Three new Australian films featured in Sydney Film Festival program teaser

The Plains.

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The 69th Sydney Film Festival today announced a sneak peek of 22 new films to be featured in this year’s 8 – 19 June 2022 event, including three new Australian films.

“This first taste of the Festival’s 2022 program gives audiences a snapshot of the selection and flavour of films featured in our first full-scale Festival since the pandemic began,” said Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley.

“The past few years have been tough for the film industry, with many films halting production across the globe. Now the world is starting to open back up again, we’re seeing a resurgence of gutsy, innovative and compelling storytelling. It’s an exciting time to be programming a film festival when there is such a wealth of ground-breaking films, giving audiences an opportunity to discover unique and timely stories from home, and across the world.”

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“The 22 films revealed today take us on a kaleidoscopic odyssey of the human experience. Travel across space and time with features about lovers bonding in virtual reality through the COVID-19 lockdowns, to rich Westerners behaving badly in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco, to a single mother liberated from her husband in 1980s Paris. And land back in Australia for tales of a millennial’s Instagram-obsessed hen’s weekend that goes very badly.”

“From an insightful documentary uncovering the struggles of the Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people to protect their Amazonian homeland to a real-life narrative following female street dancers training for Australia’s biggest dance competition, these films are indicative of the incredible local and international titles in this year’s program.”

Find out more about the films below. The full Sydney Film Festival program is announced on Wednesday 11 May 2022.

6 Festivals

Directed by Macario De Souza
Written by Macario De Souza, Sean Nash and Lou Sanz
Produced by Jade Van der Lei, Michael Wrenn and Shannon Wilson-McClinton
Featuring Rasmus King, Yasmin Honeychurch and Rory Potter

Three teen besties go to extremes to attend six music festivals in an uplifting film by Macario De Souza (Bra Boys) featuring some of Australia’s hottest acts performing live.

Maxie, Summer and James share a deep bond and love for music. James (Rory Potter) is the entrepreneur of the trio, his sights set on a career as a promoter. Summer (Yasmin Honeychurch) has an incredible singing voice. Maxie (Rasmus King, Bosch & Rockit, SFF 2021) is the maestro of mischief. When James receives a devastating diagnosis, the friends – each with burdens to bear – throw themselves into a whirlwind of festivals in an attempt to escape reality. Featuring top acts Dune Rats, G Flip, Bliss n Eso, B Wise, Peking Duk, Ruby Fields, Jerome Farah, Kobie Dee and more – and fantastic footage shot at actual festivals – 6 Festivals is a moving love letter to young friendship and the life-altering power of live music.

6 Festivals

Sissy

Directed by Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes
Written by Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes
Produced by Lisa Shaunessy, John De Margheriti, Jason Taylor, Bec Janek
Starring Aisha Dee, Daniel Monks and Emily De Margheriti

A SXSW success, this devilishly clever Aussie horror sees an influencer encounter her childhood tormentor on a hen’s weekend. Revenge is a dish best shared on Instagram.

Don’t call popular wellness advocate Cecilia “Sissy”. It’s an old nickname that triggers traumatic memories of school bully Alex, who drove a wedge between 12-year-old Cecilia and her bestie Emma. A decade later, Cecilia (a superb Aisha Dee) bumps into Emma, who invites Cecilia to her hen’s party at a remote bush property. What could go wrong at this happy reunion? Well, just about everything from the moment Cecilia comes face to face with Alex again and all revenge-fuelled hell breaks loose. Playing it fast, funny and gory, writer-director duo Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes subvert slasher film conventions while dishing up a scathing satire of influencer culture and approval addiction.

The Plains

Directed by David Easteal
Written by David Easteal
Produced by David Easteal
Starring Andrew Rakowski, David Easteal and Cheri LeCornu

Documentary and fiction converge in this intimate portrait of a middle-aged Australian driving home from work over the course of a year. In competition, Rotterdam.

There’s nothing in Australian cinema to compare with this remarkable first feature by filmmaker-barrister David Easteal. Filmed almost exclusively fom the back seat of a car that doubles as a safe space and confessional, this deceptively simple film is deeply layered and emotionally rewarding. The affable man at the wheel is Andrew Rakowski, a colleague Easteal met at a Melbourne legal centre. Over the course of Rakowski’s journeys from work to home – solo or with Easteal for company – we learn about the ups and downs of a man whose life story is anything but ordinary. Not a moment is wasted in this boldly conceived, cleverly executed and quietly compelling existential road movie.

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