| The 59th Sydney Film Festival has announced early highlights in advance of the full program launch on Wednesday, 9 May.
'Revealing the first confirmed films for this year's Festival really lets us share our excitement,' said Nashen Moodley in his first year as Festival Director for Sydney Film Festival.
'This is just a cross-section and a taste of what we have in store, but you'll already see the extraordinary diversity in subject, style and geography that makes a great international film festival memorable and thought-provoking.
From the film that everyone was talking about in Sundance to a look inside Woody Allen's head to Some Guy Who Kills People, cinema lovers in Sydney, NSW or around Australia will have many reasons to join us here in June.'
This first announcement comprises 25 titles including 22 Australian premieres, 15 features and 10 documentaries, as well as some of the top prize-winning films from Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin.
This announcement includes the winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival Beasts of the Southern Wild, the winner of the FIPRESCI prize at Berlin Film Festival Tabu, the winner of the FIPRESCI prize at International Film Festival Rotterdam Neighbouring Sounds and the winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Documentary at Sundance, The Law In These Parts.
Since its inception in 1954, Sydney Film Festival (SFF) has become a key cultural event for Sydney and well-established in the international film festival calendar.
For 12 days in June the Festival takes over eight venues including the iconic State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays and the Art Gallery of NSW, showcasing the best in film from across Australia and around the world.
This year, for the first time, Sydney Film Festival Hub @ Lower Town Hall will open its doors with free exhibitions, screenings, talks, live music and performances from 5pm-10pm throughout the Festival.
SFF boasts an internationally-recognised Official Competition, now in its fifth year.
Previous Official Competition winners include; A Separation (2011), Heartbeats (2010), Bronson (2009) and Hunger (2008). The Official Competition winner receives a $60,000 cash prize in recognition of courageous, audacious and cutting-edge filmmaking.
SFF also presents a number of awards to recognise excellence in local filmmaking, including the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films (which are Academy Award® eligible) and the FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize. The finalists for these awards will be announced at the full program launch on Wednesday, 9 May.
Sydney Film Festival runs from 6-17 June 2012
The 59th Sydney Film Festival is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW, the Federal Government through Screen Australia, and the City of Sydney. The festival’s Strategic partner is the NSW Government through Destination NSW.
For more information, visit www.sff.org.au