Sydney 2018: Documentary Overview

The 65th Sydney Film Festival

June 6-17

This long-running Australian event includes just over 60 new documentary features.


Among the national films competing for the Documentary Australia Foundation Award are: Ben Lawrence’s GHOSTHUNTER, following an amateur ghosthunter as he invesigates the secrets of his own family; Olivia Martin-McGuire’s CHINA LOVE, China as seen through the lens of wedding photographers; Travis Beard’s ROCKABUL, which follows Afghanistan’s only heavy metal band; Catherine Scott’s BACKTRACK BOYS, about at-risk youth set straight by participating in a dog-jumping team; Grace McKenzie’s IN THE LAND OF WOLVES, a portrait of a rural Georgian village; and Grant Leigh Saunders’ TEACH A MAN TO FISH, about an expatriate Aboriginal man’s attempts to reconnect with his roots. Screening outside of competition is Australian archivist Sari Braithwaite’s [CENSORED], constructed from clips cut from international films by Aussie censors between 1951 and 1978.


The fest’s well-curated international documentaries include a number of titles from major fests over the past year as well as some less familiar or newer films, including: Ladj Ly’s SPEAK UP, following a French public speaking competition; Claire Simon’s latest, YOUNG SOLITUDE, focused on French adolescents; Elad Cohen and Iris Ben Moshe’s THE SIGN FOR LOVE, a personal exploration of a deaf man’s disconnection from his hearing family; and Kabir Chowdhry’s hybrid MEHSAMPUR, a provocative investigation of the deaths of legendary Indian folk singers.


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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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