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Sydney Film Festival 2021 releases its jam-packed program

Sydney Film Festival has revealed a huge lineup after several setbacks caused by COVID outbreaks and restrictions.

It will be the first major festival for Sydney audiences post-lockdown and will feature 233 films from 69 countries, with 111 features, 50 documentaries and 72 short films. 

Kicking off on November 3 the festival will run for 12 days, featuring films from Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox), Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star), Frederick Wiseman (Titicut Follies), Oliver Hermanus (Moffie) and Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) just to name a few. 

Still from Oliver Hermanus’ Moffie. Image: SFF

Traditionally the festival is held in June, but was pushed back twice, first to August and then November with extended lockdowns threatening to cancel the festival for the year altogether.

“With major disruptions in cinema releases, the Festival selection brings together some of the best films of the last two years; extraordinary works from major award-winners to some of the most anticipated films of the year.” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said.

While the 2020 festival was hosted online, this year the event will be available both online and in person.

For those looking to watch online, SFF On Demand will run from Friday, November 12 to Sunday, November 21, with 56 feature-length films and 13 shorts available to watch digitally.

In a first, the festival is introducing a $10,000 sustainable future award, which is to be presented to a narrative or documentary film that deepens knowledge and awareness of the global climate emergency.

The award, which has been funded by climate activists, is philanthropically motivated.

Eight documentaries from around the world have been shortlisted for the prize, including Orner’s Burning and fellow Aussie titles, Justin Krook and Luke Mazzaferro’s A Fire Inside and Jen Peedom and Joseph Nizeti’s River.

The official festival venues for 2021 include: The State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Cinemas Newtown, Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, Ritz Cinema Randwick, Casula Powerhouse, Palace Central Broadway, Palace Chauvel Cinema Paddington and Palace Norton Street Leichhardt. 

To buy tickets and find out more about the program visit https://www.sff.org.au.