Sydney Film Festival Announces 2023 Official Competition Jury And Guest Line-Up


A remarkable line up of esteemed filmmakers from around the world are set to descend on Sydney. Over the duration of Sydney Film Festival, 7-18 June, they will present their films or preside on the Official Competition jury to award the prestigious Sydney Film Prize. Sydneysiders will have their film festival experience enhanced with appearances from Mia Wasikowska, Jane Campion, Anurag Kashyap, Bruce Pascoe, Warwick Thornton, Craig Foster, Hakeem al-Araibi, Mark Coles-Smith, Kim Jee-woon, Rachel Ward, and many more.


The 2023 Official Competition jury will judge the 12 titles in the Official Competition and award the Sydney Film Prize and $60,000 cash to the winner. PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney, is proud to announce its alignment with SFF this year as the official home away from home for SFF’s Awards juries.

The 2023 Official Competition jury members are: acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap (India), who will also be Jury President, actor Mia Wasikowska (Australia), film curator and journalist Dorothee Wenner (Germany), writer and director Larissa Behrendt (Australia) and filmmaker Visakesa Chandrasekaram (Australia/Sri Lanka).

Now in its 15th year, the internationally recognised Official Competition celebrates courageous, audacious and cutting-edge film. The winner of the Sydney Film Prize is announced at the Festival’s Closing Night Ceremony at the State Theatre on Sunday 18 June.

“Our 2023 jury is a remarkable ensemble of five film experts hailing from Australia and worldwide,” said Nashen Moodley, Sydney Film Festival Director. “The Official Competition is rich with the world’s most ground-breaking and remarkable films and filmmakers currently. Thus, our jury face a challenging decision!”

Attending the Festival to present their films in Competition will be: Australian actor turned director Alice Englert (Bad Behaviour), Indian filmmaker Devashish Makhija (Joram), legendary Korean director Kim Jee-woon (Cobweb), Moroccan director Asmae El Moudir (The Mother of all Lies), as well as the Australian filmmaking team from The Dark Emu Storyincluding author Bruce Pascoe.

Following the State Theatre screening of The Dark Emu Story, author Bruce Pascoe sits down for an in conversation talk (18 June, 2:30pm, The Hub).

Cannes Caméra d’Or winning Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton and producer Kath Shelper will attend the Opening Night Australian Premiere of their film The New Boy.

Join Warwick Thornton and Kath Shelper at a Meet the Filmmakers talk (11 June, 2pm, The Hub), and hear Cobweb director Kim Jee-woon in conversation (18 June, 12:15pm, The Hub).


The 70th Sydney Film Festival announces the first slate of distinguished industry guests who will attend the Australian and World Premieres of their films, walk the Festival’s red carpets, introduce their films, and participate in talks, panels and Q&A sessions. Please note: for the most up-to-date list of Festival guests, visit

Documentary Australia Award

  • Emmy-nominated filmmakers Michael Ware and Justine Rosenthal (The Cape)
  • Director Isabel Darling (The Carnival)
  • Director Johan Gabrielsson, producer Mark Forstmann and environmental leader Tim Flannery (Climate Changers)
  • Director Matthew Bate, broadcaster and former Socceroo Craig Foster and footballer Hakeem al-Araibi (The Defenders)
  • Director Tyson Mowarin and actor Mark Coles Smith (Keeping Hope)
  • Filmmakers Gillian Moody and Adrian Russell Wills (Kindred)
  • Co-directors Brenda Matthews and Nathaniel Schmidt (The Last Daughter)
  • Director Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Man on Earth)
  • Director and artist Derik Lynch and directorMatthew Thorne (Marungka Tjalatjunu)
  • Actor and director Rachel Ward (Rachel’s Farm)

Following the Australian premiere of Rachel’s Farm, Sandy George sits down with director Rachel Ward and the filmmaking team to discuss the issues raised in the film as well as the process of making such a personal story at the same time as dealing with the day-to-day operations of a working farm (11 June, 4:15pm, The Hub).

Special Presentations at The State

  • Singaporean director He Shuming (Ajoomma)
  • Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap (Kennedy)
  • Aotearoa-born director Damon Fepulea’I and cast members Dimitrius Schuster-Koloamatangi, Ilaisaane Green, Michael Falesui, Haanz Fa’avae (Red, White & Brass)


Following the State Theatre screening of Riceboy Sleeps, join director Anthony Shim, actress Choi Seung-yoon and a panel of Korean Australians as they explore the significance of Korean culture in the lives of those growing up outside Korea (8 June, 6pm, Korean Cultural Centre).

The Box Set

  • Australian director Natalie Bailey and Australian actor Marta Dusseldorp (Bay of Fires)

International Documentaries

Join Documentary Australia’s Mitzi Goldman in conversation with Margie Ratliff. Margie Ratliff is a producer and key participant of Subject, in which she examines her participation in the 2018 Netflix true-crime documentary, The Staircase. (18 June, 4:15pm, FREE).

Sounds on Screen

  • Australian director Claire Pasvolsky, producer Steve Pasvolsky and cast member Jackie Marshall (Three Chords and The Truth)

Europe! Voices of Women in Film

All five filmmaker guests from the Europe! Voices of Women in Film program will attend The Hub for an in conversation with Screen International’s Sandy George, discussing their different approaches to filmmaking and how the landscape for women working in film varies across the continent (10 June, 11:30am, The Hub).

First Nations

  • Indigenous Taiwanese Tayal director Laha Mebow (Gaga)

Freak Me Out

FLUX: Art+Film

Jane Campion – Her Way

Oscar winning filmmaker Jane Campion will attend the screening of Jane Campion, The Cinema Woman as well as appear in conversation with David Stratton at The Hub following the screening (10 June, 4:15pm, The Hub – $15).

The full Sydney Film Festival 2023 program can be found online at

Sydney Film Festival runs in cinemas 7-18 June 2023. Tickets and Flexipasses to Sydney Film Festival 2023 are on sale now. Please call 1300 733 733 or visit for more information or to book.

Press Release

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