In celebration of women

Sydney Film Festival celebrates pioneering women of screen

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CHILLING: Noah Wiseman, Hachi and Essie Davis in The Babadook.

CHILLING: Noah Wiseman, Hachi and Essie Davis in The Babadook.

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David Stratton-curated retrospective pays tribute to female trailblazers.

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TEN landmark films directed by trailblazing Australian women film-makers will be screened and celebrated as part of the Sydney Film Festival this month.

Chosen by David Stratton, the films include Paulette McDonagh's silent melodrama The Cheaters (digitally restored screening with a score performed live by Jan Preston); Camera d'Or winner Love Serenade by Shirley Barrett; cult comedy Malcolm by Nadia Tass; and Bedevil, by Aboriginal artist Tracey Moffatt.

The retrospective will be screened at the Art Gallery of NSW (June 5-16) and the National Film and Sound Archive's Arc cinema in Canberra (June 28-July 7).

The other selections are High Tide, the second collaboration between Gillian Armstrong and Judy Davis; Waiting by Jackie McKimmie; Sweetie by Jane Campion (the only woman to have received the Palme d'Or); The Babadook, by Jennifer Kent; Blessed by Ana Kokkinos; and Beautiful Kate by Rachel Ward.

Stratton, a former director of the festival, will introduce the Sydney screenings and take questions along with film-maker guests.

"In the era of the #MeToo movement, the barriers that once faced women filmmakers are perhaps crumbling at a quicker pace," he said. "In the meantime, let's celebrate the titanic achievements of our women film-makers, and these landmark works that have irrevocably shifted the industry landscape forever."

To see the full festival program or to book, go to www.sff.org.au

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