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Popular Sydney Film Festival returning to Newcastle


A celebration of cinema will return to Newcastle this month, thanks to the much-loved Travelling Film Festival.

Showcasing a new program direct from the 70th edition of the Sydney Film Festival, the event is scheduled to take place at Event Cinemas Kotara from 23 to 25 June.

It’s expected to feature an exciting mix of the best local and international movies, fresh from sold-out sessions in Sydney.

“We’ve seen a marked rise in people heading back to the cinemas,” Travelling Film Festival (TFF) manager Annie Parnell said.

“And, we can’t wait to get on the road again and bring another program full of fascinating offerings to the people of Newcastle and surrounds.

“This festival offers something for everyone.

“It’ll kick off with a special screening of a local film that is sure to be a crowd pleaser in its hometown.”

Opening the festival is Newcastle-based director Claire Pasvolsky’s Three Chords and the Truth, a moving and musical story of Angie (Jackie Marshall) whose chequered career is uplifted through her friendship with teenage Ruby.

Marshall’s own songs, and resonant voice, alongside the Newcastle setting, bring a tender authenticity to this rebellious music-driven drama.

The gala event includes a “live” performance from lead actor and singer/songwriter Marshall, a filmmaker Q&A with the director and a welcome drink on arrival.

Other highlights of the program are Rachel’s Farm, the latest documentary from actor-turned director-turned farmer Rachel Ward (Palm Beach, SFF 2019), tracing the environmental awakening she undergoes, aided and abetted by NSW North Coast farmers, screening on Saturday afternoon.

Provocative romantic drama Chevalier.

That same night presents the sumptuous period drama Chevalier, a provocative romantic drama starring Kelvin Harrison Jr (Elvis) and Australian screen star Samara Weaving.

Sunday’s offerings include the multi-award-winning Oscar-nominated Donkey starring film EO, screening with Dendy Award-winner Tangki (Donkey).

Also appearing is the nail-biting eco-thriller How To Blow Up A Pipeline, with a slick young cast including Lukas Gage (White Lotus) and Sasha Lane (American Honey) as eco-terrorists undertaking a Taratino-esque mission that is as tense as it is a searing conversation starter for our times.

Other stories from around the world include Subtraction, a superbly performed drama from Iran and France, where a married couple unexpectedly meet their doppelgangers in a riveting psychological mystery directed by leading filmmaker Mani Haghighi (Pig, SFF 2018).

Funny debut feature I Like Movies.

The program highlights the very funny debut feature I Like Movies, a hit at the Toronto Film Festival, from Canadian filmmaker Chandler Levack and sure to appeal to anyone who remembers video shops; as well as veteran German filmmaker Christian Petzold’s (a TFF favourite) latest film, Afire, which premiered to acclaim at the recent Berlinale.

Festival favourite Riceboy Sleeps is Anthony Shim’s semi-autobiographical drama that has won more than 20 international awards – a moving Canadian/Korean story.

TFF is also pleased to present three Australian short films from the Sydney Film Festivals, including Chum, a smart comedy supported by Create NSW’s Screenability initiative.

Also showing is Tangki (Donkey) which explores the stories of three Anangu women of different generations; and Ratbag from Maitland-born award-winning director Andrew Kavanagh.

Tickets to the Travelling Film Festival are now on sale.

With a full subscription, patrons can watch the entire program and save up to 30%.

Single tickets are also available for all sessions, including Opening Night.

For more information and bookings, visit

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