Sydney Film Festival: Summer Season

Film, Film festivals
Simon Baker and Jacob Junior Nayinggu on horseback in Australian Western High Ground
Photograph: Supplied/Madman

Time Out says

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For one weekend only, movies return to the grand surrounds of the State Theatre during Sydney Festival this summer

The Sydney Film Festival (SFF), the pinnacle of the city’s cinema-loving scene, had to head online in 2020, but returns to its spiritual home –  the glamorous surrounds of the State Theatre – for their first ever team up with Sydney Festival.

Bringing the popcorn across the weekend of Friday January 15, 2021, to Sunday January 17 SFF director Nashen Moodley presents a small but perfectly formed capsule program of five fantastic films. You’ll be able to find out more about the incredible vision of local dance heroes the Page brothers in opening night doco Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra, directed by Wayne Blair (The Sapphires, Top End Wedding) and Nel Minchin (Matilda & Me).

Simon Baker joins Jacob Junior Nayinggul and Jack Thompson in tense Australian western High Ground. Inspired by true events and shot in the stunning surrounds of Kakadu National Park the film, by director Stephen Maxwell Johnson (Yolngu Boy), debuted at Berlinale earlier this year.

Always startlingly good, Hannibal lead Mads Mikkelsen re-teams with Danish director Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt) to play an alcoholic high school teacher in Another Round. Don’t miss last orders on this one. Feisty doco Girls Can’t Surf proves exactly the opposite with this brilliant doco looking at the renegades from Australia and beyond who broke down blokey barriers in the sport they made their own.

It’s not often that critics and the cinema going public are on the same page, but Lee Isaac Chung’s intimate portrait of a Korean-American family, Minari, took home both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance at the start of the year. Look out for Burning and The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun as a man determined to achieve the American Dream.

It’s a treat to see the fest go IRL again, with tickets $24 each, or $92.50 for the lot.

By: Time Out editors

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