Written by Sez Niederer
May 11, 2022
Our Picks for Sydney Film Festival 2022
Whether you’re into alt horror, searing documentaries or hilarious nude comedy, there’s a little something for everyone at this year’s Sydney Film Festival. Check out our top picks from the incredible selection of world class cinema in the 2022 program.
A HOUSE MADE OF SPLINTERS
Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival. In this poignant and deeply intimate documentary three kids temporarily removed from their parents find friendship and flickers of hope inside the worn walls of a remarkable orphanage in Eastern Ukraine, as a group of dedicated social workers create moments of joy and respite from childhoods all but lost.Book tickets
A coming-of-golden-age film about the second teenage phase: the retirement phase. Following senior volunteer dancers in Southwest Florida, who are determined to prove that age is just a number, The Calendar Girls give it all they’ve got. And they have a lot to give — impressive makeup; handmade costumes; elaborate dance routines; and, most notably, their unparalleled enthusiasm and sparkling personalities. Grand Jury Prize nominee at the Sundance Film Festival.Book tickets
DREAMING WALLS: INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL
The end of an long upmarket renovation of the legendary Chelsea Hotel is partly longed for and partly dreaded by the artists who still live there. The film grants us access to their apartments and interweaves the past with the present. Berlinale Documentary Award Nominee.Book tickets
FIRE OF LOVE
Intrepid scientists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft died in a volcanic explosion doing the very thing that brought them together: unraveling the mysteries of volcanoes by capturing the most explosive imagery ever recorded. Documentary Editing award winner and Grand Jury Prize nominee at Sundance Film Festival.Book tickets
KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME
The feature documentary, the first of its kind on Vonnegut, is a deep, immersive dive into the author’s life and work, as well as the 25-year friendship with the filmmaker who set out to document it. It spans his childhood in Indianapolis, experience as a Prisoner of War in World War II, marriage and family, early careers as a publicist for General Electric and a car salesman, and his years as a struggling writer, leading to eventual superstardom in 1969 following the publication of his lightning-bolt anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five.Book tickets
Sydney Film Festival 8 - 19 June 2022!
Based on personal writings and accounts of the family and lovers of Patricia Highsmith, author of novels that inspired The Talented Mr. Ripley, Carol and Strangers on the Train. LOVING HIGHSMITH casts new light on the famous thriller writer’s life and oeuvre, permeated by themes of love and its defining influence on identity.Book tickets
World Cinema Documentary Award Winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Two midwives, one Buddhist and one Muslim, defy strict ethnic divisions to work side by side in a makeshift clinic in western Myanmar, providing medical services to the Rohingya of Rakhine State. Over five years we witness their struggles, hopes and dreams amidst an environment of ever-increasing chaos and violence.Book tickets
MY OLD SCHOOL
The astonishing true story of Scotland’s most notorious imposter. It’s 1993 and 16 year old Brandon is the new kid in school. Soon he’s top of the class, acing exams and even taking the lead in the school musical. He’s the model pupil, until he’s unmasked…Book tickets
Winner of the Audience Award & Festival Favourite Award at Sundance Film Festival. Enthralling and intimate, director Daniel Roher’s NAVALNY unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020. Shot in Germany as the story unfolded and offering extraordinary access to the investigation, NAVALNY is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that is also a study of Navalny the man – a portrait of a leader intent on reform who will not be cowed by anything, including his own poisoning.Book tickets
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
Hidden from public view, a war is raging inside the diamond industry. When filmmaker Jason Kohn (Manda Bala, Love Means Zero) infiltrates this highly secretive world, he uncovers a vast, far reaching conspiracy that threatens the value of every diamond ever mined. Featuring some of the most colorful and powerful industry insiders, Nothing Lasts Forever launches us deep inside a criminal investigation, daring to deconstruct and dissect the diamond and reconsider the creation of value itself.Book tickets
In an effort to rekindle the spark in their troubled marriage, 40-somethings Laura (Jackie van Beek) and Bruno (Damon Herriman) head to a three day couples’ retreat run by relationship and sexual healing guru Bjorg Rasmussen (Jemaine Clement). Upon arrival, the path to their reconnection is met with hilarious and increasingly absurd farce.
Spoken entirely in an improvised, gibberish-esque language with subtitles created by contributing writers globally after release, NUDE TUESDAY is an utterly singular excursion into miscommunication, full frontal nudity and self-discovery.Book tickets
THE PASSENGERS OF THE NIGHT
Golden Bear Nominee at the Berlin International Film Festival, starring the captivating Charlotte Gainsbourg.
On election night in 1981, celebrations spill out onto the street and there is an air of hope and change throughout Paris. But for Elisabeth, her marriage is coming to an end, and she will now have to support herself and her two teenage children. She finds work at a late-night radio show and encounters a troubled teenager named Talulah whom she invites into her home. With them, Talulah experiences the warmth of a family for the first time. Although she suddenly disappears, her free spirit has a lasting influence. Elisabeth and her children grow in confidence and begin to take risks, changing the trajectory of their lives.Book tickets
Tickets on sale now!
Starring Academy Award Winner Jessica Chastain and Academy Award Nominee Ralph Fiennes, THE FORGIVEN takes place over a weekend in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of both the local Muslims, and Western visitors to a house party in a grand villa.Book tickets
Directed by Stephen Karam, the Tony Award-winning author of The Humans, Sons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate.
Erik Blake has gathered three generations of his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan.
As darkness falls outside and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the group’s deepest fears are laid bare. The piercingly funny and haunting debut film from writer/director Stephen Karam, adapted from his Tony Award-winning play, The Humans explores the hidden dread of a family and the love that binds them together.Book tickets
THE QUIET GIRL
Winner of Grand Prix of the Generation at Berlin International Film Festival.
Rural Ireland. 1981. A quiet, neglected girl is sent away from her overcrowded, dysfunctional family to live with foster parents for the summer. She blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth.Book tickets
THREE MINUTES - A LENGTHENING
Presents a home movie shot by David Kurtz in 1938 in a Jewish town in Poland and tries to postpone its ending. As long as we are watching, history is not over yet. The three minutes of footage, mostly in colour, are the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. The existing three minutes are examined to unravel the stories hidden in the celluloid. The footage is imaginatively edited to create a film that lasts more than an hour. Different voices enhance the images. Glenn Kurtz, grandson of David Kurtz, provides his knowledge of the footage. Maurice Chandler, who appears in the film as a boy, shares his memories. Actress Helena Bonham Carter narrates the film essay.Book tickets
WHERE IS ANNE FRANK
Kitty, Anne Frank’s imaginary friend to whom Anne devoted her Diary, magically comes to life in present-day Amsterdam. Kitty sets out on a relentless quest to find Anne Frank. It’s the beginning of an adventurous journey.Book tickets
YOU WON'T BE ALONE
From Melbourne director Goran Stolevski, winner of the Directors to Watch Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival and starring Noomi Rapace, comes the chilling new horror, YOU WON’T BE ALONE.
In an isolated mountain village in 19th century Macedonia, a young girl is kidnapped and then transformed into a witch by an ancient spirit.Book tickets