Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Official Line-up for the 2012 Sydney Film Festival Announced

This morning the official line-up for the 2012 Sydney Film Festival was announced. There have been a number of titles speculated as to being included - including Cabin in the Woods for a short period - but the selected line-up, though it doesn't have some of the big titles of last year (The Tree of Life for example), remains impressive. Several films playing at Cannes this month (Moonrise Kingdom, On The Road, Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild) are screening, but the biggest contingent come from Berlin and Sundance, as expected.

The Sydney Film Festival is scheduled for June 6 −17.

The Opening Night film is Not Suitable for Children, while the film selected to close the festival is Safety Not Guaranteed. 

Official Competition

Alps - The team behind Greek 'Weird Wave' films Dogtooth and Attenberg return with the absurd tale of a secret club whose members are paid to act as replacements for the recently deceased.

Beasts of the Southern Wild - A Sundance prize winner, this unforgettable feature-film debut is set in a defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world, as icebergs melt and prehistoric creatures descend.

Caesar Must Die - Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlinale, this powerful drama-within-a-drama blends fiction and documentary in the staging of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in a prison in modern-day Rome.

Dead Europe - Australian director Tony Krawitz adapts The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas' award-winning novel in this searing film starring Ewen Leslie as a Sydney photographer whose father's death prompts a return to the ancestral homeland in Greece.

Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1/Part 2 - Anurag Kashyap's epic is a thrilling, beautifully shot and extremely violent journey tracing the feud between mining magnate and politician Radadhir Singh and Khan family from colonial to contemporary times.

The King of Pigs - A daring, disturbing and violent animated film about bullying, social status and class difference, marking a brave new direction for Korean animation.

Lore - Australian director Cate Shortland tells the story of five German children left fend for themselves in the aftermath of World War II, and the Jewish survivor who helps them.

Monsieur Lazhar - This Oscar-nominated drama is the moving story of schoolchildren coming to terms with the adult world, and the inspirational substitute teacher from Algeria who transforms their lives.

Neighbouring Sounds - In this assured and astonishing feature-film debut, life in a middle-class neighbourhood in present-day Recife, Brazil, takes an unexpected turn after the arrival of an independent private-security firm.

On the Road - Jack Kerouac's legendary work is brought to the big screen with respect and verve by Walter Salles, featuring fine performances from Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen.

Tabu - When an old lady dies in Lisbon, her maid and neighbour learn of her past, in a beguiling tale of love and crime in an Africa straight from adventure films.

Today - Magical-realist story about a Senegalese man (Saul Williams) who wakes up one morning knowing that this day will be his last.

Features, International Documentaries, Special Presentations and Freak Me Out after the jump...


11 Flowers
Being Venice
The Comedy
Death for Sale
Final Whistle
For Ellen
Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai (3D)
Jeff, Who Lives At Home
Just the Wind
Liberal Arts
Love Lasts Three Years
Miss Bala
Modest Reception
Mosquita y Mari
My Brother the Devil
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Our Homeland
The Parade
La Pirogue
Play It Like Godard
Postcards From the Zoo
A Royal Affair
Twilight Portrait
Where Do We Go Now?

International Documentaries

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Bachelor Mountain
Ballroom Dancer
The British Guide to Showing Off
Crazy Horse
Death of a Japanese Salesman
Dreams of a Life
First Position
Golden Slumbers
High Tech, Low Life
The Imposter
Last Call at the Oasis
The Last Dogs of Winter
The Law in These Parts
Maori Boy Genius
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
Pink Ribbons, Inc.
Side by Side
The Virgin, the Copts and Me
Vivan las Antipodas!
Whores' Glory
Winter Nomads
Woody Allen: A Documentary
The World Before Her

Special Presentations At The State

The Angel's Share
I, Anna
The Loneliest Planet
Moonrise Kingdom
A Simple Life
Wuthering Heights

Freak Me Out

Harold's Going Stiff
Killer Joe
Ok. Good
The Warped Forest

There are a couple of other categories, but they are the key ones. For more information, and details about these films, the complete line-up can be found at the official Sydney Film Festival website,

I already have tickets to the opening and closing nights. The ones I have highlighted are the ones that stood out to me on first glance, and will be the ones I will endeavour to see. The rest I either have limited interest in, or have not yet heard of (mostly the latter). Note: A Royal Affair has a cinema release later in June, so it will not feature as part of my program.

What do you think of line-up? What will you be seeing? International readers, have you seen any of these films so far, and if so, do you have any recommendations?


  1. That's a nice line-up. I would've added Wuthering Heights by Andrea Arnold of Fish Tank. I would add For Ellen since it features Jena Malone but I heard pretty bad things about the film and the fact that she's wasted in a very small role.

    1. I have heard of For Ellen, but I don't think I will see it. Wuthering Heights I can fit in. Maybe I will check it out.

  2. Ahh that's a fantastic lineup. I've seen a handful of them but there are still a ton that I am eagerly anticipating. Looking forward to your coverage for sure.

  3. So what about the other strands like the retrospective, Japanese film and India focus?