Eclectic and unique: the 7th Sydney Underground Film Festival

Launch of the Underground Film Festival Photo: Marine Raynard

The seventh annual Underground Film Festival has announced the line up for the 2013 festival during at its launch night with a special 10th anniversary screening of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room at the Metro Theatre July 31.

The Sydney Underground will take place from September 5-8 at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre with an eclectic line up of over 30 local and international films that will showcase this year’s most subversive and cult films from around the world.

Festival directors Stefan Popescu and Katherine Berger launch the event Photo: Marine Raynard

Festival directors Stefan Popescu and Katherine Berger introduced the festival as a freedom of expression event and announced it would open with Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality. The film had its world premiere at Festival de Cannes and promises the audience a psychedelic trip they won’t forget.

The program also includes Magic Magic by Michael Cera, The Lord of Salem by Rob Zombie, Poor Little Rich Girls (After Warhol) by Alex Munt and Unlawful Killing by Keith Allen, the disturbing documentary about Princess Diana’s death that has been banned in the UK.

“We will see if we get arrested,” Popescu said.

The Underground festival will close with the much-anticipated Australian premiere  of The Canyons from writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Paul Schrader, starring Lindsay Lohan.

It will also include a little fun with the inaugural best worst films bingo session featuring some of the world’s most-loved cinematic disasters including Troll 2, Birdemic 2: The Resurrection, and again a special 10th anniversary screening of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.

The festival is original and quirky. “We try to change the cultural landscape of Sydney,” Popescu said.

For Berger its aims are more about creating a community, “we are all grassroots”, but also about bringing a different experience for audiences. “We want to draw people out and remind them of the importance of cinema,” she said.

The best worst movie ever made at a cost of $6 million Photo: Marine Raynard

This cultural hub was in evidence during the launch screening of The Room, with an incredible interactive community in front of the best-worst movie ever made at a cost of $6 million. “You will have a hard time finding it on the screen,” said Matt Downey, writer of You’re Tearing Me Apartment: The Roomsical introducing a viewer’s guide before the screening. 

Indeed, the movie that includes frames with spoon pictures, endless shots of San Francisco, weird sex scenes, bad music and unfocused images, creates games to play during the screening such as making really loud comments, throwing spoons or playing football.

Kieren, 34, had already seen the movie twice but never gets tired of it. “We had a very fun time commenting; this is the type of movie where you can do that.”

The festival will deliver a weird, unexpected and unique range of films that you may never experience again, but as Popescu and Berger said: “Remember – it’s only cinema, it can’t kill you!”  Full program information and tickets for the festival are available at

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