The Greek Film Festival launches with the firm, The Last Note

Filmmaker Pantelis Voulgaris’ heart-rending drama, The Last Note, kicked off the 12 day Festival (October 9 – 21, 2018) at Palace Cinemas, Norton Street on Tuesday 9 October, 2018.

Celebrating its 25th year, The Greek Film Festival is Australia’s oldest and largest film festival, bringing the best Greek films to cinema lovers in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne (the latter of which has opening night attendees exceeding 1200). Running for almost three weeks, it offers a stellar programme of Greek films from young independent film makers to award winning directors.

The Greek Film Festival features some of the most iconic dramas, thrillers and comedies Greece has to offer. Greek films reflect Greek consciousness and give audiences an insight into the Greek political climate of today and yesteryear.

The opening night film tells the true story of the execution of 200 Greek political prisoners from Chaidari concentration camp by the Nazi Germans on May 1st, 1944 in Kaisariani, as reprisal for the Greek Resistance ambush against four Nazi soldiers. It stars Andreas Konstantinou (Best Actor at the 2018 Hellenic Film Academy Awards) who plays the 34-year-old political prisoner, Napoleon Sukatzidis, who acted as an interpreter to the German commander, Karl Fischer (André Hennicke) during the occupation. Greek-American actress Melia Kreiling (Guardians of the Galaxy) plays the female lead role of Andreas’ girlfriend.

The film portrays the futility of war and the dignity of the men who faced their death. It has exemplary cinematography, a fascinating music score, underpinned with solid acting. The pace was slow in the first half, and some scenes were a little clichéd and cheesy. At times I felt like the atmosphere mimicked a Hollywood war movie, but overall I was impressed with how beautifully it was filmed.

For more information about other films showing as part of the Greek Film Festival, head to the official website of the Greek Film Festival:

Tickets to films are on sale via or on 02 9361 5398.

Enlightenment – Vivid Sydney’s opening night cocktail party

Enlightenment – VIVID Sydney opening night cocktail party at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney on Saturday 26 May 2018, consisted of light, curated food and drinks, artisan performers and deep conversation.

The  Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual movement which advocates freedom, democracy and reason as primary values of society. It developed mainly in France, Britain and Germany in the 18th century when great thinkers such as Rousseau, Diderot and Voltaire started to look at the world in a different way. They used science and reason to shed new light on traditional ideas and the way of doing things. This philosophical, cultural and social movement spread out of Europe and changed the world. Three hundred years later, we still ask the same questions.

The evening at The Calyx explored curious things from existence, aliveness, being human and the very essence of enlightenment – probing the mind and soul to think about difficult questions – and their answers. Guests also enjoyed exclusive access to the VIVID Light Walk to end the evening.

Those attending the evening listened to speeches by Fiona Kerr, Neural and Systems Complexity Specialist who explored the wonders and possibility of our brain, Entomologist and Collaborative Memory and Intelligence Specialist Tanya Latty, Collective Mind Expert Derek Leddie and Philosopher and Writer Tim Dean. Never before did I guess that ants have transport systems far superior to humans, although their collective approach to society does result in a barbaric disregard for the weak.

One of the highlights of the night was the Enlightenment cocktail which was made from gold leaf, St Germain elderflower liqueur, vermouth infused with herb de Provence, Belvedere single estate vodka, and a dash of dandelions and burdock bitters

If you thought you missed out on a great night, or if you were here but have room for further enlightenment, there will be an Enlightenment Immersive Dinner on Saturday 2 June 2018 at the Calyx in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

The immersive dinner will include a three course shared feast, artisan performers and a selection of engaging speakers. Kerr, Leddy and Lattie will speak again and will be joined by Dan Goods, the Visual Strategist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and founder of the Museum of Awe, who reminds people of the gift and privilege of being alive. Philosopher Matt Beard will also take to the stage, bringing old philosophical concepts of ethics, meaning and purpose into the modern world.

What: Enlightenment Feasts: Immersive Dinner – three course meal with matching wines, speakers and performances

Where: The Calyx in The Royal Botanic Gardens

When: Saturday, 2 June 2018, 6:30 pm – late

Price: $250

To buy tickets to Enlightenment at Vivid Sydney, go to:

The Australian LGBTI Awards return to Sydney

On Thursday 15th June 2017 we were invited to the launch of the 2nd annual Australian LGBTI awards. Bloomberg, one of the awards top sponsors, did the honours of hosting the event on their sky terrace on the 27th floor of their offices at one Bligh Street.

Guests were greeted with drinks on arrival and enjoyed the impressive views of the city. A delicious buffet style lunch was provided and included: sushi & nigiri (with wasabi, ginger soy, yuzu and togarashi), chinese vegetarian fried rice, and southern fried chicken.

The director of the Australian LGBTI Awards, Silke Bader, explains why the awards are so important by saying “as a whole the LGBTI community spend a lot of time fighting for equality, it’s nice to be able to take some time out to come together to celebrate one another, and this is what the Australian LGBTI Awards is all about.”

James Breko Brechney was the emcee for the event and did a great job of keeping the audience entertained and the energy up for the duration. Peter FitzSimons hosted the lively panel discussion that took place with three winners from the 2017 awards: Michelle Heyman (sports personality), Sharon Carroll (inspirational role model 2017) and Julie McCrossin (broadcaster and presenter of the year).

Michelle Heyman was the only openly gay athlete to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is a role model to many members of the LGBTI community for her outlook and positivity. As part of the panel discussion regarding why the awards are important she commented “everyone needs to be who they are and love themselves, and I get to do that everyday and it’s just nice to be able to spread that to the world.”

There are a total of 18 categories in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2018. This year the awards have added several new categories. The awards are split into two sections: Public and corporate. The public awards will be decided by public voting only and voting will close on 31 December 2017. The corporate awards will be nominated online by the public and then scored by the Australian LGBTI Awards judging panel to determine a winner.

Below is a list of all the awards and their previous winners.

Public Awards:

  • Brand and Marketing Campaign (sponsored by Coca-Cola), SBS
  • Celebrity Ally, Lucy Lawless
  • Community initiative/ Charity, Australian Marriage Equality
  • Destination (sponsored by oaks hotels and resorts), Airbnb
  • Hero, Ro Allen
  • Journalist, Chloe Sargant
  • LGBTI Celebrity, Ruby Rose
  • Politician, Penny Wong
  • Sports Personality (sponsored by GM HOLDEN), Michelle Heyman
  • Student &  LGBTI Rising Star, Caitlyn Georgeson

New Categories in the Public Awards: Music Artist (sponsored by The Star Sydney), International Celebrity.

Corporate Awards:

  • LGBTI Employee Network Group (sponsored by Big W), Accenture
  • Inspirational Role Model (sponsored by Bloomberg), Sharon Carroll – Australia Post
  • Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Vodafone), Molly Meldrum

New categories in the corporate awards: Corporate Allies, Diversity Champion.

Nominations are now officially open for the Australian LGBTI Awards 2018 and you can nominate by visiting

Written by Abigail Andrew.

Sydney Event Blogger was an invited guest.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes launches in Australia

You can put your detective skills to the test by visiting The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes launched at the Powerhouse Museum on Thursday 1 June 2017.

The author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has made Sherlock Holmes one of history’s most enduring characters. His work of fiction has influenced the world to seek truth through forensic science.

The setting of the exhibition is Sherlock Holmes’ Victorian London. Visitors are given a notebook to help solve the mystery of 221B Baker Street by conducting their own experiments. The exhibition is divided into three rooms. The first room focuses on the author and features over 350 objects, including original manuscripts and first editions, The second room is one of the world’s most accurate recreations of 221B Baker Street, the home of Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick Watson. The third room is the most comprehensive display of Sherlock pop culture items since his creation 127 years ago.

There are a range of programs during the exhibition including a MAASive Lates night, a True Crime Panel Talk and Sherlock Trivia Night.

The exhibition is also aimed at children. There is an entire case for junior detectives to solve, documenting their crime solving skills in a detective file, as they work through the exhibition.

This is the first time this exhibition has toured outside North America and It will be at the Powerhouse Museum until 29 October 2017. The exhibition is brought to the Powerhouse Museum through a unique arts partnership between Exhibits Development Group (EDG); Geoffrey M. Curley + Associates; Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.; and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. This is the first time a Conan Doyle family member has been involved in a Sherlock Holmes exhibition.

On view: The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes
1 June – 29 October, 2017
Address: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
Tickets via

General admission for adults is $27
Concession $25,
Children $16
Family Pass $65.
Discounts available for pre-purchased tickets and groups


The Sydney Italian Festival launches in Sydney

The Italian Trade Agency launched the Sydney Italian Festival at Doltone House, Pyrmont on Wednesday 12 October 2016.

There were a number of Italian food and drink stations at the event including: pasta from Barilla pasta; Moretti beer served with pizza from Versace Pizzeria; a cheese, prosciutto and olives table; hazelnut gelato, and coffee and lemon granite from Cremeria De Luca; coffee from Lavazza; Ferrero Roches from Ferrero; prosecco and Aperol Spritz served by Casa Italia; and Italian Wines served by il Mercante.

Channel Seven Morning Show stylist, Donny Galella, was one of the special guests of the event and he also judged the best Italian style competition with the prize sponsor being Karisma.

Speeches for the night included: the first speech by Master of Ceremony Janette Lakis; a welcome by Italian Trade Commissioner Antonietta Baccanari; a speech by His Excellency Ambassador of Italy Pier Francesco Zazo; and the final speech by Peter Redford from Five Star Motor Cruisers.

The surprise of the night was the view of a stunning yacht, the Flybridge 70, which was parked outside Doltone House and represented Italian design and technology.

Guests also enjoyed the “Escape to Italy” photobooth featuring the irresistible “toy car” red FIAT 500 Abarth .

Sydney Italian Festival 2016 runs from the 12 October 2016 to 30 October 2016

For more information, go to:

Photograph provided by Mondostef.

The Erko celebrates the 4th of July with music, beer and their backyard smoker

The Erskinville Hotel (affectionally known as the Erko) celebrated the 4th of July with an all day party on Sunday 3 July 2016.

The venue was decked out in American memorabilia and American flags. Live rockabilly bluegrass and country music was played by the band Cruisin’ Deuces in the front room while out the back the backyard smoker produced meats for their 4th of July special of brisket sandwich with house slaw and Westmont pickles, and BBQ pulled pork sliders with house slaw and Westmont pickles.

Other specials supplied by the kitchen inside included footlong hotdogs (traditional, chilli dog and BBQ pulled pork), Louisiana Gumbo consisting of chicken and andouille sausage gumbo with cajun rice, USA cheeseburger extravaganza with double beef, double bacon, double American cheese and pickles, 1/2 rack of smoked pork ribs with kansas BBQ sauce, slaw and pickles and key lime pie with dried lime and vanilla ice-cream.

4 Pines Brewing Company did a tap takeover supplying four beers on tap including Brookvale Union Fresh Apple Cider, 4 Pines American Style Pale Ale, 4 Pines American Amber Ale, and Keller Door Small Batch (which is supplied exclusively to The Erko). The Keller Door is a new experimental beer that was made from hops imported from America that gave the beer a more citrusy flavour.

There was also a range of imported American beers on offer including: Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Brooklyn Lager, Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose and Boont Amber, North Coast Puck Petite Saison, Mad River Extra Pale, Lost Coast Indica IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Hop Hunter, and Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Yellow Snow IPA.

For the non-beer drinkers there was a cocktail special called American Pie that was made from Young Henrys Moonshine, apple juice and cinnamon bitters.

The kitchen is led by Richard Price, the ex-Head Chef of Queensland’s Lester and Earls, who prepares Southern-style American smoked and barbecued meats that take 12 hours to smoke and barbecue. The Erko is known for its brisket and chopped-pork collar, its baby-back ribs lathered in viscous barbecue sauce, and its succulent buffalo wings encrusted with a layer of zesty spice.

So whether you’re a buffalo wings fanatic, a baby-back ribs enthusiast or an pulled pork burger devotee, there’s sure to be something on the menu that will delight you any day of the year (not just the 4th of July).

Erskineville Hotel
102 Erskineville Road, Erskineville
(02) 9565 1608

Opening Hours
Mon to Sat 10am–12pm
Sun 10am–10pm

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Sydney Fringe Festival highlights announced

Sydney Fringe Festival, the largest independent arts festival in NSW, marks seven years of success by announcing its largest and most dynamic program yet, to be presented from 1 until 30 September. For the first time in 2016, Sydney Fringe together with Inner West Council will unveil and enliven a new Sydney cultural precinct ‘Off Broadway’ bringing pop-up spaces, performances and street activations to a previously disused strip of Parramatta Road.

Sydney Fringe Festival returns to take over the city this September with a ‘call to party’ theme inviting audiences onto the streets with more than 300 productions in over 50 venues spread across five cultural villages. Highlighting the city’s vibrant culture, the cultural villages presented for Fringe will activate Sydney suburbs with a diverse program spanning theatre, music, comedy, visual art, film, musical  theatre, dance, circus, literature and poetry.

Sydney Fringe CEO and Festival Director Kerri Glasscock said: “In 2016 the Sydney Fringe Festival will put the sparkle back into our City’s nightlife. It’s time for the Independent sector to stand up and say “party”, to celebrate the rich cultural offerings that are lovingly created throughout the City all year round and we want you to be there. This year we’ll be reawakening old haunts, reviving long forgotten venues and activating new precincts across the City throughout the month of September.”

A highlight of the 2016 festival will be the new Sydney creative precinct titled ‘Off Broadway’ to be unveiled by Sydney Fringe and Inner West Council for the first time during the Festival. Off Broadway will host a series of events in the disused shop fronts along Parramatta Road in Sydney’s inner west.

FRINGE IGNITE, the festival’s opening party, returns on Saturday 3 September and will take place in Darlinghurst along Stanley Street and neighbouring laneways. Teaming up with the Live Music Office and APRA AMCOS with guest curator Barney McAll, Fringe Ignite features a decadent program that will then spill into the neighbouring venues of Oxford St and Darlinghurst post 8pm for further celebrations. Further parties are planned for the Festival including a series of themed discos to take place at venues around inner Sydney.

Sydney Fringe Festival is delighted to work with 2016 Festival Ambassadors including actress Camilla Ah Kin, actress Paula Arundell, actor Nicholas Brown, comedian Sam McCool and the multi-talented Stone family with Yael Stone of Orange Is The New Black fame, musician Elana Stone and Jake Stone previously of band Bluejuice.

An extended family program of events will be offered with FRINGE KIDS presented over the first weekend of the school holidays on 24 – 25 September, including workshops by local Instagram sensation Handy With Scissors plus kids performances and family friendly events at 5 Eliza St Newtown. Sydney Fringe is also hosting a high tea for mothers while the kids are in workshops, a champagne brunch in aid of raising funds for Fringe Festival’s community partner Look Good Feel Better providing support to cancer patients. Camperdown Park will play host to a family movie screened in the park on 17 September and an Edwardian inspired family cricket and picnic day on 18 September.

A large-scale Silent Dinner Party at Paddington Town Hall on Saturday 24 September will be a highlight of the Festival’s closing weekend, following the popular 2015 Fringe Festival event that set a record for the largest silent dinner party. Guests at the Silent Dinner Party are instructed to “not use words or your voice, please don’t read or write, try to make as little noise as possible, don’t interact with technology and stay for at least 2 hours.” Dinner is included in the ticket price, offering the chance for guests be part of a living artwork that has now been hosted in eight countries across the world.

The full program for the 2016 Sydney Fringe Festival will be announced on 1 August 2016. Please visit for further details and updates.


Two of Sydney’s most loved museums are free this weekend (25 to 26 June 2016)

Sydney’s most loved museums will open for FREE on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June – THIS WEEKEND.

Now in its second year, the Free Museum Weekend invites visitors of to explore Australia’s first museum, the Australian Museum, and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) at the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory.

In 2015, the inaugural Free Museum Weekend attracted crowds of more than 50,000 visitors across both museums, marking the introduction of Kids Free, a commitment by the NSW Government to provide free general admission for school students and children 16 years and under visiting both museums.

Since Kids Free began, the Powerhouse Museum has experienced over 60% growth in children’s visits with over 195,000 children visiting the Museum in FY2015-16 to date. The Australian Museum saw more than 150,000 children visit over the same period – a significant increase. The Free Museum Weekend would build on the popularity of the Kids Free initiative.

Visitors to the Australian Museum can experience the award-winning exhibition Trailblazers: Australia’s 50 greatest explorers, a celebration of the pioneers and adventurers who shaped the history of our nation and our understanding of the world around us, while those visiting the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory will be the first to participate in Tanabata: Star Village, a collaborative community art installation celebrating the Japanese fable of the night sky.

Free Weekend: 25 – 26 June 2016

9.30am – 5pm daily, 1 William Street, Sydney, 9320 6000

Powerhouse Museum
10am – 5pm daily, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007,
Sydney Observatory
10am – 5pm daily, Watson Rd, Millers Point,

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