years after its Cannes premiere.

Suffragette City: Sydney, Feminism & Film

Women filmmakers from the three Feminism & Film programs talk with curator Susan Charlton about Sydney in the 1970s and ’80s; philosophy, pleasure and politics; collectives, collaborations and film co-ops; feminism/s and filmmaking – then and now.