Talks, Parties & Art At Sydney’s Town Hall

By May 28, 2015 Industry News

The 62nd Sydney Film Festival announces the Festival Hub’s full program, bringing a unique line-up of talks, entertainment, parties, performances and art to enhance the Festival experience.

“The Hub is the nucleus of the Festival; a place to meet before or after screenings, discuss films, and speak to Festival program specialists for recommendations,” said Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “The Hub’s Herman Miller Lounge is particularly comfortable and stylish, with a bar and food on offer, and a major video art exhibition created by emerging and established artists from around the world. The Hub is a place for filmmakers, Festival guests, industry and audiences to mingle,” he said.

A lounge, gallery, bar and Festival party space, the Hub is open to the public every night and select day times from 4-13 June. The Hub hosts a full program of free talks and panels, and is the place to connect with the Festival community between screenings. The Hub’s opening festivities include the Fox Force Five VJs, an aural excursion through important cine-soundtracks from Tarantino to Lynch, and Bond to Boogie Nights; and Film Trivia with comedians Mark Humphries and Duncan Maclean, who will put film buffs to the test.

Themed parties at the Hub include Video Killed the Radio Star: Rage vs FBi Radio; the Golden Age Cinema’s Live from the Golden Stage; Studio 54 Uncut, following the screening of 54: The Director’s Cut at Event Cinemas; and the Beach Boys-themed Mercy Me! party following the Australian Premiere of Love & Mercy at the State Theatre.

The National Film and Sound Archive will present The Vinyl Lounge, where experts share rare and fascinating records from the Archive, and festival goers have the chance to show off some of their own vinyl.

Daily highlights include the Sydney Contemporary video art exhibition, showcasing unique works by Australian and internationally celebrated artists; Foxtel Movies Blue Screen, where clever technology puts audiences in the picture; the Herman Miller Collection Lounge; and Program Gurus to consult on Festival films and activities.

Talks in the Hub’s Treasury Room tackle diverse topics led by specialist Festival guests, from filmmakers to programmers, industry, critics and media. Talks and panels include: Refugees on Screen, The Making of Sherpa, Film Festivals Australia Brings Their Monthly Catch-Up to the Hub, Human Rights Watch, The Return of Can Documentaries Change the World?, Why Do We Need to Engage with Difficult Films? The History of Animation, Horror Tragic Talkfest, and a panel of Dendy Awards Finalists.

Upstairs at Town Hall, the Ian McPherson Memorial Lecture returns with David Stratton and producer Jan Chapman in conversation, Monday 8 June, 4pm; and Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton presenting The Films We Love: The Neglected and the Unexpected, Sunday 7 June, 3:30pm.

Vivid Ideas and Sydney Film Festival will co-present the special talk Alex Gibney: In Conversation with the internationally-acclaimed documentarian at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday 7 June, 11am. The discussion will explore the nature of telling complex, real-world stories, with particular reference to his new film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which premieres in Australia at the Festival. Gibney is one of the world’s most prolific and controversial filmmakers. His film Mr Dynamite: The Story of James Brown, will also premiere at the Festival.

The Festival Hub 2015 program:


The Hub Opening Night Thursday 4 June, 8.30pm
Join comedians Mark Humphries (The Roast) and Duncan McLean (The Doctor of Movies) for Film Trivia starting at 8:30pm. Gather your team and put your movie knowledge to the test. If you know your Kurosawa from your Kiarostami and your Kidman from your Knightley, then join comedians Humphries and McLean to flex some film-fact muscle and win some great prizes. Cap off the evening with VJs Fox Force Five, who will explore film soundtracks from Tarantino to Lynch, from Bond to Boogie Nights. Expect a nostalgic evening packed with the original videos of the film tunes we all know and love.

Mercy Me! Sunday 7 June, 8:30pm

Following the Festival’s screening of Love & Mercy, the biopic of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, the Hub will be transformed into a ’60s hotspot filled with live music and DJs that will take you on a nostalgic trip filled with sunny beachside optimism.

The Vinyl Lounge Monday 8 June, 8:30pm
The National Film and Sound Archive’s sound guru Thorsten Kaeding plays rare and fascinating records from the national collection, giving festivalgoers a chance to share (and show off) some of their own vinyl. The Vinyl Lounge gives you the opportunity to listen to music you have never heard before and long lost favourites that you never thought you would hear again. You will hear a diverse selection of music from pop to rock, folk to funk and everything in between. Bring along your records and play a track of your choice on our pure analog sound system.

Live from the Golden Stage Wednesday 10 June, 8:30pm

Sydney’s sublime Golden Age Cinema and Bar bring their Midas touch to the Hub, relocating their unreal golden stage for an elegant night of cult movie soundtracks. Request a song from an iconic film score and have it interpreted by the maestro Charlie Heart and our hostess for the night. The Golden Age is upon us.

Video Killed the Radio Star: Rage vs FBi Friday 12 June, 8:30pm

Join Rage and FBi Radio as they go head to head to find out if video truly did kill the radio star. Rage curates music videos directed by filmmakers such as Jonathan Glazer, Kathryn Bigelow and David Lynch. FBi will show off their vocal range with radio hosts Matt Roden and Dee Jefferson from the film and TV program Shortcuts in a panel discussion. This audio-visual meeting of the minds explores the playful idea of image versus sound with some of Sydney’s top musical influencers. Expect karaoke from these two organisations’ staffers and a DJ battle to finally resolve this age-old question.

Studio 54 Uncut Saturday 13 June, 9pm
To celebrate the restoration of 54: The Director’s Cut’s original vision, join Jonny Seymour and friends in a disco party of epic proportions that will summon the spirit of the legendary New York venue that inspired this cult classic film.


Micro-Talks Saturday 6 June, 3-4:30pm

This very popular session from Sydney University returns again this year with short and informative 15-minute talks by leading film academics.

The History of Animation Saturday 6 June, 5-6pm

Join Malcolm Turner, Sydney Film Festival programmer and animation researcher, as he talks us through 100 years of Australian animation.

Horror Tragic Talkfest Sunday 7 June, 6:15-7:15pm
Join Freak Me Out guest programmer Richard Kuipers and producer and horror aficionado Ant Timpson (Deathgasm, Turbo Kid) for a free wheeling discussion about all things horror shocking. Be part of the lively discussion on the past, present and future of the most durable movie genre of them all.

Refugees On Screen Monday 8 June, 6:30-7:30pm
Following the screening of Freedom Stories, OzDox will host a discussion on how refugees are represented on Australian screens big and small. Chaired by Ruth Hessey, Steven Thomas, Alana Alias, Mustafa Jawadi (Freedom Stories), Guido Gonzales (Riz), Tom Zubrycki, and Ronan Sharkey.

The Making of Sherpa Tuesday 9 June, 6:30-7:30pm
Join director Jennifer Peedom, producers Bridget Ikin and John Smithson (Touching the Void), the filmmakers behind the extraordinary Official Competition documentary Sherpa.

Film Festivals Australia Brings Their Monthly Catch-Up to the Hub Wednesday 10 June, 7-8pm

Learn what it takes to run a film festival and their growing importance to filmmakers and the industry.

Why Do We Need to Engage with Difficult Films? Thursday 11 June, 6-7pm

Join ABC Radio National’s Jason di Rosso as he ponders this question with fellow critics Margaret Pomeranz, Jack Sargeant and Dr. Sarinah Masukor.

Human Rights Watch Thursday 11 June, 8-8:30pm
After the Festival’s screening of The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer will join us via Skype to discuss his sequel to The Act of Killing (SFF 2013), moderated by Andreas Harsono, Indonesian researcher from Human Rights Watch.

The Return of Can Documentaries Change the World? Friday 12 June, 7-8pm

After last year’s full-house session it is clear there’s still much to discuss. Chaired by Mitzi Goldman (Documentary Australia Foundation) with Violeta Ayala (The Bolivian Case), Andy Schocken (The Song of Lahore), Laurent Becue-Renard (Of Men and War) and Leonie Quayl (The Propeller Foundation).

Panel: Dendy Awards Finalists Sunday 14 June, 1-3:30pm

Meet the Dendy Awards finalists for 2015 at this enlightening panel hosted by Metro Screen, and grill them on what it took to bring their acclaimed short film from idea to red-carpet premiere.


Alex Gibney: In Conversation Sunday 7 June, 11am-12:30pm ($30 talk only; $40 talk + film, including Saturday screening Alex Gibney is one of the world’s most prolific and controversial filmmakers. Gibney is the director behind contentious documentaries including We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, the Academy Award-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, the Academy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side; and Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, which shook the Catholic Church. In his latest film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Gibney is once again in the spotlight. Gibney joins us for this exclusive discussion, exploring the nature of telling complex, real-world stories and explaining how the film became one of the most-watched HBO documentaries in the past decade. This event is a must-see for every filmmaker and storyteller.

Margaret and David: The Films We Love – The Neglected and the Unexpected Sunday 7 June, 3:30pm at Sydney Town Hall ($15)

Australia’s favourite film critics join the Sydney Film Festival stage once more with an entertaining overview of some of the films that they feel deserve our closer consideration. After 28 years and one of the longest and most enduring partnerships on Australian television, Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton recorded the final episode of At the Movies late last year. But fortunately for us, they can’t get enough of discussing the films they really love. In this candid conversation at Sydney Town Hall, David will champion the films he loves that were overlooked by critics or audiences, or both. Margaret will reveal some of her unexpected pleasures, from The Fast and the Furious to even more surprising selections. Their choices, and the reasons behind those choices, will make for a fascinating, lively and thought-provoking event.


Jan Chapman and David Stratton in Conversation Monday 8 June, 4pm, The Festival Hub at Sydney Town Hall

David Stratton brings his consummate interviewing skills to bear as host of a special discussion featuring one of the most respected and successful film producers in Australia, Jan Chapman. Chapman has produced some of Australia’s most celebrated and popular films, including the Academy Award-nominated Bright Star; Lantana, winner of the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film; and The Piano, which won three Academy Awards. Her films have won over 38 AFI Awards along with numerous other honours around the world. Chapman was Jury President at SFF 2010 and the 2012 Asia Pacific Screen Awards; and has served on juries at the Berlinale, Istanbul and Rotterdam film festivals. In 2004 Jan was honoured for her outstanding contribution to Australian film as a recipient of the Order of Australia; and is currently on the boards of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and SFF. She is producer, along with Nicole O’Donohue, of this year’s Official Competition film The Daughter. Register for free tickets at

Sydney Film Festival runs 3–14 June 2015
Tickets for Sydney Film Festival 2015 are on sale now. Please call 1300 733 733 or visit: for more information.