Sydney Film Festival’s Indian line-up

From Karan Johar to Sharmila Tagore, here's your preview of the masala brewing at the SFF headquarters.

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The iconic Sydney Film Festival brings nine films from the Indian diaspora this year.
Among these are award winning films, features, documentaries, short films and a restored classic.

The festival, in its 71st iteration this year, will be held from 5-16 June 2024 across various city centric cinemas.

Official Competition

Payal Kapadia’s romantic drama All we Imagine as Light is the first Indian film to appear in the Cannes Competition in 30 years. The Mumbai-set story follows two nurses and roommates who head off on trip to a beach town to find a space where their desires can manifest.

Australian creative producer Sheila Jayadev will be the official competition juror and a special guest for the festival.

Sydney Film Festival
All we Imagine as Light (Source: SFF)


Co-directors Anirban Dutta and Anupama Srinivasan bring two immersive documentaries to the festival, Nocturnes and Flickering Lights. While Nocturnes delves into the dense forests of the Eastern Himalayas exploring the secretive world of moths, Flickering Lights captures life before and after electricity in a small village in today’s India. Both directors will be in attendance for the screening of the films.

Indian movie
Nocturnes (Source: SFF)
Indian movie
Flickering Lights (Source: SFF)

Classics Restored

In this year’s Classics Restored section of the festival, cinema lovers can watch Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala, starring Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury as an interracial couple navigating love amid family disapproval and racial tensions. Released in the US in early 1992, the film received universal acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and was coined as the first ‘black and brown’ interracial love story. Oh, and it has Sharmila Tagore in it!

Indian movie
Mississippi Masala (Source: SFF)


Award winning film Paradise examines a strained marriage amid Sri Lanka’s 2022 economic and political turmoil. An Indian tourist couple arrive in the hill country of crisis ridden Sri Lanka to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary. But, when things take an unexpected turn, conflicts deepen revealing cracks in their relationship. Directed by Prasanna Vithanage (special guest in attendance), the film stars Roshan Mathew, Darshana Rajendran and Shyam Fernando.

Indian movie
Paradise (Source: SFF)

Rapture follows the tale of a ten-year-old boy with night blindness in Meghalaya, northeast India. His village is caught in fear as residents disappear, amid rumours of organ-trafficking kidnappers. This film is born from the director’s own night blindness experience as he gradually reveals the mysteries of the village. Director Dominic M. Sangma will attend the screenings for his film.

Indian movie
Rapture (Source: SFF)

Freak Me Out

In the spine-tingling Freak Me Out Program, groundbreaking action spectacle Kill could be worth the wait. The film begins as a romantic melodrama, but once the protagonists leave on a night train to New Delhi, all hell breaks loose and never stops. Directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, this film is produced by Karan Johar, Achin Jain, Apoorva Mehta and Guneet Monga Kapoor.

Sydney Film Festival
Mainstream Bollywood film Kill (Source: SFF)

Short Films

Alone, Besharam! (Shameless) is competing in the Sydney Film Festival’s short film competition. In this nine-minute film, a mother-son relationship takes a strange turn when the son’s addiction is discovered. Directed and produced by Raghav Rampal, the film stars Nickin Alexander, Maxine Simmons and Tamara Lee Bailey.

Sydney Film Festival
Shameless Source: SFF

In The Feast directed by Rishi Chandna, check out a fisherwoman’s personal campaign to save a dying lake – including taking on a local politician by cooking him a remarkable meal.

Sydney Film Festival
The Feast (Source: SFF)

For these Indian films at Sydney Film Festival and more films, head to https://www.sff.org.au/.

READ ALSO: Indian films and series to watch in May 2024

Neeru Saluja
Neeru Saluja
Neeru Saluja is a freelance films and arts writer with 20 years of experience. Specialising in Bollywood celebrity interviews, she has also covered music concerts, comedy shows, plays and interviewed artists for the Sydney Film festival, the Indian Film festival in Melbourne, WOMADelaide, AACTA and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

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