Sydney Film Festival Opening Night

(8.30pm, Wednesday 5 June 2013, State Theatre)

Thank you, Chris [Freeland, SFF chairman]. Hello, everyone welcome to the 60th Sydney Film Festival. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

Let me also acknowledge:

  • The Hon Greg Pearce, NSW Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra
  • Kevin Goult, General Manager Marketing of Audi Australia
  • Nashen Moodley, Sydney Film Festival Director, and
  • Ivan Sen, film-maker and director of Mystery Road.

We're at the start of another Sydney Film Festival, and are celebrating 60 years of this amazing Sydney institution.

I hope you've all burrowed into the on-line archive launched in March which provides an amazing chronicle of those 60 years and the City continues to be a proud supporter.

And as this Festival celebrates its milestone stronger than ever, it continues to bring us important and challenging films, cementing its reputation as a major event on the international film calendar.

Sydney is Australia's most diverse city, and our Film Festival echoes that diversity, bringing us stories from around the world, as well as telling our own Australian stories, and showcasing some of the wonderful talents that this country produces.

As always, there are feature films, documentaries, short films and animations - enough to satisfy even the most insatiable film-lover.

And the City will once again host the Sydney Film Festival Hub in Lower Town Hall.

This pop-up bar and performance space is the place to meet, either before or after the Festival screenings. It gives you a chance to discuss the films over a drink and to prolong the Festival experience outside the cinema.

I hope to see you there.

Finally, I congratulate the Sydney Film Festival, the board and staff on another impressive and stimulating program, and I wish all of you a wonderful time at the 60th Sydney Film Festival and especially enjoy Mystery Road tonight.