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Film festivals of Sydney Fringe

The Sydney Fringe Festival is offering a selection of niche movies from emerging filmmakers.
Film festivals of Sydney Fringe

For moviegoers tired of 3D action blockbusters, the Sydney Fringe Festival is offering a selection of niche movies from emerging filmmakers that aren’t afraid to hit a different beat.

The Seen and Heard Film Festival, screening at the Newtown Hotel on 26 September, is an event that focuses on showing films and video art that have all been written, directed or produced by women, including all individuals who identify as women.

Organiser Lucy Randall is clear in her vision. ‘Themes that draw us to films are queer themes, themes around disability, race relations (within Australia at least), women's sexuality and loosely, feminism.’

Seen and Heard has taken a broad approach regarding these themes with an aim to keep things light but meaningful. ‘Diversity is really important to me, but accessibility is key,’ said Randall.

This focus is reflected in this year’s selection of Hush; an Aboriginal production about two giggly grandmothers who run a phone sex line from their living room. Room has also been made in the program for the serious short Sophie, which explores a woman’s experience taking a sexual health test.

With a curatorial focus that is both eye-opening and entertaining, Randall promises punters a unique experience. ‘I believe Seen and Heard for many fills a gap of affordable, non-elitist film based events that step outside the convention of the saturated film festival scene.’

The Sydney Fringe Film Festival will also be returning to the festival with a carefully curated selection of films from emerging filmmakers. Like last year, the Sydney Fringe Film Festival will be screening a Queer and a non-Queer film, and have chosen the highest quality works from either category.

‘The feature, The Naughty Room, is about a young man who has been kept prisoner in his house by his mother for years - none of his neighbours knew he was alive until now. Really intriguing storyline with a psychological twist,’ said organiser Bernie Burke.

Cosmo Jarvis, an English singer-songwriter well known for Triple J radio hits Gay pirates and Love this, is the man behind the movie. His quirky sensibility shines through onto the silver screen making it a must for people who enjoy his music.

The Sydney Fringe Film Festival is also screening BOY, a silent film by Welby Ings. 'BOY is quite heavy - it's a story about a young male prostitute in a small town in New Zealand - it's won a slew of awards at both Queer and mainstream film festivals,’ said Burke.

Alternate film events happening during Sydney Fringe include the Compulsory Activity Phase Films event, the Techno film showcase, the Butch Please Film Festival, the Queer Screen Film Fest, the Sydney Underground Film Festival and Zonial.

Many of the Sydney Fringe Film events will be showing films with very limited release. This, paired with the quality of what’s on offer, leaves moviegoers no choice but to pop some popcorn, leave their 3D specs at home, and make their way to as many screenings as possible.

The Sydney Fringe Festival runs from 6-29 September. Most tickets are under $30 and are on sale now through the official Sydney Fringe Festival website or by calling (02) 9020 69 80.


A comprehensive guide to programmed events is also available on the websiteEvents can be searched for through genre, location, venue or date.

(Pictured: 'Sophie' screening at the Seen and Heard Film Festival)

Melanie Sano

Wednesday 4 September, 2013

About the author

Melanie Sano is an ArtsHub writer.