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.

Director’s Lab

SFF's Young Patron Program
$1,200+ support level, includes a tax-deductible component of $1,000

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The Director’s Lab brings together young Sydney philanthropists, filmmakers, and film-lovers to support Sydney Film Festival as a vital platform for emerging creative voices. Director’s Lab donation support SFF’s short film program, which kick-started the careers of such Australian film industry luminaries as Jane Campion DNZM, Phil Noyce, Gillian Armstrong AM, Warwick Thornton, Kriv Stenders and Chris Noonan. The Festival provides both a prestigious showcase for emerging filmmakers, and it facilitates important industry connections for them to further their careers.



Director’s Lab Patronage includes a 10-ticket Flexipass, two tickets to the special screening of the Dendy Short Film Awards finalists and invitation to the after-party, plus access to the Festival’s ticketing concierge service, with reserved seats available for purchase to all of the Festival’s premiere events.


Director’s Lab Patrons enjoy an elevated Festival experience, with a VIP pass into all Festival venues, ability to move directly to the front of any queue as well as unlimited access to the VIP lounge in the Festival Hub.


In appreciation of their support, Director’s Lab Patrons are invited to exclusive events during the Festival and throughout the year, bringing them even closer to filmmakers and building their own networks within the SFF community!

What our Director’s Lab ambassadors say

I’ve had some wonderful experiences seeing short films at the Sydney Film Festival over the years as well as screening some of my own. Short films are a great way to show your voice, tone and storytelling ability as well as learn and build your confidence as a young filmmaker. – Nash Edgerton

Winning the Rouben Mamoulian Award at the Sydney Film Festival in 2012 had such a huge impact on my early career, not only was I able to invest the cash prize into future work but more significantly it generated great interest in my film and myself as a filmmaker. I formed relationships with industry peers through being a Dendy finalist and being on the Dendy Jury the following year that have resulted in long term creative collaborations. I’m very grateful to have had that experience. – Mirrah Foulkes

I’ve attended the Sydney Film Festival for more than half my life – the perfect way to spend a winter! And when I dabbled in making shorts, I looked at selection in the Dendy Awards as the holy grail. For a short filmmaker in Australia, there aren’t too many things that are more prestigious. So, it’s an absolute honour for me to be an Ambassador for the Director’s Lab supporting the SFF Short Film Program. – Damon Herriman

It’s always a special feeling to have your film premiere at home (in Australia) and I’ve had some wonderful experiences at Sydney Film Festival at the beautiful State Theatre. Having such a prestigious festival for young filmmakers to aspire to and where their work can be shown on the big screen the way it was made to be seen, is so important for our industry and for the future of great storytelling and great filmmaking. – Mia Wasikowska 


$1,200 per year OR $100 per month*


Donate the full amount ahead of the Festival each year or ask us to process your gift in monthly or quarterly instalments.


Buys a Flexi10 pass to book 10 tickets during the Festival via the VIP concierge service plus two tickets to the Dendy Award finalists screening and invitation to meet the filmmakers afterwards.

*minimum commitment of 12 months

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Thank you to our Director’s Lab Patrons

Drew Bailey, Annmaree Bell and John Frank, Diana Burnett, Jessica Carrera, Jean-Marc Carriol, Anna Cleary, Constellation Creatives, Sophie Cox, Brendan Donoghue, Elissa Down, Entropico, Rupert and Caitlin Forwood, Alison Fowler, Donna Frost, Vince Frost, Antaine Furlong, Anthony Igra, Amanda Jermyn and Elly Clapin, Amanda Maple-Brown, McGregor Casting, David Michôd, Stephanie Pringle, Susan Prior,  Ezekiel Simat, Alyson Standen, Kelly Vincent, Frances Wallace, Alice Yang, Jo Yeldham, Anonymous (1)

Get in touch

For enquiries about the Director’s Patrons program, please contact Head of Philanthropy, Eden Tollis:

Email: eden.tollis@sff.org.au
Phone: (02) 8220 6612

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