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.

Beyond Utopia

Directed by Madeleine Gavin
115 minutes
Unclassified 15+
A family of five attempt a dramatic journey from North Korea to freedom, painting a devastating portrait of life under an oppressive regime. Audience Award winner, Sundance 2023.
South Korean Pastor Seungeun Kim uses an underground network to rescue North Korean defectors who’ve make the hazardous trip across the Yalu River into China. Time is of the essence – if the Chinese authorities find them, they will be returned to face severe punishment. When the pastor hears of a family, including two children and a grandparent, in hiding he rushes to help. The family embarks on a treacherous journey wherein their understanding of the West is consistently challenged, revealing much about their repressive homeland. Director Madeleine Gavin’s prize-winning documentary, packed with hidden camera footage, is consistently gripping and totally unforgettable.

New sessions added – Back by Popular Demand
We’re bringing 13 of the most-loved and sold-out films back by popular demand, for another four days after Closing Night until Thursday 22 June! Single tickets on sale now. Flexipass redeems are not available for these special post-Festival sessions. Short films do not screen with Back by Popular Demand sessions.
Unforgiving, high-stakes and clear-eyed about the devastatingly brainwashing powers of elongated oppression, Beyond Utopia will be talked about well into the awards season with its extraordinary vision.
Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar
A gripping, moving, sweatily tense documentary that prises open the hidden fiefdom of Kim Jong-un through the misfortunate citizens fighting for their lives trying to escape it.
Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International


Fri 9 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 1
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Sat 17 Jun
Event Cinemas George Street - Cinema 9
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Tue 20 Jun
Dendy Newtown - Cinema 1
Assisted Listening
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
International Documentaries
Unclassified 15+
In Korean and English with English subtitles
Madeleine Gavin
Jana Edelbaum, Rachel Cohen, Sue Mi Terry
Kim Hyun-seok
Madeleine Gavin
Australian Premiere
Festival Award Winners, Documentary, Politics & Economics, Human Rights, Asia, By Popular Demand
Company Credits
Australian Distributor: Madman Entertainment
Clear Cart

Your in cinema cart is empty.

View over 500 sessions to find the right films and events for you!

Browse In Cinema Program

Check out our list of films showing in your area

Browse Films

Donate Today
Help us bring you the best in cinema worldwide.
Booking Fee

Your planner helps you schedule your entire SFF experience. It shows sessions you've saved, purchased or added to your cart in a helpful timeline.

Sign in or register to save your planner!

Your planner is empty.

Use your planner to create your own unique SFF Experience

Browse Films & Events