Win A Date With Margaret and David, Meet Miranda July

The Sydney Film Festival held its program launch in Sydney today, unveiling a 12 day schedule that boasts 161 titles, 10 world premieres, 86 Australian premieres and 29 local productions. We were already smitten with the initial announcement; Miranda July’s sophomore effort The Future, Tran Anh Hung’s adaptation of our favourite book to feature a meaningful handjob, Norwegian Wood, and Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-winner, Happy, Happy, but the full lineup and surrounding activities, competitions and meet-and-greets (whoa, you can meet Miranda July!) are truly worth a trip interstate. Joining the aforementioned flicks is Opening Night thriller Hanna directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) and starring Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana as well as Closing Night film Beginners starring Ewan McGregor and directed by July’s just as talented husband, Mike Mills. SFF will also host the Australian premiere of two Cannes-bound local flicks in Julia Leigh’s Sleeping Beauty and Ivan Sen’s Toomelah.

But it’s not all about movie watching you know, there’s plenty to do outside the cinema too! For the kids Jack Black and Lucy Liu will be on hand for the Australian premiere of Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D at Event Cinemas George Street. While adults can watch Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton reflect on their most contentious and/or contradictory reviews in Films That Divide Us, a free one-off event at Sydney Town Hall. There won’t be blood but there’ll be plenty of muted gasps, knowing winks and outraged head shaking. SFF have also announced a once in a lifetime competition where one cinemaphile will win dinner with David and Margaret by correctly guessing the films that polarized them most. What else? Miranda July will host a free Meet The Filmmaker style talk at the Apple Store in Sydney’s CBD (corner of George and King Streets). She’ll be discussing filmmaking and her new picture, The Future. We’ll be gawking our faces off.

That’s just a sampling so check out the full schedule of films, events and other happenings at the official SFF website.