Sydney Film Festival offers sneak peek at 2018 selections

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The 65th Sydney Film Festival announced a sneak peek of 26 new films to be featured in this year’s event (June 6-17), as well as a new Festival location: Hoyts Entertainment Quarter. The full program will be announced on May 9.

“Sixty-five years young, Sydney Film Festival celebrates a spectacular history of storytelling with another 200-plus feature films and documentaries, beginning with these first 26 cinematic gems,” Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley said. 

“Since 1954 Sydney Film Festival has presented over 9,000 films to Australian audiences. The Festival may have reached a stately age, but it continues every year to deliver the most cutting-edge and provocative voices in international cinema.

“In 2018's sneak peek of the program, there are features and documentaries from Argentina to the Arctic Circle. From the war zone of Kabul, where young men risk arrest for their love of rock music, to the revolutionary creativity of punk icon Vivienne Westwood, these unique and poignant films share stories of freedom, identity and passion from across the globe.”

Festival highlights include Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, a profile of fashion designer and punk icon Vivienne Westwood from U.K. model-turned-filmmaker Lorna Tucker; Venice Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Foxtrot, from Israeli director Samuel Maoz; 2018 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Award winner The Miseducation of Cameron Post, featuring Chloë Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane; Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams, and Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, featuring young New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie.

Psychosexual thriller Piercing, starring Australian actress Mia Wasikowska and British chiller Ghost Stories, starring Martin Freeman, kick off the 2018 Festival’s “Freak Me Out “program.

Closer to home, Australian journalist Travis Beard’s documentary RocKabul examines Afghanistan’s first metal band District Unknown, and I Used to be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story, is a coming-of-age documentary about the intense love of boy bands, from The Beatles to One Direction.

Also highly anticipated are Oscar-nominated films The Breadwinner and The Insult. Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee American Animals stars Evan Peters (“American Horror Story”) and Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, The Killing of a Sacred Deer).

The Festival is also presenting a brand-new digital restoration, from the National Film and Sound Archive, of Australian Oscar-nominated film My Brilliant Career (1979), from acclaimed director Gillian Armstrong and featuring Judy Davis in her movie debut.

For the first time, the Festival will present a program of films at Hoyts Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park. The venue will feature a specially selected lineup of family films, as well as “Screenability,” a platform for screen practitioners with disability.

The State Theatre, Dendy Opera Quays, Dendy Newtown, Event Cinemas George Street, Art Gallery of NSW, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne, Randwick Ritz and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre return as official Festival screening venues. A virtual-reality program will return to the Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall premiering cutting-edge VR experiences, many for the first time in Australia.