Sydney Film Festival Closing Night 2015

(7.30pm, State Theatre)

Thank you.

Good evening and welcome to tonight's eagerly anticipated premiere of "Holding the Man".

Directed by Neil Armfield, this adaptation of Tim Conigrave's memoir will be the perfect closure to what has been an unforgettable 12 days of films, talks and events across our city.

With more than 300 screenings of the best local and international cinema, we've seen the world through the eyes of some of the most exciting directors, screenwriters and cinematographers.

We've been entertained, challenged and provoked by a fabulous talk program featuring local filmmakers, critics, and international guests, and we've delighted in the outdoor screen at Martin Place featuring short films, red carpet snippets and some wonderful historical footage.

As always it seems to have gone too quickly!

The Festival prides itself on the number of free events, making it accessible to everyone, and the City of Sydney is delighted to support this by providing a home for many of these events at the Sydney Film Festival Hub - a space that is so much more than a festival bar. It's been terrific to see our Lower Town Hall transformed into the perfect place to meet friends and discuss film, to listen to vinyl, to catch a micro talk or to enjoy a drink between screenings.

Great cities support and foster an environment in which the arts, culture and creative activity can flourish. The City is committed to this, not only through our grants program but through our Creative City policy which - for the first time - gives us a blueprint for creating an environment in which ideas and the imagination are nourished.

The Sydney Film Festival is a vital part of this cultural fabric - always eagerly anticipated and loved. It has once again affirmed our place on the world stage not only as a festival city, but as a film festival city.

On behalf of the City I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this year's program such an outstanding success. Thank you for coming!

Enjoy this final evening!