SWIFF Picks – What’s on Steph Sims’ 6 Pass

My Film Pass Picks - Stephanie Sims

Although I am part of the SWIFF team, I think it should be noted that I’m really just an everyday punter (film nut) and have not seen any of these films – only the trailers. So I’m going by directors I love, actors I love and themes that I love. These films would make my first 6-film pass – but I will be seeing many more over the next two weeks!

Jojo Rabbit

I cannot wait to see this film! I’m a massive Taika Waititi fan; it’s a stellar cast;  the trailer looks hilarious; and it’s an anti-hate film and I think we need a lot of that right now. I love that the Festival is kicking off with a dark comedy with heart. Opening night is always fabulous but I think this will take the cake!


This film looks dreamy and definitely other-worldly. I love how cinema can transport you to places you never imagined and as a documentary – this place really exists. The filmmakers spent three years in this isolated community so I can’t wait to see the story of this remarkable woman and her community unfold in all its cinematic glory.

Pain and Glory

I’m super excited to see one of my favourite Director’s, Pedro Almodovar, latest offering. Both lead actors, Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz won awards for their performances and the film has been described as intensely personal, tender and reflective – just how I like it.

The Nightingale

I read a review on this film in the paper just the other weekend and am so pleased it was clinched for SWIFF. Although it does come with some controversy (including walk outs) and has been described as ‘another level of horrifying’ and ‘a punishing watch’, for me this is a movie that needs to be watched; history that needs to be witnessed. I think I’m looking forward to it…

Martha: A Picture Story

One of the things I love most about SWIFF is the opportunity to see fabulous documentaries. The trailer says ”eighty of the happiest minutes documentary-lovers are likely to spend in a theatre this year” so for me it’s a must see. Martha Cooper is an incredible photographer who captured life and art on the streets, particularly New York in such an exciting period (1970s). I love that this doco was made by an Australian female director about a trailblazing female artist who is a global phenomenon. (And was edited in Bellingen!)


This looks sad and sweet and funny and it’s definitely not just the fact that Cohen Holloway is playing a ukulele in the trailer that brings this understated drama into my top 6 SWIFF Picks! I’m a big fan of Kiwi films and this trailer touched me. I’m looking forward to getting lost in this unhurried, slice of life delight.

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