The momentous 70th Sydney Film Festival program will be officially launched in June 2023 by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, featuring a bumper line-up that will include the Australian premieres of new films such as Warwick Thornton’s latest masterpiece, “The New Boy,” starring Cate Blanchett; Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City”; Celine Song’s highly anticipated “Past Lives”; as well as films directly from the Cannes Competition by masters Aki Kaurismäki, Wim Wenders, and Kore-eda Hirokazu. The Festival will showcase a dynamic and expansive line-up of both emerging and established filmmakers from around the world, offering thought-provoking films that invite audiences to reflect on our shared humanity and contemplate the possibilities that lie ahead.

The festival program will include a total of 239 films from 67 countries, featuring 37 World Premieres and 123 Australian Premieres. It will bring together hundreds of new international and local stories, with more announcements yet to come. The program will consist of 90 narrative feature films, including prestigious international festival prize-winners, and 54 documentaries that tackle crucial contemporary issues.

Taraneh Alidoosti in and Iranian film Subtraction (2023)
Taraneh Alidoosti in an Iranian film Subtraction (2023), dir. Mani Haghighi

Special presentations at the State Theatre will provide the ultimate Sydney Film Festival experience, showcasing a range of films from hard-hitting documentaries to indie hits. Films straight from their premieres at the Cannes Film Festival will include Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City,” Anurag Kashyap‘s noirish thriller “Kennedy,” Wim Wenders’ Japan-set “Perfect Days,” Amat Escalante’s tense Mexican thriller “Lost in the Night,” and Kleber Mendonça Filho’s cinematic love letter to family and filmmaking, “Pictures of Ghosts.”y

The 2023 Festival will open with the Australian Premiere of “The New Boy,” a captivating new film by Cannes Caméra d’Or winning Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton, starring Cate Blanchett, Deborah Mailman, Wayne Blair, and newcomer Aswan Reid. The Official Competition will award the $60,000 cash Sydney Film Prize to a film that demonstrates audacious, cutting-edge, and courageous cinema. Australian films competing will include the Opening Night film “The New Boy” and the World Premiere of “The Dark Emu Story,” a revelatory documentary exploring the ground-breaking work of Bruce Pascoe.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

The Documentary Australia Award will feature ten documentaries, including World Premieres such as “The Defenders,” “The Cape,” and “Isabel Darling’s The Carnival,” as well as Australian Premieres like “Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)” and “Rachel’s Farm.” The Festival will also present an exceptional line-up of award-winning films from around the world, showcasing diverse talent and compelling storytelling.

Sakura Ando in Hirokazu Koreeda's Monster (2023)
Sakura Ando in Hirokazu Koreeda’s Monster (2023)

Throughout the Festival, audiences will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in cinema and celebrate everything the premier Sydney Film Festival has to offer. The Festival’s Closing Night Gala on Sunday, 18 June, will announce the winner of the Sydney Film Prize, a prestigious award judged by a jury of international and Australian filmmakers and industry professionals.

As the 70th Sydney Film Festival approaches, film enthusiasts and the city of Sydney eagerly anticipate the gathering of diverse perspectives and the collective snapshot of the global zeitgeist that the Festival will provide. It will be a platform for filmmakers and audiences to come together, fostering curiosity, passion, and a deeper understanding of our world.

Sydney Film Festival, 2023, Complete list of Programmes and Tickets

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