2017 Program Preview

Sydney Film Festival is chasing this year’s film zeitgeist. Explore some of the trailers from our Preview Program here

You’ll find jaw-dropping music docos by names like Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney, Biggie and Tupac), hot new Australian talents, festival hits and top prize winners at Cannes and Berlin from acclaimed names like Cristian Mungiu, Lav Diaz and Agnieszka Holland.

Other highlights include true stories about a metal band touring North Korea to play covers of The Sound of Music (Liberation Day), the very funny new Australian indie comedy That’s Not Me and the delightful family animation My Life as a Zucchini, voiced by Ellen Page (Juno) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation).

Film sessions on sale now: 

Sydney Film Festival, in partnership with Screen NSW and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, is proud to launch Screenability, a new platform for screen practitioners with disability leading the narrative. Book tickets today

Rub shoulders with the stars with our Opening Night and Closing Night galas which are now on sale! Check out the world premiere screening of the first films produced under the Lexus Short Film Fellowship, secure your tickets here. 

The David Stratton retrospective Essential Kurosawa: Selected by David Stratton is the first program strand announcement for 2017. Don't miss this exciting opportunity to see these rarely screened films! SFF is also proud to announce the retrospective title An American Werewolf in London at the Skyline Drive In Blacktown. Watch the gore fest classic under the full moon - reserve your car space, and buy tickets here

Tickets for all films are on sale on Wednesday 10 May, but Flexipasses are now on sale, and give you the biggest savings on tickets. Flexipasses can be booked in packs of 10, 20, or 30 tickets, and can be shared with friends and family. Book your flexipass today by clicking here.


On sale now: Sydney Film Festival presents Screenability, in partnership with Screen NSW and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, a new platform for screen practitioners with disability leading the narrative.

Opening Night Gala 2017

On sale now: Experience the 2017 Sydney Film Festival Opening Night Gala, presented by Lexus Australia. Walk the red carpet, rub shoulders with the stars, and attend the exclusive party.

Closing Night Gala 2017

On sale now: Bid a fond farewell to the 64th Sydney Film Festival at an evening filled with acclaim and applause. Secure your seat now to this signature Sydney Film Festival event.

Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship Gala Screening

On sale now: A world premiere screening, proudly presented by Lexus Australia and Sydney Film Festival, of the first films produced under the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship.

Essential Kurosawa: Selected by David Stratton

On sale now: David Stratton will return to Sydney Film Festival in 2017 to present a program of essential retrospective films made by one of cinema’s great directors, Akira Kurosawa. (Image: ©Toho Co., Ltd.)

An American Werewolf in London

On sale at Skyline Drive In: The horror-comedy classic howls into Sydney in all its blood-drenched glory. Come and watch this delirious mix of gore and gags outdoors, while a full moon hovers over the city.

A Ghost Story

Made in secret and on a micro-budget, A Ghost Story is a haunting and sparse love story starring Rooney Mara (Lion) and Oscar-winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea).

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Award-winning US documentarian Steve James (Life Itself, SFF 2014) is in top form in this captivating story of the only bank indicted following America’s 2008 financial meltdown.

God's Own Country

A sexually explicit romance about two sheep farmers in remote England that’s earned favourable comparisons to Brokeback Mountain. Winner of the Directing Award at Sundance.


Winner of the Best Director prize in Cannes 2016, this gripping film by Romanian Cristian Mungiu is about a father’s desperate actions to protect his daughter.

Hotel Salvation

An old man drags his busy son to Varanasi so that he may die and attain salvation there in a comedy about death that, at heart, is a delightful, poignant celebration of life.

I Am Not Your Negro

Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerising Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.

Liberation Day

The bizarre but true story of a controversial metal band heading to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to perform deadpan cover versions of The Sound of Music.


Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke shine in this true story of gifted, arthritic Canadian folk painter Maud Lewis and her unlikely romance with the reclusive Everett Lewis.


A vibrant, Sundance award-winning Filipino documentary filmed in the busiest maternity hospital in the world, that reveals an overcrowded, hectic and yet profoundly humane environment.


An epic cinematic and musical collaboration between Sherpa filmmaker Jennifer Peedom and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, that explores humankind’s fascination with high places.

Mrs K

A wildly enjoyable Tarantino-esque martial arts thriller. Veteran Hong Kong action star Kara Wai returns in kick-ass form as a housewife taking on the underworld.

My Life as a Zucchini

An Oscar-nominated Swiss-French stop-motion family animation that’s realistic and life affirming, dealing with real issues in a way that doesn’t patronise or traumatise its audience.

Nowhere to Hide

The top prize-winner at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam: four turbulent years in the life of resilient male nurse living in Iraq’s ‘triangle of death’.

The Opposition

A David-and-Goliath battle over a slice of Papua New Guinea paradise, Hollie Fifer’s documentary finally reaches our screens following court action in Australia.

Pop Aye

A downtrodden architect and his long-lost elephant take a road trip across Thailand to find their childhood home in this offbeat and very funny Sundance screenwriting award-winner.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

A stomping tribute to Native American musicians, crammed with concert footage, which celebrates their weighty yet unheralded contribution to music, from Hendrix to Metallica.

Sexy Durga

With an improvised narrative and dialogue Sexy Durga cleverly contrasts the worship of goddesses with the treatment of women in Indian culture. Winner of the Rotterdam Tiger Award.


If you’ve ever wondered what possesses someone to work as a creepy clown or zombie bride and scare the hell out of theme park visitors, then Spookers has the answers.


In a remote mountain town the hunters become the hunted in this Berlinale Silver Bear-winner by the great Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa, SFF 1991; The Wire; House of Cards).

That's Not Me

An aspiring actor takes advantage of her identical twin sister’s success and fame in this hilarious Australian indie influenced by Girls and Bridesmaids.

The Untamed

A creature of another world unleashes people’s base sexual impulses in this imaginative meld of social realism and erotic sci-fi which won the Venice Silver Lion for Best Director.


In 2014, award-winning director Michael Glawogger died tragically whilst filming. His long-time editor, Monika Willi, has crafted his final footage into a striking documentary.

Waiting for Giraffes

An emotional story of collaboration and dedication set in in a Palestinian West Bank zoo, which involves a cavalcade of animals, their devoted carers and enthusiastic visitors.

Whitney 'Can I Be Me'

A gripping documentary on the all-too-short life of powerhouse performer Whitney Houston from UK documentarian Nick Broomfield and music video director Rudi Dolezal.


Winner of Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival, this is a fascinating portrait of South Africa’s ‘mother of the nation’ Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Wolf and Sheep

This debut feature by a groundbreaking Afghan woman director, a Cannes Director’s Fortnight-winner, is an extraordinarily daring and rare view of Afghan rural life and mythology.

The Woman Who Left

The Venice Golden Lion-winning epic from Filipino master Lav Diaz (From What Is Before, SFF 2015) explores a woman’s quest for revenge following her unjust 30-year incarceration.