We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose Country SFF are based.
We honour the storytelling and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Sydney Film Festival and COVID-19 safety.

Why do ticketholders need to be fully vaccinated before they can enter a venue?

The NSW Government has mandated that only fully vaccinated patrons, or those with medical exemptions,  may – at this time – enter entertainment venues, including theatres and cinemas.

The safety of our audiences, volunteers, guests and staff is of paramount importance. Safety management relies on a suite of consistent measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and vaccination is one of the most effective measures available.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

Fully vaccinated means anyone over 16 years old who has had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

What is a medical exemption?

A medical exemption is given by a medical professional via a contraindication certificate. This certificate would need to be sighted at the venue on the day of using a valid ticket, to make the holder eligible to enter the venue.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated at the time of booking tickets?

No. It is not an imperative to be vaccinated at the time of booking, as long as you are confident that you will be vaccinated at the time of the session you are attending. Vaccination status will not be checked at the time of booking.

Refunds are not available for not meeting the entry eligibility, as stated here and by the NSW Government.

When will I need to be fully vaccinated in order to attend a screening?

For the 2021 Festival you must be fully vaccinated before you arrive at the cinema. All attendees will have their vaccination status checked at entry, so we recommend you are familiar with how to show your vaccination certificate or proof of exemption.

What if I cannot get vaccinated?

We appreciate that not everyone has access to be vaccinated. We require all attendees aged 16 years and older to be fully vaccinated to attend the 2021 festival in cinemas.. Those under 16 may attend with fully vaccinated adults.

If you are not able to be vaccinated, or do not hold a contraindication certificate signed by a medical professional, you can still take part in the Festival On Demand from 12 – 21 November.

Are SFF and venue staff and volunteers also vaccinated?


How will you know that I’m fully vaccinated?

There are a number of ways to access your COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.

We anticipate that by the time the Festival is on, your Vaccine Passport will be integrated into the Service NSW QR Check In on arrival at the theatre. Our COVID Safe Marshals will sight your check in and ensure you’re safe to enter.

Your vaccination certificate is also available from the Medicare express app, and can be added to your Apple Wallet.

Any visitor to our venues who is not fully vaccinated and does not have a contraindication certificate will be denied entry for safety reasons.

If the Government changes its stance on vaccination before or doing the 2021 Festival, will you change your policy?

No. To provide confidence and certainty to people who have already purchased tickets or have agreed to work under the current conditions, we will maintain the requirement for ticket holders, volunteers and staff to be fully vaccinated for the remainder of the Festival.

When will you confirm if vaccination is a requirement for 2022 Festival attendance?

We will review our vaccination policy in early 2022 for the 2022 Festival launch, taking into account vaccination government guidelines and advise relevant at the time.

If I am unable to produce proof of vaccination status at time of attendance, will I be entitled to a refund?

Please do not book tickets for 2021 performances if you will not be fully vaccinated by the time of your attendance.

Every effort will be made to accommodate reasonable exchange or return requests, however vaccination is a clear condition of entry for 2021 so would not automatically entitle you to a refund.

Why doesn’t social distancing apply inside the auditorium?

Cinema seating arrangements operate as per Public Health Order requirements which do not require social distancing inside the auditorium.

Numerous other safety measures are in place within the theatre including; mandatory face masks and significantly reduced audience capacities.

Still have questions?

Please contact us at info@sff.org.au or call +61 2 8220 6600.

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