The atmosphere, the ambience, the crowd: Film festivals offer far more than an entertaining night in front of the silver screen. What better way to mingle with artists, discover new passions and indulge old ones and live it up a little than by attending one of the premier events on Sydney's cultural calendar?

From the elegant, shimmering environs of the theatre to the presence of fellow film enthusiasts, there's a little something for everyone at the Sydney Film Festival. Families can hone in on child-friendly programming, including both animated and live-action stories from around the world, while those out for a special date might enjoy dressing up for the galas. 

Can you tell we're excited about this annual film exhibition? It's one of the best arts events in New South Wales, and we're happy to be playing a small part in the festivities. When you attend the show, be sure to take a good look at the ticket booth at Event Cinemas George Street, which we're building once again. Last year, the ticketing stand design was the colourful medley you can see below – for this year's booth, you'll just have to wait for the curtains to open. 

Proj-X builds the ticket stand for the Sydney Film Festival each year.Proj-X builds the ticket stand for the Sydney Film Festival each year.

 What's waiting backstage at this year's film fest? 

Film lovers are already waiting in great anticipation for this year's schedule of events – which are due to come out in a matter of days. 

But, while people are awaiting the official programme, we already know some of the shows that are sure to take the audience's breath away, expand the imagination and convey poignant messages.

One of these much-anticipated treats is We Are Many, a documentary using footage from over nine years to showcase the anti-war protests sparked in 2003. 

While some films may be making their debut at the Sydney Film Festival, others have already been acclaimed at other events. For instance, Transmission's Slow West won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic at the Sundance Film Festival. Movie-goers can see why by catching it at the Sydney Film Festival. Take a sneak peak by watching the trailer below.  

As a whole, the event will run from June 3 to 14, with tickets available for specific programmes. The Opening Night Gala will feature Ruben Gurthrie, a comedic but meaningful film about Australia's drinking culture. What's particularly exciting is that Sydney Film Festival attendees will get to see the world premiere of the party boy story.  

Beyond the screen

"Australia has a strong culture of cinema going."

Like other events of its type, the Sydney Film Festival offers far more than a night at the movies. In addition to having the opportunity to see debuts and films you might not otherwise seek out or find, the occasion is one that brings people of all walks of life together – and an excuse for a mighty good time. 

The Gourmet Cinema is a unique programme that mixes some of Sydney's finest dining with a culinary-themed film experience. The result? A true recipe for success, and a sensory experience in the fullest.

The Sydney Film Fest is a socialite's dream, building on Australia's longstanding love of film, as the Festival's Programme Manager and Documentary Programmer Jenny Neighbour recently told FilmFestivalLife: 

"Australia has a strong culture of cinema going, and the Sydney public considers watching films as an opportunity to socialise as well as a cultural activity. They seem to enjoy the debate in the foyer afterwards, as much as meeting their friend," she said.  

Ms Neighbour went on to note that the event has been running for 62 years, with some attendees who have seen each iteration. As a whole, it's a great place to catch up with old mates and re-open debates from last year's festivities.

A night to remember  

That's very much to say that events like this are often just the beginning. As commentary from last year's festival shows, the span of the event itself inspires conversations and interests that last far beyond the Closing Night Gala. 

We can also look forward to reading recaps of the programme as well as the critics' take on the winners and hidden champions of the festival. For many, these reviews will provide deeper insight into the world of film and perhaps inspire many to seek out opportunities to see these cinematic masterpieces at other times. 

Of course, there are official winners as well. Many of the films honoured in last year's awards ceremony went on to capture the attention of viewers around Australia, New Zealand and the world.