Nude dancers and zombies: the 2012 Sydney Film Festival program teaser

02 April, 2012 by Amanda Diaz

Ten documentaries and 15 feature films have been announced as part of an early sneak peek at this year's Sydney Film Festival lineup.

The 2012 festival will be the first under the helm of new festival director Nashen Moodley, who replaces Clare Stewart.


"We wanted to present a diverse range of titles in terms of geography, in terms of the experience of the filmmakers and also different types of films to show that the festival will have something for everyone," says Moodley.

When asked to pick his favourites from this year's teaser, the festival director compares it to asking a parent which of their children is their favourite, but admits he is particularly looking forward to the audience response to Beasts of the Southern Wilds, Tabu and Neighbouring Sounds.

The winner of the US Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wilds is set in 'The Bathtub'  – a bayou community cut off from the rest of the world. It follows six-year-old Hushpuppy, whose father, Wink, tries to prepare her for a dangerous new world, as the icebergs melt and prehistoric creatures descend.

Tabu tells the story of a temperamental old woman, her Cape Verdean maid and a neighbour devoted to social causes live on the same floor of a Lisbon apartment building. When the old lady dies, the other two learn of an episode from her past: a tale of love and crime set in an Africa straight from the world of adventure films. Neighbouring Sounds, the debut feature from Kleber Mendonça Filho, looks at what happens when an independent security firm arrives in a middle-class neighbourhood in Brazil.

"In each of these cases, it's something very original – it will mark the discovery of these great cinematic voices for the Australian audience," says Moodley.

Also in this year's lineup are Woody Allen: A Documentary (the title is fairly self-explanatory), Crazy Horse – a documentary by Frederick Wiseman about Le Crazy Horse de Paris, the self-proclaimed 'best nude dancing show in the world', and Harold's Going Stiff – a film fashioned in the style of a BBC documentary about a mysterious illness turning men in the north of England into bloodthirsty zombies.

"Zombies have a role to play in film festivals, I believe," says Moodley. "I think we'll make lots of people happy with that crazy, happy film. The undead are people too."

To see more of the festival preview, click here

Beasts of the Southern Wild will have its Australian premiere at the Sydney Film Festival