Film: THE SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

"So much to see and do, I need more time" ...Naomi Rossdeutscher

The Sydney Film Festival is coming! There is so much to see I feel overwhelmed and excited

A couple of years ago I took my MUM to see the Premier of "The Ghost Writer," directed by ROMAN POLANSKI. I had already seen it in Cannes, but I loved it and I thought MUMS would enjoy the evening. As we crossed the road to enter the throng of the 'red carpet' we turned to see EWAN McGREGOR behind us. He smiled at MUM and she grabbed my arm for support while beaming back at him. That was one highlight of the night. The STATE THEATRE, screening the film, was another - it's magnificent, we felt like Royalty wandering through excited film revellers in our finest - it's said to be a mix of Gothic, Italian and Art deco design. We had already been overawed by the STATE THEATRE at the opening night of SOUTH SOLITARY, starring MIRANDA OTTO and MARTON CSOKAS, but it doesn't wear off. The film and on -stage interview with EWAN McGREGOR afterwards, rounded out a fabulous evening.

I wasn't surprised when I asked my MUM what she wanted to do for her birthday this year and her reply was quick and ready - "a festival film at The STATE THEATRE." So we're going to see Beasts of Southern Wild, director Benh Zeitlin's feature-film debut set in 'The Bathtub' - a defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. Good call MUMS, maybe we'll start with high-tea at the Queen Vic?

Beasts of Southern Wild. Quvenzhané on set with Dwight Henry by Jess Pinkham Copyright: Cinereach Ltd

The Festival is a major highlight for film bods and film audiences. Some films come straight from winning at other major festivals and some are world premiers, plus you can cast your vote. There are several Bertolucci films screening and an expert talk celebrating Bertolucci's half century as a film maker.

I have scoured the programme and nutted out a screening plan that includes; Lore, directed by CATE SHORTLAND, A Royal Affair, the Disney/Pixar animation Brave - attended by BILLY CONNOLLY, Monsieur Lazher, Moonrise Kingdom, Tatsumi, Once upon a Time in Anatolia, some short films - The Maker, Playing Ghost, 43000 Feet and Cat-Cam plus several more documentary's and many, many more movies... but I just can't list them all.

The Festival HUB is in the lower part of Town Hall, where there will be live music, exhibitions, performances, parties and talks for free - it's madness! Sydney is the place to be right now, with the SFF and VIVID Sydney lighting up our lives and some of the best dining in the world to stave away the winter blues.

Liz Watts, Tony Krawitz and Emile ShermanThe expert TALKS are a special highlight for me, where else can you hear from BRYAN BROWN, EMILE SHERMAN, LIZ WATTS, Cinematographer DION BEEBE and BRUCE BERESFORD?

After a talk in years gone by, I had a chat with MARTON CSOKAS - he is charismatic, intense, tall and mesmerizing. It was one of those moments when I'm prone to do something stupid like forget my own name. I have written a script with a key part for him and always wanted to direct the film. I had better remember my name before that day!

The Sydney Film Festival 2012 is running from 6th to 17th June, at the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, Art Gallery of NSW, Martin Place Amphitheatre, Festival Lounge at Grasshopper, the Apple Store and Lower Town Hall.

 

You can check out the festival program HERE but get your tickets quick because they do sell out. And me, I will be interviewing filmmaker's and taking photos for the blog as I go, I just have to remember who I am ... Naomi, Naomi, Naomi - I think I've got it now.