The 69th Sydney Film Festival (June 8-19) will be back in cinemas across 12 days and nights, promising to showcase the greatest, strangest and most exciting works cinema has to offer, with a number of DEGANZ members featuring.

Anthology film We Are Still Here will open SFF as well as have its World Premiere. The film is an unparalleled First Nations celebration, interweaving eight stories by 10 directors from Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. That includes DEGANZ members Tim Worrall, Chantelle Burgoyne and board member Renae Maihi.

Conceived as a cinematic response to the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in this region, We Are Still Here is a poetic and powerful statement of resistance and survival. The other directors involved are Beck Cole, Danielle MacLean, Dena Curtis, Richard Curtis, Miki Magasiva, Mario Gaoa and Tracey Rigney. We Are Still Here is a joint indigenous initiative between Screen Australia’s First Nations Department and the NZ Film Commission.

Nude Tuesday is set to have its World Premiere at the festival as well, featured in the Special Presentations programme. Directed by our member Armagan Ballantyne and written by fellow DEGANZ member Jackie van Beek, the unique comedy, filled with eccentric characters and a made up language, follows a conservative middle-aged couple who try to rescue their failing marriage by attending  a new-age relationship retreat.

Directed and co-written by DEGANZ member Michelle Savill, Millie Lies Low, will have its Australian Premiere at SFF. Praised at the Berlin International Film festival and SXSW, Michelle’s dark comedy is a thoughtful exploration of anxiety and imposter syndrome.

Another Kiwi film having its Australian Premiere is biopic Whina. Directed by James Napier Robertson and Paula Whetu Jones, Whina follows the tumultuous personal journey and unshakeable inner strength that led Whinā to become one of Aotearoa’s most formidable leaders.

Congratulations to our members and safe travels to those heading across the ditch to attend!

Learn more at the Sydney Film Festival website.

Last updated on 19 May 2022