TV & Movies

10 Must-See Movies At The 2019 Sydney Film Festival

By Stephen A Russell
6th Jun 2019

Sydney Film Festival 2019 | Urban List

Left it last minute to sort out your Sydney Film Festival schedule and freaking at all the selling fast and sold out movies?

Have no fear, we’ve got your back with a deep dive guide to ten of the hottest highlights still up for grabs.

Here are 10 of the best movies you can still see at the Sydney Film Festival this year. 

Brittany Runs A Marathon

A broke New York party girl (Jillian Bell) gets a high blood pressure wake-up call from her doc and decides to run around the block to get fit on the cheap in this cute, non-judgy comedy and Sundance fave from playwright-turned-filmmaker Paul Downs Colaizzo. Packed with snappy one-liners, it’s based on his BFF and has fun taking cheeky curveballs. Grab tickets here

The Wandering Chef

Indulge hungry tums and soft hearts with this mouth-watering doco about celebrity chef and foraging champion, Jiho Im. His Korean peninsula-spanning search is as much about finding familial love as it is about wowing in the kitchen, offering an intimate look at a man who lost not one, but two mothers and finds comfort and creativity in a third. Tickets are here


This Sydney-set thriller by Partho Sen-Gupta sees a brother who just wants to blend in (Adam Bakri) turn detective when his estranged activist and poet sister (Danielle Horvat) goes missing. Meanwhile, an Islamophobic backlash by right-wing media spreads the (possibly-true) theory she’s fled to join ISIS. Tickets are here

Martha: A Picture Story

Aussie director Selina Miles expands on the themes behind ABC mini-series The Wanderers with her feature-length doco about legendary NYC photographer Martha Cooper. Unfamiliar? Cooper documented the rise of graffiti art in the 70s, publishing seminal book Subway Art, and this finds her pondering how it went from public transport scrawls to fancy gallery hauls. Head over here for tickets. 

My Name is Daniel

A highlight of the Screenability stream showcasing the stories about disability, Brazilian filmmaker Daniel Gonçalves shares intimate insights about his unique childhood, growing up with an undiagnosed condition that still flummoxes his doctors. Surrounded by loving family and friends, he worries about those doing it tougher without his privileges. Grab tickets here


The classic western gets a feminist overhaul in this class and race-conscious Thelma and Louise-like wild night on the run. South African director Jenna Cato Bass, who co-wrote Oscar-nominated hit Rafiki, kicks it off with a wedding night gone horribly wrong that sees teenaged Natalie (Nicole Fortuin) flee with bestie Poppie (Izel Bezuidenhout), pursued by Faith Baloyi’s cop. Tickets are here

Why Don’t You Just Die!

Described as a “splatterpunk action comedy,” by The Hollywood Reporter, this eye-opening debut feature from Kirill Sokolov has future cult classic written all over it. Set almost entirely inside a neon-hued apartment, Aleksandr Kuznetsov’s hammer-wielding 20-something dukes it out with his girlfriend’s hulking dad, with hints of Tarantino’s cinema-literate violence. Head here for tickets. 

Ghost Town Anthology

French-Canadian director Denis Côté explores what happens to a tiny, tight-knit rural community after a horrible car accident kills a popular 21-year-old in this spooky mystery. Was it an accident or, as his brother (Robert Naylor) suspects, a desperate way out? And who are the strange figures haunting the outskirts of town? Have the dead come back? Check it out here

Divine Love

Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro knows how to deliver a super stylised, seriously sexy movie that leaves you thinking way after the end credits roll. He strikes again with this erotic dystopia that posits a near-future where faith has embraced orgies as a means to entice the masses, giving hope to one woman (Dira Paes) determined to conceive. Tickets are here

All Night Cine Love-In

If you’re a night owl who loves to prowl on the wild side, get way more bang for your buck by locking in this crazy classic cinematic trip. Kicking off with a screening of Twin Peaks maestro David Lynch’s classic body horror Eraserhead at 10pm, it winds up with glorious Female Trouble from the Pope of Trash himself, John Waters, in the early hours of Sunday morn. Head over here to get tickets. 


What: The Sydney Film Festival
When: Until June 16
Where: Various cinemas in Sydney

Staying in instead? Here are the best shows on Netflix right now

Image credit: Sydney Film Festival. 

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