The Sydney Film Festival

If you’re a movie lover, then it’s quite certain that you’re familiar with one of the most exciting events in the city, the Sydney Film Festival. Held annually in June for approximately two weeks, it’s one of the events that bring people from all over the country to the city of Sydney. The festival itself draws international and local attention from acclaimed critics, and it has been active for more than 60 years, since 1954.

Drawing inspiration from the Edinburgh Film Festival, the festival created by the annual meeting of the Australian Council of Film Societies, and the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival was born. The first committee was encompassed from the following members:

Alan Stout, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney
John Heyer and John Kingsford Smith, filmmakers
David Donaldson, Federation of Film Societies secretary

The first film festival in Sydney was held on 11th of June, 1954, with screenings at the University of Sydney in front of a sold-out hall. Therefore, we can conclude that this city event was a success from the very beginning, and its popularity has only increased over the decades.

By 2007, the Sydney Film Festival was more than just screenings at the University. It became an extravagant happening with a series of live gigs, shows and cabaret-style screenings. Plus, a platform was created for emerging technological innovations in the film world.

Today, the festival has screenings in its flagship venue, the State Theatre, along with cinemas in the CBD, Newtown, Cremorne, Western Sydney and more, showing over 200 films. Only 12, however, are selected for the Official Competition.

Features, Documentaries, Short Films, Retrospectives and Animations

One of the most valuable traits of this evolving and exciting event is its homage to innovation and creativity. You can see everything from family movies, features, documentaries, short films and retrospectives to animations. Hence, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The commitment to telling stories in any format can be seen even in the chosen venues. If you wish to attend the Sydney Film Festival, you may do so at:

Venues across the Sydney central business district
Event Cinemas in George Street
Museum of Contemporary Art
Dendy Opera Quays
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney Town Hall

If you’re visiting Sydney for the festival, it would be prudent to find accommodation somewhere in the city centre where you’ll be close to the festivities. The Harbour Rocks Hotel is the ideal choice. It’s located near the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, and it provides you with comfortable rooms and delicious cuisine.

The Sydney Film Prize

The Sydney Film Festival has the following prize categories:

Sydney Film Prize
Australian Documentary Prize
Award for Australian Best Live Action Short Film
The Rouben Mamoulian Award for the Best Director of an Australian Short Film
Yoram Gross Animation Award
The CRC Award for Best Australian Feature-length Film with a Multicultural Perspective
Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award
Audience Award for Best Fiction Feature
Audience Award for Best Documentary

The Sydney Film Festival is classified as a Competitive Specialised Feature Film Festival as of 2007. Even members in attendance are allowed to cast their vote for their favourite movie for the popular awards.