Sydney UNESCO City of Film

Sydney was named a UNESCO City of Film in December 2010.

Sydney is Australia’s undisputed film and television production hub. It is a city rich in culture, with an intense passion for cinematic experiences, eager to show the world its talents.

Local creative industries have produced world-class talents including directors George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road, Happy Feet), Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge), Kate Dennis (The Handmaid’s Tale) Wayne Blair (The Sapphires), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge) and Russell Crowe who both directed and acted in The Water Diviner, and it is home to fellow actors Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine, Truth), Rose Byrne and Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, United States of Tara), Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman, The Wolverine) and digital animation pioneers Animal Logic, creators of Peter Rabbit, The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

The existing screen infrastructure in Sydney and the diversity and value of film culture of Sydney was a major reason for the success of Sydney’s bid.

The objectives of the bid were:

  • to support Sydney filmmakers in the production and distribution of their films;
  • to encourage more international film production in Sydney for the economic benefit of Sydney’s film industry (production, post-production, facilities and creative talent) and its broader economy;
  • to promote the enjoyment of screen culture by Sydneysiders and tourists for cultural and economic benefit.

Sydney also boasts a kaleidoscope of filming locations from pristine beaches and stunning city skyscrapers to the lush mountains and bushland on its doorstep.

Since Sydney was appointed a UNESCO Creative City of Film in 2010, both Sydney and NSW continue to be a location for high levels of both international and local production and post-production, including feature films Peter Rabbit, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Hacksaw Ridge, Alien: Covenant, Bleeding Steel, The Lego Ninjago Movie, The WolverineThe Great GatsbyFelony, The LEGO Movie, The SapphiresMad Max: Fury Road, and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, as well as many Australian TV dramas including Netflix hitsThe Letdown and Cleverman.

Sydney is home to Fox Studios Australia, with the biggest sound stages in the southern hemisphere. The studio, which brought to life films including The Matrix trilogy, The Great Gatsby and The Wolverine, provides state of art filming and digital resources for filmmakers.

Sydney’s screen productions are dynamic and exciting… they challenge perceptions and help audiences to see the world differently, while telling great stories. From television series set in Sydney such as The Letdown, Rake, Cleverman and Janet King to movies on the big screen, Sydney loves watching as much as making the content. Sydney Film Festival, the Antenna International Documentary Film Festival, the Academy accredited Flickerfest short film festival and Queer Screen Film Festival events, to name just a few, reflect the eclectic cultural diversity of our city and showcase the breadth and diversity of stories told in a way that only Sydney can.

Find out more about filming in NSW.

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