Sydney Film Festival moves 2021 dates to August, overlapping with Melbourne International Film Festival

The Sydney Film Festival will now run August 5-22

The Sydney Film Festival has moved its 2021 dates from June to August to account for the postponement of international film festivals.

SFF, usually the first major film festival each year, will run from August 18 to 29 for this year only.

The change will see it overlap with the Melbourne International Film Festival for the first time, which is currently scheduled for August 5-22.


In a press release, SFF said “the shift will allow the festival to continue to include films from major international festivals (in addition to Australia’s best new feature films and documentaries!) in a year of date fluctuations around the world due to COVID-19”.

“SFF believes the date change will also enhance audience confidence alongside evolving health and safety guidelines.”

The Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, both big sources for the SFF and MIFF’s catalogue, have both been postponed and fractured this year. The former has moved from May to July, while the latter has split into one online-only event and an in-person event in June.

Last year, the Sydney Film Festival was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and replaced with an Australian-focussed 33 film lineup. MIFF also cancelled its 2020 event, and replaced it with the online-only event, MIFF 68 1/2, enabled by the largest private donation in the festival’s history.