Jen Peedom’s Mountain.

Mountain, the latest documentary from Sherpa director Jen Peedom, will screen at this year’s Sydney Film Festival.

The festival, now in its 64th year, today announced 28 films ahead of the full program launch in May.

Mountain, which features a score by Richard Tognetti performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, explores the history of people’s fascination with mountains and why they risk their lives for them. The film is written by Robert MacFarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind, and saw Peedom reunite with Renan Ozturk, Sherpa‘s main altitude cinematographer.

Other local fare includes That’s Not Me, from Melbourne husband and wife duo Gregory Erdstein (director-writer) and Alice Foulcher (star and writer-producer). The indie comedy has already screened in the States, with SFF marking its Australian premiere.

Hollie Fifer’s controversial docoThe Opposition will also screen after being suppressed by a court order last year. From NZ is Florian Habicht’s Spookers, a look into the inner workings of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest horror theme park and the tight-knit New Zealand family who run it.

Headlining the international films is Whitney Houston documentary Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’. British director Nick Broomfield will be a guest of the festival and present an industry masterclass.

Lav Diaz’s The Woman Who Left, winner of the Golden Lion at Venice, is another highlight, along with A24’s A Ghost Story, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

The line-up also includes films such as Amat Escalante’s The Untamed, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival for Best Direction, Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation, which won the Best Director Prize at Cannes 2016, and Shahrbanoo Sadat’s debut feature Wolf and Sheep, which won the Art Cinema Award at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

Nowhere to Hide, the main award-winner at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, has also been announced, along with three winners from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; Winnie, Motherland, and Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World. 

Other films include the Oscar nominated I Am Not Your Negro and My Life as a Zucchini; Malaysian action film Mrs K; Untitled, the final film of the late Michael Glawogger, and Maudie, starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins.

Liberation Day, which sees Slovenian metal band Laibach and their Latvian-Norwegian film crew get unprecedented access into North Korea, will make its Australian debut, as will Steve James’ Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

SFF will also hold a retrospective for An American Werewolf in London, screening under the full moon at the Skyline Drive-In in Bankstown on June 16.

The full program will be announced May 11. Sydney Film Festival runs June 7-18.

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