2018 Program Preview

Here are the first 26 films in this year’s program, including Oscar-nominated and festival-winning dramas, insightful and entertaining documentaries, terrifying Freak Me Out chillers and colourful family animation. See the first 26 films below – tickets on sale when the full program drops on Wednesday 9 May.

Tickets are not available for these films just yet, but buy your Flexipass now to get ready for the Festival. Place an order now to receive a copy of our 2018 program guide, delivered to your door in May. 

On sale right now is the ‘Essential Kaurismäki Retrospective’ curated by David Stratton, showcasing key work by one of the most distinctive and off-beat directors in cinema, including Leningrad Cowboys Go AmericaLe HavreThe Man Without a Past and The Match Factory Girl.

Essential Kaurismäki: Selected by David Stratton

ON SALE: David Stratton presents a program of 10 classics by the great Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki. Buy single tickets or a special discount package of all 10 films for $130.

Screen Day Out Education Program

Book your high school group for our new education program today! Screen Day Out is our new secondary education program, presenting four exciting films in Cremorne, Randwick and Casula.

American Animals

Bart Layton’s (The Imposter, SFF 2012) first feature is a wildly entertaining docu-fiction hybrid about four young men who attempt one of the most audacious art-heists in history.

Anchor and Hope

A lesbian couple contemplate parenthood in this funny and free-wheeling comic drama by rising Spanish filmmaker Carlos Marques-Marcet.

Chef Flynn

What makes a great chef? Follow teenage culinary sensation Flynn McGarry’s rapid ascent from the home kitchen to the cover of New York Times Magazine.

Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders

A highly detailed reconstruction of the infamous Clutter family murders, which inspired Truman Capote’s bestseller In Cold Blood, directed by Oscar nominee Joe Berlinger.


Oscar-winner (A Fantastic Woman, SFF 2017) Sebastián Lelio’s new film is about the love affair between two women (Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams) in an Orthodox Jewish community.


Winner of the Venice Grand Jury Prize and eight Israeli Ophir Awards, Foxtrot is a thrillingly inventive, tragic and funny examination of Israeli military culture.

Genesis 2.0

Winner of a Special Jury Award at Sundance, this striking documentary connects Siberian hunters of woolly mammoth remains with cutting edge 21st century cloning technology.

Ghost Stories

Three terrifying tales unfold in this anthology by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (Dead Set). Martin Freeman features in this classy British chiller.

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story

The coming of age stories of four women whose lives were changed forever by their love of boybands Backstreet Boys, One Direction, Take That and The Beatles.

Inventing Tomorrow

Inspiring students from Indonesia, India, Mexico and Hawaii tackle environmental issues in their own backyard, as they prepare for the world’s largest science fair.

Leave No Trace

Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, SFF 2010) returns with a delicate drama about a father and daughter who are found by authorities after living off-grid in the wilderness for years.

Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle

A hugely charming portrait of a Spanish family headed by an eccentric matriarch, whose teenage dreams for lots of kids, a monkey and a castle came true.

Maya the Bee: The Honey Games

Maya the plucky bee returns in this charming animated adventure. A colourful tale of buzzy derring-do for kids aged three and up, directed by top Sydney animators.


A bitingly funny satire and Berlinale Grand Jury Prize winner; Poland’s first facial transplant patient awakes to find that – new face aside – it’s his community that’s changed, not him.

My Brilliant Career

A brand-new digital restoration of Gillian Armstrong’s award-winning adaptation of Miles Franklin’s classic novel, featuring Judy Davis in her movie debut.

Pick of the Litter

We follow the two-year journey, from birth through training to graduation, of five Labrador puppies destined to become guide dogs for the blind.


Nicolas Pesce follows his monochrome nightmare The Eyes of My Mother (SFF 2016) with a colour-saturated tale of deviant desire and unspeakable urges starring Mia Wasikowska.


Australian musician, journalist and debut director Travis Beard chronicles Afghanistan’s only metal band as they take to the stage, risking their lives for rock music.

Samui Song

Murder, marriage and religion are the ingredients of this juicy film noir by leading Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Last Life in the Universe; Headshot, SFF 2012).

The Breadwinner

Oscar-nominated animated feature about an 11-year-old Afghan girl, Parvana, who must pose as a boy to support her family when her father is unjustly jailed.

The Deminer

The Deminer is an edge-of-your-seat portrait of a bomb disposal expert in Iraq. Winner of a Jury Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

The Insult

Ziad Doueiri’s (The Attack, SFF 2013) thrilling, Oscar-nominated legal drama explores festering historical, political and religious divisions in his native Lebanon.

The Long Season

Multi-award-winning filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich (Shape of the Moon, Position Among the Stars, SFF 2011) focuses his camera lens on life in a Syrian refugee camp.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior, SFF 2014) won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for her latest film, a moving comedy-drama set in a “gay conversion” camp.

West of Sunshine

A working-class dad must settle a crippling debt in this punchy slice of Australian social realism. Jason Raftopoulos’ impressive first feature debuted at Venice Film Festival.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

The wonderfully eccentric, endlessly inventive Vivienne Westwood is the reluctant star of this fabulous documentary.