And the first eight films we’ve booked on our Sydney Film Festival 2017 flexipass are…

The 64th Annual Sydney Film Festival launched its amazing program yesterday, and over 12 days this June, there’ll be more film premieres and screenings than you’ll know what to do with. Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be letting you know plenty of our highlights – and we’re starting off with counting down the first eight films we booked on our flexipass – and why you should consider the same…

THE BEGUILED

With a smorgasbord of talent, consisting of acting veterans (Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell) and rising young talent (Elle Fanning, Australia’s Angourie Rice, Oona Laurence, Emma Howard and Addison Riecke) and Sofia Coppola at the helm, this is a remake that is sure to make a big impression. And having Philippe Le Sourd as the cinematographer already makes us obligated to see the film in the cinema…

A GHOST STORY

Loving both of David Lowery’s previous films (the contemplative AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS and the studio film PETE’S DRAGON), I am sure his subtle, unique approach to A GHOST STORY will be compelling cinema. And having Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck working with Lowery again after SAINTS only seals the deal.

WIND RIVER

Taylor Sheridan has scripted two of the best pieces of cinema in the last few years with SICARIO and HELL OR HIGH WATER so I was immediately drawn with his name attached as both writer and director.

PHANTOM BOY

Animated films as of late have succeeded at being accessible to a larger audience beyond their genre, and with a story outline that reads as deeper than the average Pixar film and a pallet that rivals Studio Ghibli, this French animation could prove a cult classic-in-waiting.

THE GO-BETWEENS: RIGHT HERE

This film looks like a wonderful celebration of one of Australia’s greatest band including their successes, betrayals, triumphs and tragedies.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Luca Guadagnino is a filmmaker that has made a considerable impression with his films, and after the crazed joy he displayed with 2015’s A BIGGER SPLASH I am wholly invested in his take on this gay coming-of-age drama.  Plus, it’s currently 100% on Rotten Tomatoes so it’s hard to not be expecting something great.

HAPPY END

Anything with veteran French actress extraordinaire Isabelle Huppert is already worth the price of admission, but to have Michael Haneke again at the helm after AMOUR, there’s no chance that this film will fail.

TO STAY ALIVE: A METHOD

Why did we choose this one? Because anything with Iggy Pop in it is exponentially improved & I’d love to see the meeting of minds that occurs between the patron saint of unhappy teenagers and France’s bestselling novelist, Michel Houellebecq.

For session times and tickets (including the flexi-pass, which is the most affordable way to purchase tickets at the event) – and to look into the hundreds of other screenings taking place during the festival, head to http://www.sff.org.au/

Contributions to this article by Harris Dang, Peter Gray and Natalie Salvo