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SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST FILMS FOR 2014

The 61st Sydney Film Festival today announced 32 films to be featured in this year’s event in advance of the full program launch on Wednesday 7 May.

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The Sydney Film Festival expands its geographical footprint west to Blacktown this year with a special 40th anniversary restoration of the cult classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on Friday the 13th of June at the Skyline Drive-In.

In addition, SFF will return to the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, Art Gallery of NSW, the popular Festival Hub at Town Hall and, for the second year, to the much-loved Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne.

This first announcement comprises 32 titles including one World Premiere, 19 Australian premieres, 13 features, 11 documentaries and a special eight-film retrospective on maverick American filmmaker Robert Altman, with his son and filmmaker Michael Altman attending the Festival as one of our many special guests.

Amongst the exciting selection are Golden Bear winner Black Coal, Thin Ice from director Yinan Diao, Frank (Lenny Abrahamson), a hip, hilarious and sometimes dark comedy starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Domhnall Gleeson, Gabrielle (Louise Archambault), from the producers of SFF 2012 Audience Winner Monsieur Lazhar, Joe, the latest film from David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche) starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan, The Lunchox (Ritesh Batra), the Indian indie hit, Omar, the Palestinian Oscar-nominated drama, Ruin, Michael Cody and Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s follow-up to the stunning Hail, Tom at the Farm, the latest film from Canadian wonder kid Xavier Dolan, We are the Best! From renowned Swedish director Lukas Moodysson, Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (Michel Gondry), a meeting with ‘the most important thinker alive’ – philosopher, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky and The Unknown Known, in which Errol Morris puts former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in front of his penetrating lens, quizzing him on the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, his relationship with George H.W. Bush, and his years in office.

Included in the Robert Altman retrospective are That Cold Day in the Park (1969), M*A*S*H (1970), McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), A Wedding (1978), Short Cuts (1993) and A Prairie Home Companion (2006).

The rest of the Preview Program can be found here – http://www.sff.org.au/public/films/program/sff-2014-preview/

In addition, SFF 2014 will feature a specially curated photographic exhibition called Rosebud by Los Angeles-based Australian photographer Hugh Hamilton. Presented in association with Head On Photo Festival with support from Arthead, Rosebud presents a series of striking and intimate portraits of film stars and filmmakers taken with their ‘rosebud’ – a personal object of particular significance to their life and work, a concept inspired by the classic film Citizen Kane.

The full Sydney Film Festival program is announced on Wednesday 7 May at 10am.

Note: Flexipasses and subscriptions to Sydney Film Festival 2014 are on sale now. Please call 1300 733 733 or visit sff.org.au/preview for more information.

Andrew Buckle – follow Andy on Twitter here: @buckle22

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