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How to celeb spot at Sydney Film Festival, from an 'inside source'

Written by Elise Cooper
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1 Start at the beginning: Opening Night!
A sure-fire way to spot someone more important than the receptionist for a distribution company is to go to world premieres. A large part of SFF is to screen “world firsts” and as such, the team (read: famous people/soon to be famous people) behind these films will almost definitely be at the screening of their movie wearing really beautiful clothes and smizing in a non-specific direction that you can move to so that they are staring at you.

2 Sydney Film Festival Hub
As the word hub denotes, the SFF Hub at Town Hall is not only a central part of the proverbial wheel that is Sydney Film Fest but it is the meeting point for all important and well dressed humans to launch themselves onto the cinema scene. Squeeze yourself in on any of the 11 days that it’s open and you will quite literally rub shoulders with the famous, soon-to-be-famous and wish-I-was-famous.

3 Booze brings us together!
Actors pretend to be confident. They are deeply insecure as their whole life hinges on how well their film is received. As such you can almost bet the coin jar on your desk on the likelihood of an actor drinking free rosé/cheap beer at the closest venue to any of the film screenings. Think Marble Bar for the State Theatre, Assembly Bar near George Street Event Cinemas, Opera Bar for Dendy Circular Quay, and literally any bar in Newtown for screenings at Dendy Newtown (side note: unlike on one-night stands, always be less drunk than the person you’re approaching).

SIDE NOTE: WHEN YOU SPOT A FAMOUS DON’T DO THIS

1 NO SCREENPLAYS PLEASE GOD
For the love of god don’t approach ANYONE with your screenplay. You will be FOREVER remembered as the clueless and desperate noob who carries their screenplay with them to parties.

2 STARE
Stare at them loudly proclaiming that you “know them from somewhere.” Of course you do – you’ve got the fragmented memories of Cheez TV running around you head and they desperately wish you didn’t.

3 RELEASE YOUR INNER AWKWARD 
The TV doesn’t work both ways. Enthusiastically waving will not inspire them to remember who you are because they’ve never seen you before. Just a cheeky side glance and a smirk like you have a secret; they don’t need to know that your secret is that you are desperately in love with the character they play.

Time Out's pick of the SFF is here.

Tickets to SFF can be purchased here.

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