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Sydney fest to open with ‘Rose’

Event will close June 24 with 'Day Watch'

New director of the Sydney Film Festival, Clare Stewart, has eschewed tradition by programming Olivier Dahan’s “La Vie en Rose” as 54th fest’s June 8 curtain raiser.

For most of the past decade SFF has showcased an Oz pic in the top slot, among them “Ten Canoes,” “Lantana” and “The Honourable Wally Norman.”

This edition will shutter June 24 with Russian thriller “Day Watch,” book-ending a program of 113 features and 86 docs over 16 days. Among the Aussie films programmed are “West” and “The Home Song Stories,” both world preems at the Berlin Film Festival and “Lucky Miles,” which opened the Adelaide Film Festival in February. A selection of lower-budget pics from tyro helmers rounds out fest’s Oz strand.

Stewart’s programming initiatives include World Views, a selection of hot international pics; Accessible Cinema, inspiring pics about disabled Sydneysiders; Kids Films; Stories From Brazil; a selection from Peter Sellars’ New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna; and a John Huston retrospective.

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