Sydney Film Festival: Stories
The Sydney Film Festival was cancelled in 2020. For the obvious reasons.
But without donations, even the 2021 festival was threatened.
Australians mistakenly believe that the SFF is a cash-rich organisation with grants from the government.
But this isn’t true. Without donations and bequests, they wouldn’t survive.
And the stories wouldn’t be told.
Stories have never been more important. Especially now.
Stories are one of the fundamental reasons for us being us.
From stories calved onto Egyptian tombs, embroidered into tapestries or shot on 35mm, they share knowledge, history and humanity.
We live in an age where many of our stories are picked for us by a computer algorithm, so film festivals are critical for how we see the world.
And as a film lover, it was a privilege to write these words.
And even more exciting to hear some of the world’s greatest talent delivering them.
(The actual poem is beneath the film.)
Once upon a time
there was the story.
A glorious tale told to flame danced faces
In deserts and castles and faraway places.
The story remembered by past generations
And carried through battles between furious nations.
It cares not for decorum.
It hears no decrees.
It refuses commandments
It won’t stand for these
calls for silence.
Because it has to be heard.
The endless protector
The fearless collector
The flickering projector
The keeper of the sound
and the absurd.
Stories tell us who we are.
Who we can be.
They let us see
life from eyes not our own.
From the near,
from the far.
From journeys through thunder.
We can go over and under
The silver topped mountains,
The impossible plains.
We can pull back the curtain
And break all the chains.
Because stories can break our hearts.
Make us laugh in the dark.
Make us see through the lies.
Draw a vast question mark.
Over the great and the good.
And make us wonder if we should
Change things for the better.
The world has stories to tell.
And they need to be told.
Without stories, we’re left in the darkness.
We’re out in the cold.
We can’t move without growing.
We can’t think without knowing.
We don’t know what’s coming.
So we need stories to keep going.