Aussie laffer opens Sydney fest

Two retro programs will honor 50th anni of event

SYDNEY — The golden jubilee edition of the Sydney Film Festival will open June 6 with the world premiere of Aussie comedy “The Honourable Wally Norman.”

Directed by TV vet Ted Emery and starring Kevin Harrington (“The Dish”) out front of a posse of Oz comedians, pic is the story of an ordinary man accidentally nominated to run for federal parliament. The Ocean Pictures production is one of a wave of Aussie comedies skedded for release later this year.

The Oz preen of François Ozon’s “Swimming Pool” will close the fest June 20, fresh from a plunge in competition at Cannes.

Two retro programs will commemorate the 50th anni: Perspectives is a selection of films chosen by former SIF directors and Bright Sparks is a retrospective of finalists from the fest’s short film awards. It features works from Jane Campion, Rolf de Heer, Phil Noyce, Gillian Armstrong, Alex Proyas and “Moulin Rouge” cinematographer Don McAlpine.

Indian helmer Buddhadeb Dasgupta will host a spotlight on India. Fest has programmed Aussie preems of Oliver Stone’s controversial Fidel Castro doc “Comandante,” fest darling Catherine Breillat’s “Sex is Comedy,” Gus Van Sant’s “Gerry,” Paul Schrader’s Bob Crane biopic “Autofocus” and Larry Clark’s “Ken Park.”

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