Sydney Film Festival 2018 – Film in Revolt picks

The Film in Revolt team (aged 13 – 19) reveal what they don’t want to miss at this year’s Sydney Film Festival.


Half the Picture is a documentary about female directors, and specifically the lack of them. This film tackles an extremely important issue within the industry and features some of my favourite female filmmakers, and I am looking forward to hearing from them in this documentary. 

I’m definitely looking forward to The Breadwinner. I love animation, and The Breadwinner looks charming, soulful and moving. 


Bad Reputation – I love interview-based documentaries, and with a subject like Joan Jett this film is something I’m looking forward to.

Filmworker – Stanley Kubrick’s career and his eccentric (often difficult) personality has been the subject of many books and films, and seeing a different perspective – that of Kubrick’s longtime right-hand man, Leon Vitali – looks really interesting.


The Taste of Rice Flower is a film I am excited to see as it would be interesting to view the issue of rural-urban divide in China through a cinematic lens. The emotive plight of families torn apart by the rapid urbanisation of China is still pertinent and is often highlighted by Chinese reality shows and media. Familial relationships, in particular: the relationship between a mother and daughter, is a topic that draws interests to me and I trust that Peng Fei Song’s film will provide an enlightening portrayal on human relationships.

Yellow is Forbidden – Guo Pei is a pioneer who has also become an important representation as a Chinese, female, fashion designer in an industry dominated by white men. Having just seen the Guo Pei’s creations that were a part of the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial exhibition, I am even more enthralled by her work and her incorporation of traditional Chinese elements with contemporary, Western styles. I am hoping that Pietra Brettkelly’s documentary will provide more insight into the practice of an artist I admire.


Dragonfly Eyes by Chinese artist/director Xu Bing, mainly for the wonderful novelty it is to see surveillance footage repurposed into narrative cinema. Chinese directors have long worked tentatively with the government due to its restrictions, and a film based around surveillance is a wry metaphor for this battle, I’m expecting something that will be a highly unique experience.

I’m also anticipating local comedy Chocolate Oyster to be interesting, as a young person living in Sydney, I often feel like my experiences are rarely shown in film. Many people, especially internationally, don’t fully recognise the difficulty of living here, especially as a creative, but the contrast between our city’s relaxed people and frenetic demands always make for entertaining banter, so I’m hoping that the movie captures that tension in a relatable way.


I don’t want to miss The Miseducation of Cameron Post and We the Animals. I’ve been anticipating The Miseducation of Cameron Post since the announcement of the project, and I’m excited to see how they’ll adapt the novel to the screen. As for We the Animals, it’s said to be this year’s Moonlight, which is pretty much a guarantee that I’ll love it.

Jordan P

Butterflies – Hot from Sundance Film Festival, this film centers on three distant brothers discovering each other and themselves as they wait to bury their father. The film’s dramatic undertones are being pitched as a breeze to get through yet with enough emotional impact to leave you thinking long after… sparking my curiosity on just how this has been pulled off.

Dragonfly Eyes – Uses actual street-cam footage to tell the mysterious true story of a young woman as she leaves the Buddhist temples. A blend of mystery and reality is enough to spark my curiosity on a story with an ambitious approach.


The film I’m most looking forward to is The Breadwinner, an animated adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ novel Parvana, directed by Nora Twomey. Since seeing the trailer, I’ve been excited – having read Parvana back in primary school, and with my love of animation, this film seems like the perfect combo.

A close second is L’animale, a German coming-of-age tale by director Katharina Mückstein, that just looks hella cool. 


Over The Limit – I used to be a former rhythmic gymnast myself and Margarita Mamun was the Russian gymnast I aspired to be! It’s like this movie was made for me!


American Animals – Bart Layton’s The Imposter stuck with me long after viewing. His way of communicating life’s stranger-than-fiction nature has me excited for another true tale told through his brilliant storytelling.


I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story  – This documentary from Australian filmmakers Jessica Leski and Rita Walsh caught my attention in a heartbeat. My boyband obsession was The Beatles (still a fan). Leski and Walsh interview four generations of fangirls.


The first film I can’t wait to see is We the Animals. I literally know nothing about this film. There hasn’t been a single trailer released and I didn’t even really read the synopsis. All I know going in is that it has been compared to ‘Moonlight’, one of my favourite films of the last couple of years, as well as last year’s ‘The Florida Project’, which I also loved. I’m currently finishing off the script of a short film I’m developing which is inspired by those two films, so I’m sure that ‘We The Animals’ will give me a lot of new ideas.

Another film that’s worth mentioning is Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day’, one of my favourite films of all time, from one of my favourite directors. I first watched this Taiwanese film about a year ago at home, thanks to its Blu-Ray release via the Criterion Collection. There’s no way around it – this film is four hours long. However, despite its insanely long runtime, this film flies by. Set during a rough period in Taiwan’s history, this film follows a generation of teenagers and their families struggling with identity, relationships and uncertainty about the future. Rather than stretching a rapid-fire story over the course of the film, Yang forces us to watch these characters in what feels like real time, in an almost fly-on-the-wall style. This film is heartbreaking, riveting and gorgeous, and I cannot wait to see the new 35mm print on the big screen. 


The Heiresses – An interesting storyline set in a world completely foreign to what I am used to, The Heiresses seems like a film that will enlighten my vision of the other side of the world. Also a lesbian couple and a woman with an ego? Finally.

Butterflies – A bizarre comedy on dysfunctional siblings. Yes, please.


Sydney Film Festival
June 6 – June 17

Most unclassified SFF screenings have age restrictions of 18+ or 15+. No one under 18 is admitted to 18+ films. Children under 15 will only be admitted to 15+ films with a parent or guardian. Most films in the Family section are classified for all ages, but please note age recommendations for these films.

Some of the Film in Revolt team are over 18 – we advise you check the suitability of films before booking for youth under the age of 18 and are also aware of the restrictions on unclassified films.