Culture

Sydney Film Festival’s Massive 2019 Line-Up Is Here, And We’re Dying From Excitement

Featuring Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Adam Driver fighting zombies - and that's just one film.

Sydney Film Festival's 2019 line-up features Jim Jarmusch's zombie comedy 'The Dead Don't Die"

Sydney Film Festival has just dropped its 2019 line-up of 307 films from across the globe — including Cannes-imports, world premieres, and the most star-studded zombie film we’ve ever seen?

That’s right: Jim Jarmusch’s highly anticipated film The Dead Don’t Die, featuring Bill Murray, RZA, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi and Adam Driver, among others, is coming. We’re dying with excitement.

But back to the main event.

Competing for the festival’s official competition (and a $60,000 prize) are 12 films. They range from the Palme d’Or nominated, such as Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain And Glory, starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz; Parasite by Okja director Bong Joon-ho; and Bacurau by previous SFF competition winner Klber Mendonça Filho.

There’s also the brightest new antipodean films, including Judy And Punch, with Mia Wasikowksa ; Hearts & Bones, with Hugo Weaving; and New Zealand comedy Bellbird. Rounding it out are and other film festival favourites, such as recent Golden Bear winner Synonyms.

As previously announced, Australian comedy Palm Beach will open the festival at the State Theatre, making its world debut.

Other debuts include Ian Darling’s The Final Quarter, a doco about Adam Goodes; Australian rom-com Standing Up For Sunny, starring Breaking Bad alum RJ Mitte; and queer coming-of-age film Sequin in a Blue Room, which might be one of the few films to admit that teens use Grindr.

Other surprises? Martin Scorsese’s long-rumoured Bob Dylan documentary will make its Australian debut, as will Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha’s new comedy Blinded By The Light, about a British-Pakistani teen who loves Bruce Springsteen.

We’re also quite excited about Animals, the Alia Shawkat-starring comedy from Australian director Sophie Hyde, and High Life, French film director Claire Denis’ latest, a sci-fi sexual thriller starring Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson and André 3000.

Documentaries include the controversial The Brink, which follows far right figure Steve Bannon, Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts, and XY Chelsea, which trails Chelsea Manning post her 2017 release from prison — and finished filming just before her return to jail this March.

‘Viva Varda’, a retrospective in tribute to the late Agnès Varda is also planned, spanning 10 of her most influential films such as Cléo de 5 á 7 and debut La Pointe Courte, as well as her final film, Varda by Agnés. 

Other features include a focus on New Zealand films; a David Stratton-selected retrospective on 10 Essential Australian Women Directors; music in film (featuring Amazing Grace, the long-lost 1972 concert footage from Aretha Franklin; and a bio-doc on Miles Davis); and films by First Nations filmmakers.

And there are still surprises to come, as the Closing Night film remains TBA (not to mention the inevitable last-minute additions).

In short, the Sydney Film Festival line-up runs from 5-16 June, is absolutely huge — and on-sale right now, with 10, 20, and 30 ticket flexi-passes available for cinephiles. Dive in, and find the full line-up over on the SFF website.


Junkee is a proud media partner of Sydney Film Festival.