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Festival holds more than a flicker of interest

This year, the University of Sydney is thrilled to again partner with the Sydney Film Festival in presenting a series of magnificent Australian and international films, and a series of talks to accompany them. The University is, after all, the place where the Sydney Film Festival began back in 1954, and we are proud of our continued association with this incredibly varied and successful celebration of the global film industry.

While we aren’t showing films at the University, we are excited to sponsor this year’s series of international documentaries, which you can see at various locations around the city. More than 25 documentaries will screen this year, ranging from a history of Greenpeace to Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon, which charts the rise of National Lampoon from a counterculture college magazine at Harvard University to a comedy empire, with a roll call of comedy greats including John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray.

We will also present a series of free “micro-talks”, which promise to be fascinating. Dr Bruce Isaacs, senior lecturer in film studies, will talk about the future of film, and Professor Sahar Amer of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies will speak about Arab cinema. Dr Rodney Teveira, lecturer in American studies, will discuss racism and the legacy of Hollywood’s first blockbuster, The Birth of a Nation. My personal favourite, though, is Professor Peter Hiscock speaking on the archaeologist as anti-hero in films. Surely Indiana Jones must rate a mention?!

The micro-talks are part of our “Curiosity Season”, which has included talks during the Writers’ Festival and Vivid. They will take place at 3pm on Saturday June 6, at the Sydney Film Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall.

We’ll also be providing free “curiosity coffee” to attendees of the Festival who want to tweet a quote, question an idea, or who post a picture of our curiosity coffee cart and post it to Instagram. Once done, you simply show the picture or tweet to our barista, and your coffee will be provided. The curiosity coffee cart will be at the Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall between 12pm and 4pm on Saturday June 6.

I hope you will be able to join us for a coffee, and feed your curiosity at a micro-talk, and that you have a wonderful Sydney Film Festival!


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