First Look at the 2022 Sydney Film Festival

The 69th Sydney Film Festival is just around the corner; a preview of the program’s first announced films is here.

“This first look at the festival’s 2022 program gives audiences a taste of the selection and flavor of films featured in our first large-scale festival since the pandemic began,” said festival director Nashen Moodley.

“The past few years have been difficult for the film industry, with many films halting production across the world. Now that the world is starting to open up again, we are seeing a resurgence of bold, innovative and compelling stories It’s an exciting time to schedule a film festival when there is such a wealth of groundbreaking films, giving audiences the opportunity to experience unique and timely stories from home and around the world.

Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes show audiences that revenge is a dish best shared on Instagram, in ‘Sissy’. A hit at SXSW, this smart Aussie horror sees an influencer (Aisha Dee) meet her childhood bully on a girls’ weekend.

John Michael McDonagh’s “The Forgiven” features Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes depicting the rights of Westerners, juxtaposed with the lives of ordinary Moroccans in a neo-colonial society.

Luke Cornish’s Sydney documentary ‘Keep Stepping’ is about two remarkable female performers, training for Australia’s biggest street dancing competition.

‘The Forgiven’

Macario De Souza’s ‘6 Festivals’ is a moving story of friendship and a celebration of Australia’s iconic festival scene. It features cameos from Bliss N Eso and Peking Duk.

“Please Baby Please” is a genderqueer musical, starring Andrea Riseborough and Demi Moore as a 1950s Manhattan couple unlocking a sexual awakening from within themselves, after witnessing a a violent incident. Meanwhile, French filmmaker Mikhaël Hers presents a slice-of-life drama set in 1980s Paris, “Les Passagers de la nuit”. It stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as a single mother rediscovering herself after being abandoned by her husband.

There are also international festival favorites on screen.

“Blue Moon” portrays a young woman in rebellion against her dysfunctional family in a gripping feature debut from Romanian director and screenwriter Alina Grigore.

Please baby SFF2022
‘Please baby please’

The 2022 Toronto NETPAC Award and the 2022 London Film Festival Audience Award “Costa Brava, Lebanon” stars Nadine Labaki and Saleh Bakri. It follows a family who have left life in Beirut for a more peaceful existence in the mountains, only to find that escape isn’t so easy.

From Sundance comes ‘Calendar Girls’ by Maria Loohufvud and Love Martinsen, and ‘Sirens’ by Rita Baghdadi.

European cinema will be very present throughout the festival, with talents such as “Gentle” with Eszter Csonka, “Hinterland” by director Stefan Ruzowitzky and “Incredible But True” by Quentin Dupieux.

Check out more information on the Sydney Film Festival website.

The Sydney Film Festival runs from June 8-19.

Gerald R. Schneider