Just Announced


    29 October 2012

    Did you see the incredible chandelier at the entrance to the Turbine Shop Cinema. Simone Chua from amigo and amigo tells us about the story behind it..

    How did you become involved with Cockatoo Island Film Festival?

    We just sort-of fell into this one! One of our volunteers who has an interest in the film industry had also volunteered to be a part of the CIFF. During the interview she mentioned her work on one of our previous installations The White Forest. Having then seen the installation, Stavros (the CIFF’s creative director) approached us to potentially display the piece at the CIFF. Somewhere in the process of organising the set-up of the White Forest, Stavros expressed his idea for an impressive centrepiece in the entrance of the Turbine Hall, and I suppose the rest is history!

    Tell us a little about the design you have crafted for Cockatoo Island Film Festival?

    In designing the Stalig Night Chandelier, we set out to create a striking first impression for guests upon entering the turbine hall. As the centre piece of the initial gathering area, we wanted to generate feelings of excitement, splendour and anticipation through a piece that was both impressive in size and that mimicked the bold and ambitious nature of the inaugural event.

    Tell us a little about Amigo and Amigo?

    amigo and amigo is a Sydney based design co. As a collective made up of industrial designers, architects and a medley of artists, amigo and amigo brings creatives together through the common value of honest simplicity. We like to work with different experts and bring in different designer collaborations to learn from and explore different points of view and keep our style fresh and relevant. Concerned with innovative ideas and pushing boundaries, amigo and amigo specialise in product design and creative thinking in different arenas including object, graphic, furniture and installation design.

    What inspired the design?

    Upon taking on the project, we set out not only to create a dramatic and impressive centre piece, but one that would complement and indeed highlight the beauty of the unusual, almost incongruous, industrial setting that was to host such a glamourous evening. As such, we drew inspiration from the glamour of the film industry reflected in the chandelier shape and associated connotations of ostentatiousness and charisma, and then added the boldness of the industrial space reflected in the angular and dramatic lines, and clean white glow of the lights.

    The Stalig Night Chandelier was also designed as a sister piece to our previous design installation the White Forest. The White Forest had been featured at Town Hall and was also used in the archway to the wharf at CIFF so it was important to create a sense of thematic unity between the two pieces. This was achieved through the uses of common materials and the cone shaped lanterns.

    What is the design made from?

    The original White Forest design was produced from materials supplied by Reverse Garbage. All of the LED lights were sponsored by OnLED. Consequently, our use of materials were quite humble. Each cone was constructed from recycled plastic and paper cups.

    How many hours does it take you to create a piece like this?

    A lot! We would estimate somewhere around the 100 hour mark from conception to delivery.

    What were your top 5 film picks from the program?


    Sons of the Clouds

    Seven Psychopaths

    7 Days in Havana



    Want to see behind the scenes of the amigo and amigo team working on their project? Click here

  • Ferry to the Festival Information

    22 October 2012

    The Harbour Trust will provide special Festival Ferries to transport film goers and visitors to and from Cockatoo Island from Wednesday 24th through to Sunday 28th October, inclusive.
    This specialized ferry service to Cockatoo Island will replace the regular ferry service (the regular ferry service will not stop at Cockatoo Island during the festival period). You will need to catch a Cockatoo Island Festival Ferry instead.

    There will be no ferry services departing from Circular Quay to Cockatoo Island during the festival period.

    Sydney Ferry tickets will not be valid for travel to/from Cockatoo Island during the Film Festival. Information of Ferry Ticket prices can be found here
    Lastly, the film festival is a major event, so when planning your journey, please allow for waiting time, as delays may be unavoidable during times of peak passenger demand.

    For comprehensive information about ferry times and routes (includes both city and local route ferry travel), please click here.

  • Tie Up The Family On Closing Night

    22 October 2012

    Have you ever wondered whether your parents really had the aptitude to raise you? Did they really know what they were doing?

    Well, upcoming Tennessee home grown director Benjamin Epps has not only thought the thought, but walked the walk, creating a film about just that - a child administered aptitude test for the parents. Yep! Sixteen year old Emily Smith-Dungy (played by the talented Olesya Rulin) has had enough of her self-absorbed family and takes on her parents Samantha (Kristin Chenoweth) and Duncan (Matthew Modine) hostage and convinces her siblings to collude in this hilarious journey into familial dysfunction...Oh my dream is coming true in film form.

    Bring the family along for this closing night world premiere film, starting at 7pm, Sunday 28th October in the Turbine Shop Cinema - who knows, you may be going home with some new ideas!

    For more information and ticketing, click here

  • Australian Premiere of 360

    22 October 2012

    The Cockatoo Island Film Festival is proud to host the Australian Premier of 360, directed by the legendary Brazilian, Fernando Meirelles who was previously nominated for the Golden Globe Best Directors Award in 2005 for The Constant Gardener whilst his global hit City of Gods received nominations for several awards including Best Director at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. With his own production company, Olhar Eletrônico and his partner status at O2 Filmes (the biggest Brazilian advertisement film which funded City of God), Meirelles’s is on the way to building a filmic empire.

    Inspired by Arthur Schnitzler’s classic La Ronde, this dramatic masterpiece was written by none other than Peter Morgan, and with a catalogue of successful films under his belt, we look forward to see the film-child of these two heavyweights.


    The story combines a dynamic roundelay of stories, linking characters from different cities and countries in a tale of love in the 21st century. Starting in Vienna, the film weaves through Paris, London, Bratislava, Rio, Denver and Phoenix via a single, mesmerising narrative. The all-star cast includes Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Ben Foster. This kaleidoscope of interconnected relationships takes a classical inspiration and turns it into a fascinating foray into a romantic life in the modern world.

    For more information and ticketing, click here


  • Cuban Collision

    22 October 2012


    A beautifully balanced cocktail of creative talent is manifested within the one poignant film 7 Days in Havana. For us, that means we get to experience 7 sophisticated minds in 130 minutes - and what an experience it will be! The directors list is to die for: Pablo Trapper, Gaspar Noe, Julio Medem , Laurent Cantet, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio, and actor Benicio Del Toro, take us on an mesmerising 7 story journey which paints a single portrait of a very unique city - la hermosa cuba! The film screens nothing away, exploring a city dripping with sex, superstition and beauty. Itís the next best thing from being in Cuba; experience a city from the eyes of the insiders, the hearts of the ravaged, and the minds of the greatest directors in South America.


    A young American is offered an unconventional tour; a beautiful Cuban singer must decide between a career and a boyfriend; a Palestinian writer is assigned to interview a prominent Cuban figure; a young lesbian school girl is cleaned by her parents; a women earns her daily living by doing three jobs - these snapshots culminate in a ceremony for the virgin Oshun.

    For more information and ticketing, click here

  • Jazz Up Your Festival Sunday

    22 October 2012

    How better to wind down your festival adventure then to sit down with some fun time friends and soak up the smooth sounds of Australia’s greatest jazz artists on the picturesque Cockatoo Island. As the sparkling blue water glistens in the background, hear Emma Louise Birdsall (from the hit show "The Voice"), the ever charismatic Baby et Lulu, the always in demand Jonathan Zwartz Quartet to the exploratory fresh grooves of The Air Benders.

    Cockatoo Film presents Free Jazz Sunday from 1pm to 7pm on the 28th of October.

    For more information, click here:




    17 October 2012

    Let the 7-day count down begin! To celebrate we are excited to announce there will be 100 angel wings hidden in locations all over the city for the next 7 days! 

    With over $5,000 worth of tickets being given away, you do not want to miss this! All you need to do is keep your eyes glued to our Facebook and Twitter and simply follow our hints to the mysterious place and say: “I’m here to be transported…” to receive your ticket prize! 

    The angels take flight from Wednesday 17th October, so ’like’ and ’follow’ us for your chance to win!


  • Cockatoo Island Film Festival offers high-speed Wi-Fi service for first time

    15 October 2012

    This yearís Cockatoo Island Film Festival five day event will be enhanced for the 40,000 expected festival patrons through the implementation of a large-scale Wi-Fi network across all festival locations on the island. The Cockatoo Institute has teamed up with BigAir [www.bigair.com.au], a leading provider of fixed wireless broadband solutions across Australia, and Ruckus Wireless [www.ruckuswireless.com] which designs, manufactures and markets unique Smart Wi-Fi systems globally, to deal with the onslaught of smart mobile devices used by festival goers, film industry representatives and the media.

    Ruckus "Smart Wi-Fi" technology is renowned for its unique ability to support high-density user environments and deliver more reliable wireless connectivity at longer ranges. Only 20 access points will be required to deliver fast and ubiquitous wireless access The Wi-Fi network will cover indoor and outdoor areas such as the newly built plaza, all cinema locations, the Island bar, stadium and concert location, various other building sites being used for festival activities.

    Cockatoo Island Film Festival will actively use the network to provide schedule and movie information to movie-goers through its mobile phone application that lets movie-goers view show times, event information and videos as well as learn about past winners and films. Staff and operations personnel will also access the Wi-Fi network for varied administrative purposes.

    BigAir is a festival sponsor and offering the free Wi-Fi service to attendees. The company believes this may be the largest indoor/outdoor Wi-Fi deployment in Australia. Deploying a festival-wide Wi-Fi network presents real enough challenges due to the distances involved but because Cockatoo Island is a heritage listed site, additional considerations had to be met - for example, the use of cabling, nails, screws or glue was not permitted.

  • A Masterpiece to open Cockatoo Island Film Festival

    21 September 2012

    We are beyond excited to announce our Opening Night Gala film, the highly anticipated and critically applauded Paul Thomas Anderson’s exquisite new film The Master! Starring, Alt-Hollywood trio of Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour-Hoffman and Amy Adams.

    Troubled soldier Freddie (Phoenix) is raging through life post WWII. One night, unable to face his life, he stows away on a ship and meets the charismatic founder of a new religion (Hoffman) and a surprising, potentially troublesome, friendship is struck. Be part of cinema history and join us for an extraordinary film experience in The Turbine Shop, a historic location built in 1946, which will be transformed into a state of the art cinema.

    Master your dance moves at the Official after party, at the fully catered pop-up nightclub The Precinct. Dance the night away with current club-favourites The Future Classic DJs as they play their signature mash-ups of the best club tunes. 

    Buy your Opening Night Gala tickets, which include the screening and a fully catered after party at our pop up nightclub, The Precinct here.

  • Tim Burtonís Frankeweenie screens in 3D

    21 September 2012

    Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie raises the dead, Burton style.

    The maestro is back with his latest 3D black-and-white stop motion-animated film, which will be screened at its Sydney premiere on Wednesday 24 October. The stellar cast featuring Winona Ryder (Elsa), Catherine O’Hara (Susan), Martin Short (Mr. Walsh) and Christopher Lee (Dracula) deliver an eerie performance heightened by the backdrop of Cockatoo Island’s rustic and penitentiary history.


    When Victor, a young boy who enjoys making monster movies, learns that his dog Sparky has been hit by a car he sets out to bring the dog back to life the only way he knows how. With Frankenstein-like features, Sparky frightens the whole neighborhood and is eventually rejected by them. Victor must convince them all that Sparky is the same loyal pet that he always was. This is a stop-animation version of the live action film Frankenweenie (1984).

    Join us for the Sydney premiere in 3D for all ages on Wednesday 24 October. Buy your Wednesday Film Tripper pass here

  • Jane Campion & Gerard Lee tell all on Top Of The Lake

    27 September 2012

    Join acclaimed director Jane Campion and her co-writer Gerard Lee on the morning of Saturday 27 October for an in-depth case study on the development of the new drama Top of The Lake which will screen in Australia on UKTV next year. Starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, The West Wing), Holly Hunter (The Piano, Saving Grace), David Wenham (The Lord of the Rings, Public Enemies) and Peter Mullan (War Horse, Trainspotting) Top of the Lake is a powerful and haunting mystery set in New Zealand against one of the most amazing and untouched landscapes on the planet. This seminar will provide insight into the process of creating cutting edge content for the small screen from a big screen team. Lucky audience members will be treated to a sneak peek at some of the first footage to be released for the highly anticipated television production. Executive produced by See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning (The King’s Speech, Shame) and Jane Campion, Top of the Lake is produced in association with with Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Fulcrum Media Finance for BBC, UKTV, The Sundance Channel and BBC Worldwide.



    21 September 2012

    Want to join us for a different sort of celebration? You are invited to an intimate party to honour the memory of the late Marija Violic, a neighbour, a grandmother, a friend. The Australian premiere of writer/director Zeljka Sukova’s film Marija’s Own is described as a documentary musical comedy. Neighbours and family gather in Marija’s apartment and the party soon evolves into a reality show, complete with all-singing, all-dancing interludes. The music is recorded live by the hugely popular Czech dance electro-trash band Midi Lidi. This is a global party Croatia style.


    26 September 2012

    Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, THE SESSIONS tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined, at age 38, to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.

    Written and directed by Ben Lewin, and starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes, see this tender and moving film at Cockatoo Island Film Festival. 


    26 September 2012

    For a unique African experience, check out Sundayís screening of Cry of Love, a musical set in Johannesburgís performing arts school. With a stream of fresh voices, this feature film explores issues faced by many young Africans today from xenophobia to child soldiers to AIDS and marriage by abduction. Director Faith Isiakpere delivers a Fame-style inspired musical, staring South African songbird Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Leleti Khumalo. This is not to be missed.


    21 September 2012

    Frank Khalfoun presents a slasher film with a twist...the entire film is shot from the perspective of the killer. Elijah Wood steps out of gentil Lord of The Rings character Frodo, and gets manic in this haute-horreur remake of the low-budget 1980 William Lustig movie.

    To see Elijah Wood in his new boundary-pushing role purchase a Film Tripper pass for Friday 26 October.  



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