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7 reasons to go to the Sydney Underground Film Festival

23 August 2018
There’s more than a stellar line-up of films to look forward to
From discounted tickets to hands-on workshops, international and local films to discussions on the future of film and digital technology, here’s why you should check out this year’s Sydney Underground Film Festival.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is partnering with the Sydney Underground Film Festival to bring the hottest local and international indie films from SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, Berlinale, Vancouver International Film Festival and many more to Sydney from 13-16 September.

This year’s film highlights include the time-travelling, action comedy from New Zealand, Mega Time Squad, Ethan Hawke’s latest biopic and ultimate hipster flick, Blaze, one man’s journey to find meaning in Bill Murray’s unexpected adventures with everyday people in The Bill Murray Stories, as well as Nicholas Cage’s recent Sundance Film Festival performance in the slasher film Mandy

If that’s not enough to convince you, here are seven more reasons not to miss the Sydney Underground Film Festival. 

1. Opening night film and party

What better way to kick off the festival than with Mega Time Squad, the Kiwi sci-fi comedy garnering rave reviews in the US. Director Tim van Dammen and lead actor Johnny Brugh will be in residence for a post-film Q&A session, followed by an afterparty that’s not to be missed.

2. Get discounted tickets

Who doesn’t enjoy a discount? Well, we’re in luck – USYD Arts and Social Sciences students, graduates and staff are entitled to a discount on single film tickets. Email to get the code!

3. Relive your teens at the all-you-can-eat late-night cartoon cereal party

Miss those late-night Nickelodeon and Adult Swim binge-a-thons? SUFF is screening all-time favourites from the last 20 years, with an all-you-can-eat buffet of cereal to sustain you through the 2-hour trip into the weird world of yesteryear’s animations.

4. Must see short films

Not to be missed. A stellar line-up of shorts ranging from mind-bending, psychedelic productions to fascinating real-life narratives and explorations of the dark and unconventional side of love. This year features impressive works from USYD filmmakers including Tahsin Rahman and Ben Brown’s Rite, James Richardson’s Optical Sound in Film, and Peter Humble’s Dirty Music for Film plus many more. Get out and support our homegrown talent.

5. The ultimate film buffs’ conference

Fan of Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg and Spike Jonze? The inaugural Inhuman Screens conference convened by Sydney College of the Art’s Dr Stefan Popescu will investigate how technology has redefined the human, covering all aspects of contemporary screen ecologies, including frontier technology, social media, screen culture, contemporary art, and other engagements with digital technology, posthumanism and the cyborg. A must for fans of science fiction, horror and pop-culture.

6. Want to learn the art of cinema? Join a hands-on workshop

The Sydney Underground Film Festival is about more than just sitting back and watching great films – it aims to challenge the conservative conventions of filmmaking and that means plenty of inspiring workshops to get involved in. Whether you want to learn how to use virtual reality and 360 videos for your own projects, try screen and improv acting with NZ’s Johnny Brugh of What We Do in The Shadows, or go analogue and get your hands on a 16mm Bolex camera, there are all types of workshops geared towards gaining new skills.

7. Documentaries

From the New York underground scene to flat-earthers and Bill Murray, this year’s program has it all. Catch up on the latest documentaries doing the international film festival circuit, like Shadowman, the story of Richard Hambleton, a Bansky-esque figure who secretly plastered black, ghost-like silhouettes all over 80s Manhattan only to disappear from the art scene and re-emerge years later as an unrecognised artist in NYC, or King Cohen, an insight into the work, process and legacy of Larry Cohen, a true American filmmaking legend.


The 2018 Sydney Underground Film Festival will run from 13–16 September at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is a Distinguished Partner of Sydney Underground Film Festival.


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