This morning I was delighted to speak at the launch the 2015 Sydney Film Festival. In all its richness and diversity, Sydney Film Festival reflects our city and our world - and the City is a proud supporter of it.
For more than 60 years, from its amateur beginnings at the University of Sydney, the Festival has brought the world to our city, opening us to other cultures, different ways of life, different ideas while also casting a revealing eye at our own.
This year's Festival of more than 200 films more than lives up to its predecessors. Among the highlights: the Australian-Irish thriller, Strangerland, with Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving; the retrospective of 10 Ingmar Bergman films, curated by David Stratton; and an expanded program for families that includes the Oscar-nominated animated feature, Song of the Sea, and a charming offering from India, The Crow's Egg.
Other films will be shown in venues across the city, from the State Theatre to Dendy Opera Quays, Events Cinemas, the Art Gallery of NSW, Dendy Newtown and the Cremorne Orpheum. The TV big screen will also show spectacular light installations in the Martin Place Amphitheatre during VIVID Sydney.
The City and the Festival will also jointly present The Bluffers' Guide to Cinema, as part of our Library Talks program.
Sydney and NSW are Australia's film and television capital, home to the Australian Film & Television School, to state-of-the-art studio facilities and to a host of talented film makers and actors. In 2010, Sydney was nominated as the second UNESCO City of Film. The nomination noted that the strength of Sydney's film industry "lies in its openness towards cinema of all cultures" - and there is no better exemplar of that than the Sydney Film Festival itself.
To see the full program and buy tickets, go to the SFF website: http://www.sff.org.au/