What to Expect at SWIFF 2021


Changing leaves and cinema screens!
Here's what you can expect to see at SWIFF 2021 -
April 14th-29th

SWIFF is returning for it’s 6th year  of delivering laughs, gasps and

everything in between to audiences on the Coffs Coast

Over 10,000 people flocked to venues on the Coffs Coast last year to indulge in cinema from Australia and beyond, partake in filmmaker and industry Q&A’s, make new friends, and visit exotic places from a cinema seat – all for the love of film. 

This year, SWIFF has smashed previous presale records, and is anticipating to have the biggest festival yet, returning to the home of SWIFF, the Jetty Memorial Theatre, and introducing a brand new screening venue, CHEC Theatre at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus. 

This blog will be your one stop shop for all the goings on at SWIFF – so be sure to check back regularly for any announcements!

Here’s what you can expect to see at SWIFF 2021. 


Need some film inspo? Check out SWIFF Co-Director and Curator Kate Howat’s top 6 Picks! 


Check out the live performances, fine dining experiences, and educational opportunities that SWIFF’21 has to offer!


Every year, SWIFF invites producers, directors, actors, and more to share the story behind the film with SWIFF audiences. Check out the guests gracing SWIFF’21. 


The full program is officially out! With over 60 features and documentaries, there’s something for everyone in the SWIFF’21 program. 

How Do Film Passes Work?

Film Passes offer you great savings and flexibility, so you can buy your pass now and choose your films later.

Once you purchase a pass, you will be emailed a 7-digit code that is automatically linked to your account. You then redeem films from your pass. It’s that easy!

The options available are 6, 12 and 24 Film Pass. All passes can be redeemed for all regular film sessions, excluding all special events, including Opening Night Gala, Closing Night Gala, SWIFF Live, Wine Degustation and Workshops.

Check out our handy redemption guide!

How does Dine & Discover Work?

The NSW Dine & Discover program is here to help rejuvenate local businesses by issuing every NSW citizen over the age of 18 four $25 vouchers to be used on dining out and entertainment experiences. 

This year, you’ll be able to redeem your Dine & Discover vouchers at SWIFF! Check back soon for more information and details on redemption. 

Click the button below to apply for your Dine & Discover vouchers today!

Full SWIFF'21 Program Announced!

Preview Gala was a smashing success, seeing over 200 sponsors, guests  and film lovers flock to the Jetty Memorial Theatre for a night of fun, food and film. 

The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the SWIFF’21 Festival Program. With over 100 sessions of 64 feature films, special events, industry events and special guests, SWIFF’21 (April 14th-29th) is shaping up to be 16 days of world class entertainment. 

Time to visit the website, check out the films, grab a cuppa, and plan your SWIFF!

Jack Thompson announced as SWIFF'21 Festival Patron

Australian screen icon and veteran, known as the “flagship of the Australian film industry will be chairing a board of Festival Patrons, taking the Coffs Harbour Film Festival to the next stage in it’s journey. 

Fellow patrons include Sydney based documentarian Sascha Ettinger-Epstein (The Pink House, Destination Arnold) and Aaron Glenane (The Killing Ground, Netflix’s Snowpiercer). 

Team Picks - What's on Saige Browne's 6 Pass

SWIFF’s Programs and Volunteers Coordinator, and Front of House Manager at CHEC Saige Browne’s top SWIFF films!

Team Picks - What's on Giordan Pakes' 6 Pass

SWIFF’s Ticketing Coordinator and Front of House Manager at Jetty Memorial Theatre Giordan Pakes’ top SWIFF films!

Another Round

Preview Gala - ANOTHER ROUND

FRI 5 MAR · 6PM FOR 6.30PM · JMT

To celebrate the launch of the festival program, come have a nibble, a glass of bubbles and enjoy Thomas Vinterberg’s award winning and heartfelt comedy starring Mads Mikkelsen. 

Martin (Mikkelsen) and his three friends, all teachers at various stages of middle age, are stuck in a rut. Unable to share their passions either at school or at home, they come across a theory from a Norwegian psychologist that constant modest inebriation could lead to an open mind and heighten productivity during the working week. With flasks at the ready, and with scientific rigor, the group decide to give it a shot.

As the friends go about their school days, with heightened moments of clarity, the initial results are highly encouraging. But as they push for more of a challenge to their experiment, things get a bit more complicated and out of control. 

Limited tickets are still available for the Preview Gala, but get in quick! They are sure to sell out soon. 

The Furnace

Opening Night - THE FURNACE

WED 14 APR · 6.30PM FOR 7PM · JMT

Kick off 16 days of cinema with a night of food, drinks and film – enjoy a screening of Australian film The Furnace, starring David Whenham and Ahmed Malek, directed by Roderick Mackay. 

It’s 1897. Caravaneers, brought to Australia by the British from Persia, Afghanistan, and India, drive camels across the Western Australian desert to trade between colony outposts near Mount Magnet and Kalgoorlie. Having developed close relations with the Indigenous population, whose knowledge of the unforgiving terrain is crucial for their trade routes, young Afghan trader Hanif (Ahmed Malek) forms a close bond with local Indigenous man Woorak (Baykali Ganambarr – The Nightingale, SWIFF ’20).

Hanif stumbles upon a mysterious bushman, Mal Riley (David Wenham), carrying 400oz gold bars marked with the Crown’s insignia – incredibly valuable, but completely untradeable…unless they are melted and reforged in a furnace. With the promise of an awaiting fortune in exchange for Mal’s safe passage, Hanif is forced to make the ultimate decision that will forever decide his fate. 

There are a few tickets remaining for Opening Night but be sure to jump on quick! 

SWIFF program favourite – SWIFF live returns in 2021 

Wake In Fright

SWIFF Live: Wake In Fright Featuring Rhyece O'Neill Band

FRI 16 APR · 8.15PM · JMT

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Australia’s stunning and awe-inspiring ‘great lost film’, SWIFF presents an original live soundtrack screening of Ted Kotcheff’s 1971 vivid outback sunburner, Wake In Fright.  

An undisputed masterpiece… extraordinary”- Herald-Sun

The reimagined soundtrack, composed and performed by bluesmen ramblers Rhyece O’Neill Band, is a feature-length celebration of a unique piece of cinema history. Rhyece O’Neill’s original soundtrack is a desert blues interpretation featuring gothic blues guitar, driving bass and boogie, with psychotic drums providing a truly stunning context for the film’s dialogue and subject matter. 

Painstakingly restored by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, presented in its original uncompromising form together with a re-imagined, original soundtrack – an incredible experience not to be missed! 

Contains high impact scenes 

SWIFF Live - Grigoryan Brothers - A Boy Called Sailboat

SWIFF Live: A Boy Called Sailboat Featuring Grigoryan Brothers

TUE 27 APR · 6.30PM · JMT

WED 28 APR · 6.30PM · CHEC 

Acclaimed guitarists Slava & Leonard Grigoryan have expanded their creative output by crafting and recording the soundtrack to the big-hearted, award-winning indie film, ‘A Boy Called Sailboat’, performed as a live soundtrack to the film on stage at SWIFF ‘21.  

This charming, delightfully original family tale about culture and inclusion, is set in a small rural town in New Mexico, and was written and developed by Melbourne-based creative team Cameron Nugent and Andrew Curry – starring Academy Award® winning actor J.K Simmons, Noel G, Elizabeth De Razzo, Jake Busey, Lew Temple and newcomer, Julian Atocani Sanchez in the title role.

Sailboat (Sanchez), a young boy living in the drought-ridden Deep South, brings love and hope to a family who have forged a simple and wholesome life. One afternoon he brings home a “little guitar” to his family.  From this moment, Sailboat and his little guitar are inseparable, and when his ailing grandmother asks he write a song just for her, Sailboat sets to creating a perfect song that has global ramifications well past his close-knit family.

Blending a sweet-natured atmosphere with an incredible Latin-themed soundtrack, ‘A Boy Called Sailboat’ provides audiences a chance to hear and see the Grigoryan Brothers like never before.

Enjoy a fine dining experience at SWIFF 2021

SWIFF X Hilltop Degustation


A food and wine celebration comes to SWIFF!

The festival hosts acclaimed executive chefs Richie Dolan and Carla Jones from The Hilltop Store and Hilltop At The Lodge as they prepare a four course plus canapes degustation menu. Paired together with matching wines by Treasury Wine Estates at CHEC’s Osprey Restaurant.  

Download SWIFF x Hilltop Wine Degustation Dinner Menu Here

Carla and Richie are a husband-and-wife team that met back in 2006 working together at Matt Moran’s prestigious Aria restaurant in Sydney. Since then, Richie opened and was head chef at Chiswick in Woollahra, and Carla was head chef and co-owner of 4Fourteen in Surry Hills, before moving home to Sawtell to raise a family together and open the now infamous Hilltop Store. In June 2020, the couples’ culinary prowess extended to a new venture, opening Hilltop At The Lodge at the newly renovated Bellingen Valley Lodge.  

On the evening, guests will hear from the chefs, and winemakers, as guests step outside of their comfort zones for a creative line-up of courses with paired vinos. Be sure to book early.

Get the best value with SWIFF presale passes

Film Passes offer you great savings and flexibility, so you can buy your pass now and choose your films later.

Once you purchase a pass, you will be emailed a 7-digit code that is automatically linked to your account. Once the full program is announced on March 5, you can redeem films from your pass. It’s that easy!

The options available are 6, 12 and 24 Film Pass. All passes can be redeemed for all regular sessions, excluding Opening Night Gala, Closing Night Gala and Special Events. 

Passes can be used for up to 2 tickets per session, for example, if you purchase a 12 Film Pass you can treat yourself to 1 ticket to 12 individual sessions or bring a friend and select 2 tickets to 6 film sessions – the choice is yours!

There is only one account holder per pass, so if you would like to buy a Film Pass for a friend, please purchase a Gift Voucher and the lucky recipient can redeem for a Film Pass in their name.

Don’t miss out, as the 2nd Release Film Passes are only available until March 6th. Full program announced March 5th. 

Join the SWIFF e-news below to keep up to date with the latest announcements

The Coffs Coast is a destination waiting to be fully discovered and enjoyed. DISCOVER

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