Scroll down for fascinating chats with the filmmakers and stars we brought along to the 2016 festival - and stay tuned for interviews to come with our 2017 guests!
Boo Junfeng and Raymond Phathanavirangoon, APPRENTICE
“I think in any society that agrees with the death penalty, every person is complicit, and I think the audience needs to respond to it. And I think the way the film ends allows the audience to respond to it.”
Writer and Director BOO JUNFENG and producer RAYMOND PHATHANAVIRANGOON talk about the huge undertaking of their Official Competition film APPRENTICE.
Conor Horgan and Rory O'Neill, THE QUEEN OF IRELAND
"Individuals have the power to change things, sometimes, in the most unexpected ways – when they least expect it."
Superstar drag queen PANTI BLISS and filmmaker CONOR HOGAN talk about Ireland's long march to marriage equality in THE QUEEN OF IRELAND.
Morgan Neville, THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
Documentary-maker MORGAN NEVILLE won an Oscar for his tribute to overlooked back-up singers, 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, in 2013. Here he talks about bringing together a diverse group of talented musicians led by prodigal cellist Yo-Yo Ma for his most recent project, which is no less of a musical delight.
Peter Middleton, NOTES ON BLINDNESS
"What starts as a story of loss and grief then becomes on of rebirth and renewal as John comes to see blindness as this dark and paradoxical gift."
Co-director PETER MIDDLETON chats about creating a cinematic representation of blindness for his Sydney Film Prize contender NOTES ON BLINDNESS.
Paddy Breathnach, VIVA
"After the first screening, I just felt that energy coming out of the cinema ... the film just spoke for itself."
Director PADDY BREATHNACH opens up about his Havana-set drag queen drama VIVA, screening in Official Competition on the 17th and 18th of June.
Sascha Ettinger Epstein & Kylene Anderson, DESTINATION ARNOLD
"Of course in documentaries most things go awry, so it ended up being a long odyssey following a failure."
Director SASCHA ETTINGER EPSTEIN and body-builder KYLENE ANDERSON discuss the long journey to DESTINATION ARNOLD.
Craig Boreham & Miles Szanto, TEENAGE KICKS
"This film goes into the struggles and hard times people can face while they're working themselves out ... just know that it's not always easy for everybody, and there are other people who have similar experiences."
Director CRAIG BOREHAM and star MILES SZANTO talk about the hard side of growing up and their queer teen drama TEENAGE KICKS.
Filmmaker Interviews: Nicolette Krebitz, WILD
"It really all started with a dream. I had a dream that something or someone was following me, and I heard breathing and noises ... I had this dream over and over again."
German director NICOLETTE KREBITZ chats with us about the inspiration behind her outlandish bestial romance story WILD.
Ian Darling, SUZY & THE SIMPLE MAN
"Like so often happens, something comes along and changes their world dramatically."
Eight years ago, Ian Darling set out to make a documentary about a Victorian couple living off-the-grid. The path his film Suzy & the Simple Man (Sydney Film Festival 2016) led him down was twisting and unpredictable to say the least.
Kleber Mendonça Filho, AQUARIUS
"I see the film almost as a time machine ... It's very much about the past, the present and the future."
Aquarius director Kleber Mendonça Filho spoke to Sydney Film Festival about his spellbinding new movie.
Filmmaker Interviews: Mirjana Karanović, A GOOD WIFE
"I wanted to emotionally touch the people in the audience, because I think emotions are a good stimulant for the mind."
MIRJANA KARANOVIÇ was inspired by real-life war crimes to create a complex humanist drama in the acclaimed A Good Wife, which she both directed and starred in.
Filmmaker Interviews: Sam McKeith, BEAST
Australian Film Television and Radio School alumnus SAM MCKEITH was about to start production on his debut feature Beast in the Philippines, but his team still hadn't cast a lead. They sent a producer to scout for talent at local boxing rings, and here he chats about who they found.