May 13, 2011 – Cate Blanchett’s new thriller “Hanna” will open the Sydney Film Festival next month with the Academy Award winner gracing the red carpet, organisers have said.
Directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”), “Hanna” will bookend the festival with the closing night film, Mike Mills’ “Beginners”, starring Ewan McGregor.
“Of course we’re very excited to be opening with ‘Hanna’, the new film by Joe Wright, and to have Sydney Film Festival’s patron Cate Blanchett on the red carpet for our opening night event,” said festival director Clare Stewart.
The June 8-19 festival will also feature a tribute programme to jailed Iranian directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof.
Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films for 20 years last December for “propaganda” against the state.
Rasoulof, who was making a movie with Panahi before his arrest, was also jailed for six years on similar charges.
Stewart said their punishment had defined the last 12 months for film lovers.
“This rocks the foundations of what we understand freedom of expression to be,” she said.
Among other movies being shown will be Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and “Kung Fu Panda 2”, featuring Jack Black, who will also attend the festival.