The Arts

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Stories of the world

The 61st Sydney Film Festival (SFF) kicked off on Wednesday, presenting over 180 films and welcoming over 100 filmmaker guests from all over the globe to introduce their films, participate in talks, panels, and Q&A sessions up until Sunday, 15 June.

A major event on the NSW cultural calendar and one of the world’s longest-running film festivals, SFF screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animated films of all different genres in all different languages.

This year, the festival will present 12 films that vie for the Official Competition: a prestigious international honour that sees the winner take home a $60,000 dollar cash prize based on the decision of a jury of distinguished international and Australian filmmakers and industry professionals.

Multi-award winning filmmaker, Rachel Perkins, is the SFF’s Official Competition Jury President. She is also the director of Black Panther Woman and competing for SFF’s Documentary Australia Foundation Award.

Black Panther Woman was inspired by the African American revolutionary socialist organization, the Black Panther Party. The documentary takes us on a journey, recounting the genesis of the Black Panther’s Brisbane Chapter through the eyes of Marlene Cummins as she looks back on the best and worst experiences of the controversial Aboriginal group in the police state of Queensland in 1971.

Other works of Rachel’s include multi-award winning series, Redfern Now, the telemovie, Mabo, the musical hit, Bran Nue Dae, One Night the Moon and Radiance, Blood Brothers, and From Spirit to Spirit.

Rachel is currently engaged in the development of multiple TV dramas and factual projects through her production company, Blackfella Films: one of Australia’s leading content creators, which she co-founded in 1992.

For tickets and full up-to-date program information visit

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