Antenna, Australia’s international documentary film festival, unveiled its full program for 2019. Featuring 50 of the most cutting-edge, thought-provoking documentaries from around the globe, Antenna is set to turn Sydney into a doc-lovers paradise from 17-27 October 2019.

Traversing a range of themes and topics, the Antenna 2019 program is jam-packed with explorations into issues across the globe. From a captivating look at the cost of the social media gold rush to an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war, Antenna allows audiences to connect with the wider world through some of the most talked about documentaries.

“One consistent comment from our audience over the last decade has been that the festival is over too quickly,” said Antenna’s Festival Director, David Rokach. “So we are excited to double the length of Antenna in 2019, growing it to 11 days and giving Sydney audiences even more opportunities to join us in a celebration of the creativity of non-fiction cinema today.

Nomad: In The Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin

Opening the festival is the Australian Premiere of Nomad: In The Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, legendary director Werner Herzog’s moving new tribute to charismatic English writer and adventurer Bruce Chatwin. Told in Herzog’s inimitable style, and full of memorable characters and encounters, Nomad captures the filmmaker’s epic cross-continental journey carrying the rucksack his good friend Chatwin bequeathed to him on his deathbed.

Antenna is thrilled to unveil the latest works of two other respected masters – celebrated Chilean director Patricio Guzmán and acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Guzmán’s The Cordillera of Dreams is a haunting exploration of the cultural and political impact of the Chile’s most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine; and Ai Weiwei‘s The Rest is a moving, yet unsentimental film about refugees who fled war and persecution and arrived in Europe only to live in limbo within a disintegrating humanitarian aid system. 

Other International Highlights Include:

Los Reyes, a charming film set in a skatepark in Santiago, where, through the eyes of two street dogs named Football and Chola, audiences get to know something of the humans who skate there. The result is a cinema experience that will melt the heart and pique the senses.

Hi, AI

Hi, AI, an often-funny science fiction style documentary exploring the implications of intimate relationships between robots and humans.

Jawlinea compelling story of aspiring social media star Austyn TesterThe film documents Austyn as he tries to escape a dead-end life in TennesseeBe prepared for an amusing and tender exploration of teenage social media stardom and the live-broadcasting influencer economy.

Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World, afirst-hand look into the revolutionary rise of a citizen investigative journalist collective. This highly skilled and controversial group are now exposing the truth behind some of the biggest global news stories. In this film, we learn how.

Suede – The Insatiable Ones, a brutally honest and deeply moving film from award-winning director Mike Christie who thrillingly brings to life the UK band’s dizzying ride, from Britpop megastars to breakup and back. 

Australian Highlights

A record number of Australian productions screen at Antenna in 2019 with seven Australian features and 11 Australian shorts, including; the World Premieres of Homeland Story about a remote indigenous community’s journey from a traditional nomadic lifestyle to the digital age; Amanda King’s The Great Strike 1917, which revisits a pivotal moment in our history and how it shaped today’s labour movement; and Juan Salazar’s beautifully shot The Bamboo Bridge, about the dismantlement of the longest bamboo bridge in the world and the effect it has on the local way of life.

Ska legends ‘Strange Tenants‘ in Ska’d For Life

Also screening in the Australian Competition are Sam Zubrycki’s feature about a mysterious young salsa star called MiguelitoSam Dinning‘s girl-empowering rock-camp chronicle No Time for Quiet; and Fiona Cochrane‘s Ska’d For Life which also finds the film’s stars – ska legends Strange Tenants – performing live for Antenna’s first open-air concert and screening event, Doc In The Park.

This year Antenna celebrates the 100th Anniversary of maverick filmmaker Shirley Clarke, presenting a retrospective of her most compelling documentaries, including three feature films: Clarke’s unsettling masterpiece about a New York hustler, Portrait of Jason (1967); the rarely screened – and originally banned – classic The Connection (1961); and Ornette: Made in America (1985),  free-jazz architect and music giant Ornette Coleman.

Antenna will also hold special programs such as DocTalk, a curated program of master classes and panels from a range of leading international and Australian filmmakers and industry figures and the new DocWest, showcasing highlights from the program at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres.

The 9th edition of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival opens Thursday October 20 in Sydney and runs until Sunday October 27. For complete program information and to purchase tickets and festival passes, go to


What: Antenna Documentary Film Festival
When: 17-27 October
Palace Chauvel Cinema – 249 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 
Palace Verona – 17 Oxford St, Paddington NSW
Riverside Theatre – Corner Market &, Church St, Parramatta
Tickets: General Admission $21, Concession $18.50
Multi Passes – 5 films $95, 10 Films $175, 20 Films $300 – Opening Night + Party: Adult $50, Concession $40

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: