The highly anticipated Sydney Film Festival program was officially launched this morning at Sydney’s Customs House. The film festival, now in its 61st year, will consist of 183 titles from over 47 countries and has had the World Movies team scurrying along to purchase Flexipasses.
Here are our top picks from the festival program:
20,000 Days on Earth
Drama and reality collide in this extraordinary portrait of musician and cultural icon Nick Cave. The film, directed by visual artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard follows Cave as he narrates his fictitious 20,000th day on Earth. This imaginative, intimate, daring and defying film will open the 61st Sydney Film Festival.
Black Coal, Thin Ice
Part of the Sydney Film Festival’s Official Selection Black Coal, Thin Ice won the prestigious Golden Bear at the Berlinale and is already causing hype as one of 2014’s must-see films. This film noir is a stylish and exhilarating look at a police investigation in contemporary China following a mysterious killing in the industrial north.
We’ve been excitedly anticipating the new film from director Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise) and it looks like his film Boyhood won’t disappoint. Shot over 12 years, this groundbreaking cinematic experience follows the life of an American family focused on their youngest son Mason as we watch his transition from seven-year-old to adulthood.
Set in a dangerous near-future, 10 years after the collapse of the economic system, The Rover depicts an Australia without law or order. This uncompromising, dark thriller with elements of a western comes from Animal Kingdom director David Mich√¥d and stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson.
Korean director Boon Joon-ho’s new sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer is his first foray into English-language film. Set in the near future, an experiment to halt global warming has gone horribly wrong, freezing the world over and killing virtually all life. With spectacular visuals and effects, the film has an epic Hollywood-like quality.
This hilarious and dark comedy follows wannabe musician Jon as he accidently joins a creatively ambitious pop group led by the enigmatic Frank- played by one of our favourite actors Michael Fassbender – who constantly wears a fake giant head. This hilarious, eccentric and moving film about music is not to be missed.
The Lunch Box
This Indian indie hit is a delicious celebration of romance and film featuring star Irrfan Kham (Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire). The story is inspired by Mumbai’s remarkable lunchbox delivery system and is a sweet love story that has already charmed audiences around the world.
Wish I Was Here
Causing controversy last year for his use of crowd-funding website Kickstarter to produce this film- Wish I Was Here is director Zach Braff’s highly anticipated follow up to his debut film Garden State. With a similarly quirky, charming and emotional story, the film tells the story of a struggling actor, father and husband trying to find the purpose of his life at the age of 35.
Joe Swanberg is known for his quirky indie hits and his follow up film to last year’s Drinking Buddies looks to be a warm and approachable ensemble comedy starring Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lysnkey and Lena Dunham. Happy Christmas tells the story of a close set of friends, each at a crossroads regarding their future.
This unique documentary feature takes its name from a mountaintop temple in Nepal, a centuries-old destination for pilgrims. Modern day travelers make the journey by cable car and a dozen of these nine-minute trips are captured by filmmakers and result in what looks to be a breathtaking, poignant and mesmerising film.
Sydney Film Festival runs from June 4-14. Tickets are now on sale from the festival website.