Behind the Scenes at Sydney Film Festival 2017

When:19 May 2017, 1pm - 2pm
Venue:Ritchie Theatre
Who:Jenny Neighbour (Sydney Film Festival Programs Manager) & Tom Zubrycki (director, Hope Road)
Sydney Film Festival

Sydney Film Festival 2017
7 - 18 June 

Sydney Film Festival is a major international film festival showcasing feature films, documentaries, animation and short films from across the globe. It is one of the longest-running film festivals in the world. What are some of the highlights of this year's festival? How is a festival like this put together? How are programming decisions made?

In this special presentation, Sydney Film Festival Programs Manager Jenny Neighbour will discuss this year's festival, reveal some highlights of the program (with some tantalizing clips), and talk about what's involved in programming an international film festival of this size.

Jenny will be joined by award-winning documentary filmmaker Tom Zubrycki, offering a filmmaker's perspective. Tom's latest film Hope Road is premeiring at the Sydney Film Festival. The event will conclude with a question and answer session.

Register below or click here for the Eventbrite page.

Sydney Film Festival

Hope Road

Hope Road

A refugee from the Sudanese civil war, Zacharia (one of the ‘Lost Boys' of Sudan) lives in Sydney with his wife and daughter. He desperately wants to do something for his former village, now in the newly created nation of South Sudan. His dream is to build a much-needed school, enlisting the backing of numerous Australians. Janet, a dedicated supporter, joins him on a 40-day fundraising walk from Tweed Heads to Sydney along with filmmaker Tom Zubrycki. But will this strategy raise the funds they need? Thwarted by escalating conflict back in South Sudan, and shocked by a broken relationship, Zac must decide what's important in his life.

See this film at the Sydney Film Festival.


Jenny Neighbour studied film and fine arts at London University’s Goldsmith College. She joined Sydney Film Festival in 1989. Jenny’s initial responsibility at the Festival was the administration of the Dendy Awards and then moving into programming, beginning with retrospectives then festival programming generally. Over the past eight years Jenny has attended – as a selector for the Sydney Film Festival – many international film festivals, including Berlin, IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), Rotterdam, Goteborg and London.

Tom Zubrycki is an award-winning documentary filmmaker renowned for his distinctive observational story-telling style and his ability to get close to his subjects. During the course of a long career, Tom has evolved a strongly authored style focusing round a personal response to the big issues of the day.

His earlier films include The Hungry Tide, (2011) – a personal story about the Pacific nation of Kiribati – one of the countries in the world on the front-line of climate change, Temple of Dreams (2007), about the struggle of a group of young Muslim Australians to keep open a youth centre in Sydney’s west, and Molly & Mobarak (2003), a story about a relationship between a young Afghani refugee and a school-teacher in an Australian country town. Molly & Mobarak opened the Margaret Mead Film Festival (2003), was screened in competition at IDFA (2003), and had a national cinema release. These two films take up the themes of displacement, identity and cultural difference – ideas that Tom been exploring since the 90’s in films such as Homelands (1993) and Billal (1996).

In 2000 he completed The Diplomat a documentary about Jose Ramos-Horta, the exiled East Timorese freedom-fighter and the final two years of his quarter-century campaign to achieve independence for his country. The film won two Australian Film Institute Awards – Best Director and Best Documentary.

Read more about these films.

Finding us
Ritchie Theatre is located at the top of University Mall. Map Reference G19. 

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Supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab

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