Cultural Event


As part of its Spotlight on Female Directors, the Moro Spanish Film Festival will feature 11 films directed by women. From established directors such as Icíar Bollaín and Gracia Querejeta to fresh new voices including Lila Avilés, the spotlight presents a programme of Spain and Latin America’s most exciting filmmakers. Films include:

THE GOOD GIRLS (Las niñas bien) Director Alejandra Márquez Abella presents this gorgeously mounted and beautifully played feature that is at once a scathing and glamourous depiction of the wives of upper-class men in 1982 Mexico.

– ANA BY DAY (Ana de día) – directed by Andrea Jaurrieta and featuring Ingrid García Jonsson (Beautiful Youth, SFF15) as a cosmopolitan, educated young woman whose misgivings about her identity intensify when a doppelganger arrives to replace her.

– BREAK (Recreo) – a comedy/drama directed by Jazmín Stuart and Hernán Guerschuny about six old friends who reunite for a weekend away with their children only to have revelations of secrets, lies, unrequited desires, and accumulated frustrations arise.

-CARMEN & LOLA – Bilbao-born writer-director Arantxa Echevarría and her exceptional non-professional cast deliver an empathetic portrayal of forbidden love in a repressive society that is altogether inspiring, necessary and beautiful.

CRIME WAVE (Ola de crímenes) – directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Gracia Querejeta who returns to the festival circuit with a romping comedy-thriller starring the crème de la crème of Spanish acting royalty: Maribel Verdú, Javier Cámara and Luis Tosar.

FLORIANÓPOLIS DREAM (Sueño Florianópolis) – a gentle, thoughtful portrait of a middle-class family by Argentine writer/director Ana Katz, who invites her audience to drink in the idyllic coastal scenery of Brazil for a breezy and bittersweet film experience.

HOPELESSLY DEVOUT (Mi querida cofradía) – the debut feature from Marta Díaz de Lope Díaz featuring eccentric characters offering fresh and funny perspective on female empowerment and patriarchy within the church. Starring Spanish television veteran Gloria Muñoz (The Unexpected Life, SFF14).

THE CHAMBERMAID (La camarista) – attracting audience and critical acclaim at the Toronto and London Film Festivals, Lila Avilés’ striking and compelling debut feature is a vital exploration of the Mexican class divide featuring Gabriela Cartol in the role of a chambermaid.

THE LONGEST NIGHT (La mala noche) – a bold feature debut about human trafficking and its impact on the impoverished women and children who often become the victims of this crime. The film is directed by Gabriela Calvache, who collaborated with a crew of 80% women.

YULI – an extraordinary biopic of the legendary Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta; the first black dancer to perform some of ballet’s most iconic roles. Directed by Icíar Bollaín, the film features a magnetic performance by Acosta himself.

– PERET: THE KING OF THE GYPSY RUMBA (Peret, yo soy la rumba) Hailed as the “King of Rumba” for his fusion of flamenco song with Latin American rhythms, this documentary spanning six decades captures the magic that was Peret.

Opening with Javier Fesser’s critically acclaimed Goya Award-winning box office smash hit CHAMPIONS (Campeones), the festival will close with a digital restoration of the firecracker comedy WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios), directed by leading Spanish auteur, Pedro Almodóvar, to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.

The 2019 Moro Spanish Film Festival will take place nationally from 16 April to 26 May in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and Byron Bay.

Sydney 16 Apr – 8 May: Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona & Palace Central.
Canberra 17 Apr – 8 May:  Palace Electric Cinema.
Melbourne 18 Apr – 8 May: The Astor Theatre, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Westgarth, The Kino and Palace Balwyn.
Adelaide 23 Apr – 15 May: Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas & Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas.
Perth 24 Apr – 15 May: Palace Cinema Paradiso.
Brisbane 24 Apr – 15 May: Palace James Street and Palace Barracks.
Hobart 2 May – 8 May: State Cinema.
Byron Bay 10 – 26 May: Palace Byron Bay
Tickets go on sale Wednesday 27 March via

Join the mailing list or follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: #SPANISHFILMFEST


Vive la difference!
The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival turns 30 with a fabulous and diverse array of feature films, from frothy comedy to contemporary cinema verite, horror thrillers to Westerns.

Be en garde for EN GUERRE (At War), a bristling, bruising, robust and bravura drama of labour relations, an industrial strength conflict between blue collar and white colour, the chasm between shop floor and share holders.
Never has negotiation between management and workers been so elevated from the enervated as film maker Stephane Brize navigates his cinema verite approach to searing internecine heights. Board room discussion in lesser hands would be mere bored room argument, but Brize lets the banal bleed out and the film seethes with conflict and undercurrent.                    Continue reading ALLIANCE FRANCAISE FILM FESTIVAL: THIRTY YEARS STRONG


Attracting  politicians, poets and high school students, the Poets Picnic was held at the beautiful Blackburn Gardens adjacent to the Woollahra Council chambers and the former Woollahra Library.  Both the crowd and the poets were in a celebratory mood as this was the 30th time that Woollahra Library had hosted this event.

In honour of this occasion beautiful cupcakes emblazoned with the number thirty were handed out to those participating in the picnic.

Another veteran of the Poets Picnic was ABC presenter Simon Marnie who emceed the poetry performances for the 18th time.

The theme of this year’s poems was Change but as is the case with free wheeling poetry not every poem stuck to this subject. Naturally nobody minded as the spectators enjoyed a balmy night in the most beautiful harbour side setting with white cockatoos circling above and birds song complemented the lovely oratory of the poet presenters. Continue reading POETS PICNIC 2019 – 30 YEARS YOUNG


The photo above is of Fiona Lowry with her subject and behind them is her actual painting, The title of the painting is – I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers . 2014. Acrylic on canvas. Fiona Lowry won the Sir John Sullivan Prize in 2014. Her painting is held in the collection of Dr Dick Quan Sydney and is currently on view at the National Art School, Darlinghurst in its Queer Contemporary gallery.

The week has been a fun-filled and colourful  one for the LGBTQI community, family and friends as they prepare for the centrepiece of their celebration, Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 2 March 2019.

Unlike any other celebration in Sydney, the iconic Parade is the most talked about and admired for its satirical takes on every aspect of controversy, be it political, social, religious or discriminatory.  This year’s  theme is Fearless – much about  living freely in the face of fear to combat all forms of discrimination.
The many bold and outrageous floats that go to make up this parade is the reason why so many people line the streets to witness this marvellous spectacle of colour and imagination. A stand-out demonstration of LGBTQI creativity personified!
All photos by Denver Mottau


Parramatta is set to be transformed into a rich playground of cultural wonder when Parramasala returns with a bumper program featuring pumping live music, workshops for the whole family, incredible dance, delicious world delicacies and the iconic opening street parade.

Running from Friday 15 – Sunday 17 March, the 2019 program features the very best in international and local acts, including free concerts by singer-songwriter Thandi Phoenix, ARIA nominated rap-duo Remi Indigenous modern electric group Electric Fields, Sydney local CLYPSO and the widely-acclaimed Sampa the Great.

Crowds will also enjoy the breathtaking Opening Night Parade and the inaugural Long Table Sunday Brunch, a shared multicultural and interfaith feast for all members of the community.               Continue reading PARRAMASALA : WILL BE BIGGER THAN EVER


The Pig is the twelfth month of the Chinese Zodiac. Some say that Chinese Muslims put it last so that after reciting the previous eleven months, they did not have to recite the name of the Pig  because it is an unclean animal.

However for most Chinese the Pig represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty and general prosperity. A person born in the year of the Pig is regarded as hard working, peace loving, truthful, generous, patient, reliable, trusting, sociable, and with a large sense of humour and understanding.

The Sydney Chinese festival is hailed as the largest Chinese Lunar New Year festival  outside China. It has a huge range of events scattered throughout the Sydney area and has run since the beginning of February until the 23rd February.

As well as what takes place in the inner city area there is a huge Lunar New Year festival in Cabramatta. Continue reading CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR OF THE PIG 2019


Fair Day returned to Victoria Park  in Broadway on Sunday 17th February and like last year it was bathed in glorious sunshine. Last year’s crowd was estimated by the organisers at 80,000 people and there were at least that many this year.

The Fair is free and open to all and there were many ‘traditional’ families as well as the families and friends of the LGBTQI community. By saying this I do not wish to imply that there was some sort of  division as the whole day exuded a unity of a love, warmth, generosity of spirit and above all fun.

If you wanted to cool off even Victoria Park’s swimming pool was open to all. Continue reading MARDI GRAS FAIR DAY



Inaugural Chinese Film Week Comes To Sydney

Bringing FREE critically-acclaimed Chinese cinema to Event Cinemas George St. film fans in Sydney, the first ever Chinese Film Week (27 Feb to 3 Mar) promises hi-octane action, edge of your seat suspense and gripping drama in a carefully curated program of films set to enthrall Australian audiences.

The brainchild of the Sydney China Cultural Centre, Chinese Film Week aims to build a better understanding of Chinese culture through the art of cinema, whilst showcasing some of the best and brightest creative minds China has to offer.

Chen Shuang, Director of China Cultural Centre in Sydney, said, “The free Chinese Film Week program has been curated to offer Sydney audiences a rare chance to enjoy the most exciting Chinese cinema from the past few years. The initiative aims to connect with lovers of the arts, whilst tightening bonds and experiences between international audiences and broadening the appeal of Chinese cinema”.

“Film has the ability to bring people together, sharing values and common interests, it is our privilege to be able to share our stories with Australian audiences”.

The full program of films include:

Feature Films

Lost, Found (2018) – Oscar nominated Director Yue Lü brings a tale of courage and determination following a criminal lawyer and single mother searching for her missing daughter;
The Wasted Times (2017) — Starring Golden Globe nominee Ziyi Zhang (Memoirs of a Geisha), the Japanese Army tries over three decades to build a difficult relationship with a Chinese gangland boss;
Brotherhood of Blades (2014) — From prestigious Huading Award winning Director Yang Lu, three Imperial guards are played off against each other as pawns by a corrupt Emperor.
Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) — Old colleagues Tang and Qin team up once more to hunt down the culprit guilty of murdering the son of New York’s notorious Godfather;
Animal World (2018) — Starring Oscar winning Michael Douglas, Kaisi, owing millions, leaves home to board the ship Destiny, trying to gamble his way out of debt in a game of chance;
Hello Mr. Billionaire (2018) — Given seemingly the dream job, this comedy follows one man who must spend a billion dollars in 30 days to win 30 billion, the catch is he can’t own anything at the end of the 30 days;
Go Away Mr. Tumour (2015) — Based on the cult classic Chinese comic series by Xiong Dun, the story chronicles the darkest hours of a cancer patients treatment, adding humour and optimism to a seemingly bleak time of life.

Free screenings are available as long as cinema capacity permits, to register for tickets head to

Well known for outstanding offerings to world cinema, the Chinese film industry has a much to offer Australian audiences. The Sydney Chinese Cultural Centre strives to build cultural ties between China and Australia through a common love of the arts.

WHAT: Chinese Film Week 2019
WHEN: 27 February – 3 March 2019
FACEBOOK: ChineseFilmWeek
INSTAGRAM: ChineseFilmWeekAus


27/02/2019: 6:30PM: event opening + screening Lost, Found
28/02/2019: 7:00PM: screening The Wasted Times
01/03/2019: 7:00PM: screening Brotherhood of Blade
02/03/2019: 3:30PM: screening Detective Chinatown 2
02/03/2019: 6:30PM: screening Animal World
03/03/2019: 3:30PM: screening Hello Mr. Billionaire
03/03/2019: 6:30PM: screening Go Away Mr. Tumor


Rick Stein, one of the world’s most highly respected chefs, brings a perfect fusion of travel and food to the stage at Sydney’s State Theatre for one night only on Thursday 4 April. Tickets to RICK STEIN – LIVE ON STAGE go on sale on 7 February from Ticketmaster.

In conversation with Richard Glover, Stein will discuss his stellar career while taking us on a journey of discovery, meandering through the world’s greatest culinary regions, bringing to life the people and the places, and sharing his experiences of travelling in search of the extraordinary.

Rick Stein is an English chef, restaurateur and TV presenter who owns world renowned restaurants in Cornwall, England as well as being head chef and co-owner of the newly opened Rick Stein at Bannisters at Port Stephens, sister property to the immensely popular Bannisters by the Sea at Mollymook.

Best known for his many BBC TV series that have kept him perpetually globetrotting since his first appearance in 1985, Rick Stein has twenty-seven books to his name, each bringing the world’s most wonderful dishes to our kitchens at home.

Thursday 4th April 2019 @ 7:30pm at the State Theatre

For more about Rick Stein – Live on Stage, visit
Find us on: YouTube | Facebook


MAAS (Powerhouse Museum) will entertain the kids over the school holidays with a series of educational workshops as part of STAR WARS: Identities exhibition.  The Guide had the chance to speak with Stefanie Ferguson who heads  MAAS school holiday programming.

SAG:                      So the activities for the school holidays program are based around the Star Wars: Identities exhibition. I saw that exhibition and it was just thrilling, so I expect the kids are going to love it.

STEFANIE:           Oh yes.  They’re in for a real treat.  I think it suits people of all ages and will bring out the inner child, especially those who grew up with Star WarsContinue reading STAR WARS: IDENTITIES EXHIBITION INSPIRES MAAS SCHOOL HOLS PROGRAM