The 63rd Sydney Film Festival (8-16 June 2016) held their per-festival drinks on Tuesday 24 May 2016 with great food from Abode Bistro at the Parkroyal Hotel Darling Harbour.
In 2016 the Festival will present 244 films from 60 countries including 25 World Premieres, representing hundreds of fresh perspective and new stories from across Australia and the world.
Nashen Moodley, Festival Director, announced his director’s pick, which included:
A wryly observed documentary set in a tiny mining town somewhere between Kalgoorlie and Perth. Two Finnish girls on working visas, Lina and Steph, head to this remote spot for a three-month stint behind the bar of the local pub. It’s a tough gig. The girls contend with drunkenness, relentless sexual advances, and a belittling, bullying boss. The booze-addled patrons rant about failed relationships and female duplicity; it seems the girls’ only ally is the toothless, odorous local, Canman. The barmaids struggle to negotiate this unhealthy environment, with little by way of distraction. Gleeson’s warts-and-all debut is by turns shocking, amusing and unexpectedly moving.
Is set on a sun-drenched Greek island and is about a middle-aged doctor becomes obsessed with a group of beautiful, frequently naked, young tourists in this sensual and disquieting drama.
Notes of Blindness
In the early 1980s, writer and theologian John Hull lost his eyesight after decades of steady deterioration, documenting his experience on audio cassettes. Upon publication, author and neurologist Oliver Sacks described Hull’s diaries as “The most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read. It is to my mind a masterpiece.” In 2013, Spinney and Middleton made an award-winning short film based on Australian-born Hull’s experiences entitled Notes on Blindness: Rainfall (SFF 2014). Hull’s profound life is now the inspiration for this breathtaking feature-length film. The filmmaking duo, with an approach akin to Clio Barnard’s The Arbor (SFF 2011), cast actors Dan Skinner and Simone Kirby to lip sync to Hull’s original recordings. The resulting film, and associated VR project (which can be viewed at the Festival Hub), is a remarkable re-creation of the author’s thoughts and observations that unearths the interior world of blindness. Hull was closely involved with the process before his death, aged 80, in July last year.
Is unique Polish romance-horror-mermaid-musical that defies classification and deservedly won the Special Jury Award for Unique Vision and Design at Sundance 2016.
Is a film with an funny and insightful look at immigration and arranged marriage, a young Filipino woman relocates to a fishing village in Denmark to wed a middle-aged widower.
Ten-year-old Zach enjoys fishing and boxing with his dad Alec, and is looking forward to his initiation ceremony. It’s a vital part of his Indigenous heritage, marking the transition from boyhood to manhood. Growing up isn’t easy, and for Zach there are the added pressures of racism and city living – a long way from his father’s community in Far North Queensland. An Aboriginal activist, leader and actor, Alec is a devoted dad, but his strict parenting inevitably causes friction. Shot over six years, this is a remarkable portrait of a young man struggling with identity and his father’s expectations, as he heads towards adulthood.
This is a absorbing exposé of Anthony ‘sexting scandal’ Weiner’s 2013 New York mayoral campaign which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
For a full program, go to: www.sff.org.au
Get prepared for an evening of culture and craft beers when Opera in The Pub returns to the Dove & Olive Sunday 26 June, 2016 from 4:30pm.
The theme of the night is Around the World of Opera, which delivers an engaging and informative journey through opera’s history with favourites old and new. From balmy Spain to mythical Egypt, outer space to the realms of pure imagination, operas have been set in every conceivable location, and now it’s the Dove & Olive’s turn for a cultural injection.
Presented by Opera Bites, this special showcase brings fully costumed condensed opera to unexpected places. As the sublime music begins, a touch of narration is added and the operatic spectacle comes to life in one of Surry Hills’ neighbourhood gems. Sit back, relax, enjoy a cold craft beer and scrumptious meal whilst the world’s best opera plays out along the floor of the pub.
This event is traditionally a sell-out, with the $69 ticket price that includes a Coopers Pale Ale or house wine on arrival and a Sunday Lamb Roast with all the trimmings. A vegetarian option is also available on request. Tickets can be bought online now (http://worldofopera.
Hosted in an intimate setting so you feel like you have front row seats, there is no better place to explore Opera than at an iconic Sydney pub with a pint in your hand – you won’t want the fat lady to sing and for it all to end!
Enjoy the best of opera, in bite-size pieces, whilst savouring a delicious craft beer and Sunday Roast this June.
On Tuesday 17 May 2016 I attended the launch of the photography, Timeless, at The Rocks Discovery Museum.
Timeless is a photographic exhibition that is part of the Headon Festival. It is the work of a Sydney-based photographer, filmmaker and doctor Nelson Lau.
Timeless is a story of star-crossed lovers from parallel worlds who try to transcend the fabric of time. Inspired by the architecture of The Rocks and the films of Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, Timeless uses The Rocks as a cinematic backdrop to this love story.
Timeless, a fictional photo narrative in which the images look like scenes from a film. The photos invite the viewer to interpret the images to imagine the story behind these ‘scenes’.
The majority of the images have been taken around The Rocks, with other featured locations including Town Hall, Museum Station and Camperdown Cemetery. It is a multi-faceted exhibition using photographs, words and a digital display of cinemagraphs.
On Sunday 15 May 2016, media and bloggers were taken on a tour of The Rocks Markets and provided an insight into the creativity of stallholders and history of The Rocks.
At The Rocks Markets you will find arts and crafts, photography, clothing, bags, Australiana, indigenous artware, one-off jewellery, books and much more.
As part of the tour we got to talk to various stallholders and heard the stories behind the unique products they created. What became apparant was that the products they created were handmade with a lot of passion and talent.
We also met Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s archaeologist, Wayne Johnson, who told us about the history of the families who lived in the houses for almost 200 years. In the 1970s, the local community was concerned about being moved out of The Rocks, a place they and their families had been living in for generations. They called on the trade union movement and prominent Sydney personalities to help them save The Rocks. A leading force was Nita McCrae who formed The Rocks Residents Group. McCrae could trace her ancestors in The Rocks back to 1800. By 1975, the government decided all buildings north of the Cahill Expressway were to be retained, conserved and restored. As a result of the actions of this community group, the Australian Heritage Commission Act was passed. It set about the identification and protection of both built and natural items considered important to the people of Australia.
The stallholders at The Rocks Markets included:
- Bell Art has created unique aromatic, dining and stationing gifts with painting of Australian native flora by Meryl Bell.
- AHW Studio has been designing and making jewelry for over five years. Each piece is a combination on old elegance and modern detail.
- Animalyser has been making quirky animal t-shirts, singlets and accessories for four years. Buyers are encouraged to select an animal which reflects their personality.
- Arthur Avenue creates clothing with a vintage flair and modern twist to create mesmerising designs for trendy kids.
- Bee Bowen creates scarfs that capture a unique snapshot of a time and place in Australia.
- BonnieBix makes all butter shortbread pop culture themed biscuits that are decorated with sprinkles and M&Ms on the back.
- By Pure Pleasure manufactures natural products for well being such as skin treatments and aromatherapy candles.
- Christopher Hanlon makes organics skincare, handmade leather bags and fashion accessories.
- Christmas Never Ends sells exclusive Christmas ornaments all year round.
- Cleanse with Benefits creates artisan soaps, skincare and candles.
- Cool Leather sells Australian kangaroo leather bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings and accessories.
- Creatively Belle sells handmade jewellery.
- Downward Dingo has t-shirts and singlets featuring animal yoga poses.
- Emporium of Chocolate has unique and delicious mouth-watering chocolates.
- Enchanting Angels is a newly launched range of unique premium Angel teddy bear and Angel playsuits.
- Erlenmeyer Art is a collection of watercolours and ink artwork by Stephanie Gray including illustrations, playing cardsm gift cards, books, prints and originals.
- Eva Cassis is a lifestyle brand that creates fashion, accessories and homewares.
- Garage 16 makes customised and redefined new clothing with a renovated look.
- Giorgi’s Gelato is small husband and wife owned business making premium gelato.
- Gourmet Tucker is a business which makes dried fruit (without sulphites or sugar, jams, marmalades and curds.
- Hoity Toity makes baby clothes for newborns to 18 month old toddlers.
- Joseph Austin prints etched artworks particularly of Australian plants and animals.
- Jularoo Designs makes chalkboard mats for children, and hair accessories and jewellery for females of all ages.
- Kanguro Originals makes Australian made garments, unique Australian Christmas cards, greeting card, 100 per cent cotton tea towels.
- Kerry Malone Books creates illustrations for books and is the author of ‘You can do it Joey’.
- Leatheron is a premium leather fashion brand created in 2013 by designer Tommy Ge. It offers a full range os women and men’s ready to wear leather and accessories.
- Libby Pool creates exquisite handmade paua shell jewellery which she sources from New Zealand.
- Market Fresh Chestnuts provides freshly roasted chestnuts that are great for winter.
- Matteo Berna Art is art created by Matteo Bernasconi on a variety of mediums such as watercolour, oil, ink, charcoal, print and digital media.
- Mini Monet Cupcakes are unique shaped cupcakes inspired by the French impressionist artist Claude Monet.
- Mislu specialises in handcrafted papergoods, featuring quirky and unique designs and printed using premium paperstock and archival ink.
- MJ Ryan Leather makes goods in the Northern Rivers, keeping the old tradition of leathercraft alive.
- Natalie Ness is a bespoke jewellery designer specialising in custom made pendants and charms which are locally cast and plated in antique gold.
- Nattivo provides handmade wooden watches and sunglasses crafted by artisans in the Caribbean using recycled tropical wood.
- Paula Church is a botanical and brd artist who has previously worked on the diamond jubilee state coach of HM the Queen
- Penelope Red designs unique clothes with lots of colour, interesting textures and mixed with vintage styling
- Perri Dee creates original edgy artwork that is elegant, timeless, aesthetic stimulating and exciting.
- Ping Lian Yeak is a young artist whose work has been exhibited around the world. He was discovered at the age of 11 and has appeared in numerous documentaries and various high-profile shows.
- Poco a Poco are a group of artists that create new products out of glass bottles and provide consumers with a unique range of products that also help the environment
- Poetry makes deliciously crisp toffee, laced with roasted almonds, topped with the finest Belgium chocolate and dusted with almond fines.
- Ronnie-arts provides customers with contemporary made artworks and designs.
- Somkiat Hansathit makes beautiful watercolour prints featuring a personal view and a collection of Sydney areas by Dtai S. Hansathit. The artist carries a small sketchbook and portable watercolour palette with him everywhere he goes. He captures the mood, atmosphere and essence of his subjects across the spectrum of day to day activities; landscape; cityscape; people; sports.
- Soontaree creates multipurpose and everyday items with Soontaree’s unique eye for detail.
- Sticky confectioners make hand made beautiful rock candy that can also be used for weddings and corporate events.
- Studio 106 make traditional and art nouveau style jewellery handcrafted from sterling silver with 9ct gold details and a sparkle of natural gem stones
- Supertrooper Studio is a multidisciplinary design studio in the Northern Beaches which utilises traditional Swedish design values of quality, functionalism and simplicity.
- The Licorice Shop makes a variety of flavoured certified organic liquorice.
- Valeria D-Annibale is a 3D printed jewellery designer that makes hand dyed jewellery.
- Your Nuts makes a selection of tasty caramalised nuts.
- The Rocks Market Buskers is: The Rosie Meader Trio, a family band based in Sydney who originated from the Netherlands; or the Mimosa Duo, a Sydney born and bred guitar and violin duo.
The Rocks Markets is open from 10am to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday.
It is located at Playfair Street, George Street and Jack Mundey Place, The Rocks.
For more information go to: www.therocks.com
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia officially kicked off on Sunday 15 May 2016 with the Resort 2017 collection fashion parade of Toni Maticevski at Barangaroo Cutaway.
Over 900 guests attended including top industry media, VIPS and buyers from around the world (including Bergdorf Goodman from the USA and Net-A-Porter from the UK).
Celebrities that attended included Bridget Malcolm, Dan Single and Bambi, Delta Goodrem, Nikki Phillips,
The collection saw striking silhouettes and exaggerated cuts hit the runway. models paraded down the runway wearing handcuffs, having embellished metal across their mouths and holding cameras to film their audience.
One of Sydney’s five star hotels, The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, treated guests to a sneak preview of its new catering concept, delivering restaurant quality dining at scale for events and conferences, on Thursday 12 May 2016.
Guests were taken on a culinary journey from paddock to plate, hosted by new Executive Chef Michael Mousseau and his team, starting with a kitchen tour and showcase of top quality local produce now featured on the catering menus, such as Cape Grim Beef and Glacier 51 Toothfish.
Chef Mousseau shared stories of the producers, who traditionally supply to the country’s best restaurants, before welcoming guests into the hotel’s level two Residential Suite, where a long table feast of the new restaurant-style dishes was revealed, with styling by Nightingales.
Guests enjoyed entrees such as: green pea panna cotta with goats curd, baby beetroot and sorrel; cured Mt Cook Salmon, horseradish creme fraiche, dried mandarin, compressed melon and rye crumble; Hiramasa kingfish with jalapeno, chive and yuzu aioli, Freshwater Spring Marrons with piquillo peppers and smoked lardon; and Kurobuta pork belly with Harvey Bay Scallop, buttermilk pumpkin, cider gastrique and fennel apple slaw.
The mains were just as exquisite including: miso maple Patagonian Glacier 51 Toothfish with carrot ginger puree and miso onion puree; salt-baked Cape Grim Tomahawk with chimichurri; Milly Hill lamb rack with truffle polenta, wild mushroom and black garlic; roast heirloom carrots and cardamon yogurt; and mascarpone whipped potatoes with walnut oil and garlic.
To complete the night, talented Head Pastry Chef, Davis Summoogum unveiled a jaw-dropping dessert showcase featuring row on row of miniature sweets, on four tables with each table representing a different season. .
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s new catering offering was born from a desire to deliver genuine restaurant quality experience for events, with a focus on local produce and house-made chef creations.
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s new catering offering is available for events across the hotel’s dozen spaces and function rooms, including the 500-pax Grand Ballroom.
For more information, contact Four Seasons Hotel Sydney’s events catering team on +61 9250 3392 or catering.sydney@fourseasons.
The inaugural Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned Week kicked off on 11 May 2016 at legendary Sydney bar, Earl’s Juke Joint.
Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned Week will be celebrated at leading bars across Sydney and coincides with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
In 1953, Maker’s Mark founder, Bill Samuels, Sr. had a revolutionary idea to create a bourbon that even people who didn’t think they liked bourbon would enjoy. Inspired by his family’s Scottish history, he created a bourbon referred to as ‘whisky’, not ‘whiskey. Unchanged since its inception, Maker’s Mark is handcrafted from start to finish at the historic distillery in Loretto, Kentucky. With a recipe that replaced the standard rye with red winter wheat as the flavour grain, for a softer, front of tongue finish. Maker’s Mark is then aged to taste, ensuring a consistency and quality. After the bottles are filled, each is hand-dipped into the signature red wax leaving no two bottles the same.
The Old Fashioned is often cited as the “original” cocktail. The Old Fashioned is said to have been developed in the 19th century and given its name in 1880 at a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky.
In celebration of the perfect Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned, Andrew Simon, Sydney-based designer, artist and creative director, was commissioned to create the perfect tumbler glass for the Old Fashioned cocktail. The glass is designed to be able to cradle in your hand, with a thick base to assist in the muddling of ingredients. Straight sides allow for easy mixing and the raised base allows for the sugar to be dissolved easily in the bitters. With a smaller circumference at the top than base and slight taper in shape, it allows you to swirl and amplify the caramel and vanilla aromas. The perfect Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned glass will be featured at select bars around Sydney during Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned Week.
Guests enjoyed free flowing Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned cocktails (not to mention a range of other tasty beverages on offer), delicious food from the team at The Bach Eatery, plenty of jazz music on the dance floor, burgers from the nighthawk diner food truck and a specially made Old Fashioned Tart from the heroes at Black Star Pastry.
Guests could choose from a drink menu of six cocktails including: Canadian Club and Dry (Canadian Club, dry ginger ale and a wedge of lime); Whiskey Apple (Jim Beam White, topped with fresh apple juice and a slice of lemon); Clermont Whiskey Sour); Clermont Whiskey Sour (Jim Beam White, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar syrup and a dash of egg white that is optional); Maker’s 46 neat on the rocks; Mr Maker’s (Maker’s Mark, Ginger Beer, Australian Bitters, fresh orange and mint) and Maker’s Mark Old Fashioned (Earl’s signature Old Fashioned with Australian Bitters).
Makers Mark Old Fashioned Week runs from 12-20 May 2016 at the following 12 bars:
-The Commons – 32 Burton Street Darlinghurst
-Earl’s Juke Joint – 407 King Street Newtown
-Papa Gede’s – 348 Kent Street Sydney
-Rambling Rascal Tavern – 60 Park Street Sydney
-Riley Street Garage – 55 Riley Street Woolloomooloo
-The Roosevelt – 32 Orwell Street Potts Point
-Shirt Bar – 7 Sussex Lane Sydney
-Soda Factory – 16 Wentworth Avenue Surry Hills
-Stitch Bar – 61 York Street Sydney
-The Village Inn – 9-11 Gelnmore Road Paddington
-The Whisky Room at The Clock Hotel 470 Crown Street Surry Hills
-The Wild Rover – 75 Campbell Street Surry Hills
THE SPACE gallery launched its second exhibition, ‘Out of Africa’, on Wednesday 11 May 2016 with an opening night reception..
This exhibition features six artists: Marine Coutroutios, Richard Dobbie, Jody Graham, Yvonne Levenston, Eva Massaï, and Kevin Venardo. From massive sculptural jewelry, intricate paper cutouts, and savannah photography to lively charcoal drawings and vibrant paintings, these artists effectively capture the African spirit and use it to bring their work to life. Bold colours and expressive lines are defining features of all the displayed works.
Most of the work is quite large, which adds a powerful element of immersion as the artwork fills the viewer’s field of vision. Each artist takes such a unique perspective that the exhibit truly feels like a joyful tribute to the rich history and vast cultures of Africa.
The opening night is sponsored by UOS, Monkey Shoulder, and Craig’s Kitchen.
‘Out of AFRICA’ will run through May 27, 2016.
Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9-5.
The SPACE Gallery is located at Level 9, 55 Hunter Street Sydney NSW 2000
Food Society launched their refurbished restaurant and bar by throwing a party for locals and media Tuesday on 10 May 2016
Brendan Lloyd and Sonia Stanojevic opened the doors to their East Sydney venue, Food Society, back in 2011. The pair had successfully operated a catering business together for five years beforehand. Their dream was to open a restaurant from which they could share their love of food, vodka and entertainment in a place that felt like home.
Five years on, the venue has undergone a transformation making it lighter and brighter in a hip little corner of Riley Street, while maintaining the promise of clever modern European food.
Food Society has a new young chef (Marcel Osato formerly of Sugar Room and Merivale). a Modern European sharing menu, specialty European dumplings, creative cocktails and top-shelf vodkas in a chic part of town. However, Food Society is best known for having Australia’s largest range of Vodka’s on pour (many house infused in a huge array of flavours).
Food Society is great place to go out for many occasions including after work drinks, an intimate dinner, a night with a group of friends, a Saturday afternoon Vodka High Tea or is available for exclusive use for corporate or private parties and events.
Food Society is located at 91 Riley Street Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Phone 02 8090 3462
For more information, go to: http://www.foodsociety.com.au/