Even grey skies and heavy rain could not dampen the excitement of cinema lovers in Sydney today. The reason - Sydney Film Festival, one of the sparkling jewels of the city's cultural calendar, has officially opened! Just like last year, ScreenAnarchy will be providing coverage of the Festival by bringing you news, trailers, reviews and features over the next 12 exciting days.
We've been told that there has been an overwhelming interest from media professionals to take part at the Festival, which is a definite sign of its quality and popularity. Of course, it is not just us 'media people' who are fighting for the opportunities to participate in this great event; the public seem to be equally excited. Just yesterday, I saw an elderly gentleman on the train with a walking stick resting on his left arm, and in his right hand was some printed material that he was studying intensely. I quickly recognized that he was holding the Sydney Film Festival guide, no doubt planning ahead so he could get the most out of the Festival.
The most important part of any film festival is of course its films. The Opening Film for this year's Sydney Film Festival is Not Suitable For Children, which had its World Premiere tonight, while the Closing Night Feature will be Safety Not Guaranteed. In Official Competition for the A$60,000 Sydney Film Prize are Alps, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Caesar Must Die, Dead Europe, Gangs of Wasseypur, The King of Pigs, Lore, Monsieur Lazhar, Neighbouring Sounds, On the Road, Tabu and Today. The rest of the programme is full of gems and hotly anticipated premieres, such as Michael Haneke's Amour, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, Rachel Perkins' Mabo, Ann Hui's A Simple Life and Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Headshot, just to name a few.
Besides the films in the programme that will be showing at a number of different venues around the city of Sydney, there will also be FREE screenings, live music, performances, exhibitions, talks and parties at the new Sydney Film Festival Hub. So if you live in Sydney, be sure to go and join the Festival because it really seems to have something for everybody!
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