Sydney Film Festival announces 2014 program and guest list

07 May, 2014 by Emily Blatchford

The Rover, Ruin, 20,000 Days on Earth, Fell and NZ mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows are just some of the 183 films scheduled to screen at the 61st Sydney Film Festival in June this year.

The full program for the Festival was announced this morning by the NSW Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, at a packed event held at Customs House in Circular Quay, Sydney.


“The New South Wales Government, through Screen NSW and Destination NSW, is very pleased to be again supporting Sydney Film Festival which is also part of Vivid Ideas 2014. Sydney Film Festival is a highlight of the city’s rich arts calendar and an important part of our cultural fabric. The Festival underpins Sydney’s recognition as a UNESCO City of Film, and I look forward to experiencing the Festival this June,” Mr Grant addressed the crowd this morning.

Another exciting announcement was the SFF guest line up for 2014; which includes the Rover’s Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, renowned director Fred Schepisi, directors Michael Cody, Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Kasimir Burgess and Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett.

“Sydney Film Festival has gone from strength to strength over recent years, with attendances increasing over 23% since 2011 to 143,000,” said SFF Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “SFF not only presents the best films from across the country and around the world, but we also open up dialogue between the creators and audiences and curators and critics alike, in every direction and combination. Together in a crowded theatre, comedies are funnier, horror films are scarier and tender moments bring tears more readily; everything we feel is amplified by the power of the shared experience.”
In keeping with recent years, where the SFF has focussed on a particular culture per Festival, 2014 will see an emphasis on Chinese productions.

“China has one of the biggest cinema going populations and creates such a great body of films each year, really diverse films, from big budget commercial films to very independent works by young filmmakers, in particular, that are very exciting,” Moodley told IF. “In previous years we have focussed on India and Austria, but this year seemed a really good time to move that focus to China.”

Great news for Australian film is that the 2014 program sees more Australian films compete for the prestigious Sydney Film Festival Prize than ever before. Competing against nine other nominees for the $60,000 cash prize is David Michod's The Rover, Amiel Courtin Wilson and Michael Cody's Ruin and Kasimir Burgess' Fell. 

Previous SFF Prize Winners are Only God Forgives (2013), Alps (2012); the Academy Award winning A Separation (2011), Heartbeats (2010); Bronson (2009); and Hunger (2008).

The Sydney Film Festival will open with Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard's 20,000 Days on Earth and will run from 4-15 June across a number of Sydney venues. 

To see the full program or for more information, visit