Dev Patel’s ‘The Wedding Guest’ in this years’ Sydney Film Fest

The 66th  Sydney Film Festival has announced a sneak peek of 25 new films to be featured in this year’s 5-16 June event.The announcement is in advance of the full program launch on Wednesday 8 May.

This year’s festival is screening director Michael Winterbottom’s Indian film ‘The Wedding Guest’ starring actor Dev Patel along side Indian film and stage actress Radhika Apte.Directed by Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo) ”“ this propulsive, globetrotting thriller is a breathless tour through the shadowy underworlds and hidden realms of Pakistan and India. Patel plays a professional contractor who’s job is to kidnap a woman on the eve of her arranged marriage and deliver her to the man she loves;

“The 2019 program has unveiled a list of 25 films and invites all to come together and hear from a wonderful kaleidoscope of voices, like the inspiringly sensational powerhouse talent of gospel queen Aretha Franklin, or Adam Goodes courageously standing up against racism and facing severe repercussions as a consequence,”  Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley  said.
“These first 25 films are a mere taster of the incredible program in store, from the devastating human impact on the world around us, to captivating stories from unique communities, and spotlights on the most accomplished artists of our generation.”Leading the pack”¦
Leading the titles announced are  The Final Quarter, documenting AFL champion footballer and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes’ divisive public call-out of racism, and Australia’s heated response. Renowned Australian documentarian Ian Darling (Suzy and the Simple Man  ”“ SFF 2016) chronicles the final years of the Sydney Swans player’s career, as the cheers turned to boos.
40 years in the making,  Amazing Grace  captures a never-before-seen, Sydney Pollack’s spine-tingling 1972 performance by iconic diva  Aretha Franklin. The legendary live show was recorded for her Grammy Award-winning album  Amazing Grace  ”“ to this day, the highest selling live gospel album of all time.
Robert Pattinson  (Good Time  ”“ SFF 2017,  The Rover  ”“ SFF 2014),  Juliette Binoche  (The English Patient) and hip hop icon  André 3000  star in sexually charged sci-fi thriller  High Life, from acclaimed French director Claire Denis (Chocolat);  Dev Patel  (Lion) is a compelling presence in Michael Winterbottom’s (On the Road  ”“ SFF 2017) thrilling, modern film noir  The Wedding Guest; and  Papi Chulo  features Golden Globe winner  Matt Bomer  (In Time) as a gay TV weatherman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with a straight Latino migrant worker.
In Fabric  brings more star power with  Gwendoline Christie  (Game of Thrones) and  Marianne Jean-Baptiste  (Without a Trace) in British visionary  Peter Strickland’s (The Field Guide to Evil  ”“ SFF 2018) mesmerising tale of a demonic red dress.
Also featuring on the list is winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Screenplay  Piranhas, about a group of 15-year-olds in Naples going from petty thieves to gun-toting gangsters virtually overnight.
New works from Australian storytellersCloser to home, She Who Must Be  Obeyed  Loved  is a celebration of the life of the trailblazing Indigenous filmmaker Alfreda Glynn, by her own daughter Erica Glynn (In My Own Words  ”“ SFF 2017) and granddaughter Tanith Glynn-Maloney; and Adelaide filmmaker Sophie Hyde’s hilariousAnimals  features  Alia Shawkat  (Arrested Development) and  Holliday Grainger  (The Borgias) as best friends   who live in a haze of drink, drugs and one-night stands, cutting a swathe through Dublin until their friendship is tested when one of them falls in love.
International festival winners and nomineesChoice cuts from the international festival circuit include: the double Oscar-nominated epic  Never Look Away, a beautiful and tragic love story inspired ”“ controversially ”“ by the life of German artist Gerhard Richter, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others); and winner of the Horizon Prize at Venice, as well as Best Director prizes at the Cairo and Thessaloniki film festivals,  Manta Ray, a visually unforgettable story about the unusual friendship between a Thai fisherman and a Rohingya refugee.
Winner of the NETPAC Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Ash Mayfair’s exquisite debut  The Third Wife  focusses on a teenager in an arranged marriage in 19th  century Vietnam who learns quickly about her world’s suffocating patriarchy; and winner of the Youth Jury Award at San Sebastian International Film Festival,  Journey to a Mother’s Room, an intimate and funny portrait of a tight mother-daughter bond that’s tested by separation.
Outstanding documentariesSydney Film Festival’s documentary program continues to bring the most fascinating stories about people, places, enterprises and phenomena from around the world.
The Kleptocrats  is a jaw-dropping exposé on Malaysia’s 1MDB wealth fund scandal, playing out like a Hollywood movie complete with stars, villains and billions of dollars at stake; and  Anthropocene: The Human Epoch  is a visually stunning essay on the human race’s devastating impact on the Earth, from the trio behind multi-award-winners  Manufactured Landscapes  and  Watermark  (SFF 2014).
The Festival also shines a light on renowned contemporary artists.  British rock star PJ Harvey’s restless, probing genius shines in  A Dog Called Money,  documenting the performance-art process behind the recording of her 2016 album  The Hope Six Demolition Project; and  Yuli  is a moving biography of Cuban ballet luminary Carlos Acosta, the first black principal dancer of the prestigious Royal Ballet.
Stories from communities across the world include:  Midnight Family, following a family in Mexico City operating one of many private ambulances hustling for work in the megapolis;  Up the Mountain, a meditative work about an artist and his community in a Chinese mountain village, evoking a fast-disappearing way of life; and  School of Seduction ”“ Three Stories from Russia, about workshops in Putin’s Russia where you can learn ”˜skills for seducing wealthy men’, and the women who attend them.
Quirky hitsThis year’s Festival has its share of the wonderfully quirky, such as delightfully deadpan Cuban sci-fi  The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste Garcia, about a 60-year-old who signs up to visit an alien planet alongside a motley crew; Hiroshi Okuyama’s strikingly original debut  Jesus, presenting Jesus Christ as the tiny friend of a young boy; andMinuscule 2: Mandibles from Far Away, a dive into the delightful world of animated insects, and follow-up to the award-winning French TV series and debut  Minuscule  feature.
Screen Day Out
Also returning is  Screen Day Out, the Festival’s program for high school students supported by Australian Teachers of Media Inc. The program will screen  Eternity, a brand-new National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) digital restoration of Lawrence Johnston’s 1994 film about Arthur Stace, a Sydneysider who famously chalked the word ”˜Eternity’ on his hometown’s streets; and  The Miracle of the Little Prince, exploring the nature of language and culture, particularly disappearing Indigenous languages, through Antoine Saint-Exupéry’s classic  The Little Prince.
Just announced is  Essential Australian Women Directors ”“ 10 Trailblazers Selected by David Stratton, a program of 10 essential films directed by pioneering Australian women filmmakers. Each film marks a milestone in Australian film history, from influential silent masterpiece  The Cheaters, to the only feature film by Indigenous artist Tracey Moffatt,  Bedevil.
TheState Theatre,  Event Cinemas George Street,  Dendy Opera Quays,  Dendy Newtown,  Randwick Ritz,  Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Cremorne,  Hoyts Entertainment Quarter,  Art Gallery of NSW, and  Casula Powerhouse  return as official Festival screening venues.The full Sydney Film Festival program is announced on Wednesday 8 May 2019.
Flexipasses and subscriptions to Sydney Film Festival 2019 are on sale now.
Call 1300 733 733 or visit  for more information.

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