The 2005 Sydney Film Festival opened on Friday night. As I do every year, I rocked up at the State Theatre to pick up my season daytime pass and get my hands on the brochure showing all the lovely films that are going to be on. Always a special moment.
As a general rule, I don't attend the opening night film (the one time I went, the film was so useless I seriously considered walking out).
When you go to the State to get your ticket, you're confronted with the opening night preparations. So the red carpet was already out, and the searchlights already searching. Deni Hines and some stunningly skinny young actress were having their photos taken. Numerous people in black clothing were milling about.
And I had to ask myself - how many of these people were true Sydney Film Fest Fans?
Sure, they'll turn up at the glamour events, and the after party. But will they turn up to sit through Iranian films about small children who've lost their shoes? I doubt it!
I know that a glamourous opening night helps get the film festival in the papers. But I propose that they change opening night so that it becomes more suitable for the true film festival follower. Let them show a Bugs Bunny cartoon followed by an old Cary Grant movie, with tickets at $10. And offer tea and bickies in the foyer. Anyone wearing clothes that you wouldn't wear at home on the couch when watching a midnight movie should be banned from entering.