The 2024 Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival will launch its 5th anniversary celebrations with a retrospective season of six retro sci-fi classics, to screen at the iconic Skyline Drive-In in Sydney’s west.

The line-up of beloved genre works is:

APRIL 27 - MAD MAX 45th Anniversary
The ultimate Australian cult classic is back on the big screen for its 45th anniversary. George Miller’s ferocious action epic remains a masterpiece of metal-crunching thrills; a pulsating vision of a dystopian society that remains to this day a genre-defining work and exhilarating moviegoing experience.

Director John Hughes (The Breakfast Club; Sixteen Candles) melds two very-80s pop culture influences - the bawdy teen comedy and the booming home computer ‘fad’ - for his outrageous party-pic. Two nerds (Ilan Mitchell-Smith and Anthony Michael Hall) conjure the perfect woman (Kelly Le Brock), only to find there’s more to her than pubescent wish-fulfilment.

JUNE 29 - ROBOCOP 4K Remaster
A rare screening of Dutch agitator Paul Verhoeven’s bloody, brilliant satire in its fullest form. Barely surviving a shocking shootout, Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) becomes the ideal candidate for a new urban defence initiative - the part human/part android ‘Robocop’ program. “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

Adventurer, brain surgeon, rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his crime-fighting team, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil alien invaders from the eighth dimension who are planning to conquer Earth. It’s taken four decades, but cult movie fans the world over are finally discovering the insane magic of director W.D. Richter’s eccentric comedy adventure. With Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin and an unhinged John Lithgow.

Five medical students gamble with their lives to answer the question about what happens when you die in director Joel Schumacher’s speculative thriller. In 1990, most of this extraordinary ensemble were on the cusp of stardom - Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, William Baldwin and a scene-stealing Oliver Platt (Kevin Bacon was the ‘veteran’ in the cast).

John Carpenter’s practical effects masterpiece only grows in stature with the passage of time; a work so rich in menace, character and blood-curdling imagery, it stands as a landmark of sci-fi/horror cinema. Starring Kurt Russell as the reluctant anti-hero, stranded at an arctic research site as a viral alien gene takes hold, The Thing stands alongside Alien and Invasion of The Body Snatchers as a profound study of claustrophobic, paranoid terror.

The 2024 retrospective initiative came about after discussions between festival director Simon Foster, who has curated the collection, and EVENT Entertainment Film and Content Executive Callie Hughan, a long-term supporter of the festival. The concept for an extended retrospective roster of titles was first broached after the success of the 2023 drive-in double-feature, The Blob and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

“Sydney needs more than just a handful of sessions every year where the same easy-to-program old films are repeated,” said Foster, who has scheduled such rarely-seen films as The Last Starfighter, Electric Dreams and Brainstorm in past festivals. “Giving big screen space to films like Mad Max, Flatliners, Weird Science and The Thing, allowing audiences to see these films as they should be seen, will hopefully ignite a resurgence in retro movie-going.”


The Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival patron and the organisation's Board Members will preside over the following award categories:

THE RON COBB BEST FEATURE FILM: The feature (over 40 mins) that best exemplifies the vision, values and ambitions of the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival. Named in honour of the late Ron Cobb, an adopted son of Sydney and iconic conceptual artist on such films as Dark Star, Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Conan the Barbarian and The Abyss.

THE ADAM LEE MEMORIAL AWARD: Awarded to a figure in the science fiction/fantasy community who has exhibited a dedication to their life’s work and served the genre and its fanbase with the enthusiasm and passion. Adam Lee was a Melbourne film archivist and genre fan who passed away in July 2021.


BEST ACTOR (Feature Film) and BEST ACTOR (Short Film)

BEST ACTRESS (Feature Film) and BEST ACTRESS (Short Film)

BEST DIRECTOR (Feature Film) and BEST DIRECTOR (Short Film)






ION-SciFi AUDIENCE AWARD: The most popular feature film as voted upon by Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival audiences via the ION Sci-Fi Partnership Page (

Terms and Conditions:

1. All filmmakers/applicants or entity submitting a film to the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival (hereafter known as “SSFFF”), accept and agree to comply with the following Terms and Conditions. The person submitting a film to SSFFF is hereafter known as ‘You’ or ‘Your’.

2. We welcome films from any country in the world. If the film is in any other language other than English, the submission requires embedded English subtitles.

3. We only accept films that have been produced during and after 2021. Films that are widely available via public screening platforms (Vimeo, YouTube, etc) or on the filmmaker's official website will not be considered unless under special circumstances.

4. All submission fees are non-refundable. Please do not ask for a full fee waiver. Waivers are only offered to films invited to submit by SSFFF.

5. How to submit:
• Complete and submit Your online submission form.
• Pay relevant submission fee
You will receive confirmation of Your successful registration

6. Student and Young Filmmaker category entrants must be registered in a recognised film school, university, college, high school, middle school or elementary school with proof of ID from the institution to qualify for the relevant fees. You must supply the following:
• Your Student ID
• Name of school, college or university
• Name of Your Course
• Lecture or teacher
• Email of lecturer or teacher

7. FAN FILMS: SSFFF will accept fan films to this festival. You must have all permissions from the copyright holder and/or franchise holder and/or intellectual property owner and reveal those for the SSFFF upon request.

8. Filmmakers submitting must supply:
• Production credits/contact details
• 5 (five) photos for promotional purposes, (min. resolution 1024 x 576 pixels)
• Press Kit for promotional use by SSFFF
• Film Poster
• A trailer and/or scene clips from the film (ProRes 422 Full HD; 1920x1080 or higher).

9. If selected, a .DCP file on a formatted hard drive of the full film must be supplied for the SSFFF theatrical screening, unless an alternate format is otherwise agreed upon by SSFFF. All costs associated with digital delivery of a .DCP file or the generation of a .DCP file will be paid by You.

10. Once a film is accepted by SSFFF and programmed, it cannot be withdrawn from the festival line-up, other than at the discretion of the SSFFF.

11. The SSFFF undertake to make every effort to adhere to the published schedule program. However, SSFFF reserves the right to alter this schedule and venue at any time for any reason. SSFFF does not accept any liability for any costs claimed to arise as a result of a change in the scheduling.

12. Awards may be presented during the SSFFF, at the discretion of the organisers and the Jury Panel (where applicable).

13. By submitting a film, You grant us the right to screen Your film at one or more SSFFF event, including but not limited to Melbourne and Brisbane screenings; copy and/or reproduce, modify, adapt and any part thereof, up to one (1) minute of the film submission. We may also use Your submission and any other promotional material/photo’s and/or information submitted by You to communicate it to the public in all media, including via our website and publicity materials, or to advertise and promote SSFFF event(s), its products and services, or all, and to showcase Your film.

14. You own the copyright to Your film as its author and represent and warrant that You have (and will continue to have during the duration of SSFFF and thereafter) all necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions we need to use Your film and You will provide evidence of such on our reasonable request.

15. We accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities or injury incurred or suffered by any person as a result of submitting a film to SSFFF and its curation and all related events.

16. You indemnify and hold harmless SSFFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening materials entered.

17. By submitting, You agree that you have read and understood these terms & conditions of entry.

18. The SSFFF reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify or otherwise alter these 'Terms and Conditions' at any time. Unless otherwise indicated, amendments will become effective immediately.

For further information contact SIMON FOSTER, Festival Director.

Overall Rating
  • Serpil Altın

    It's an honor to be part of this venerable film festival. Simon Foster and the festival team are incredibly professional, passionate, and informed, and deal in the details as well as the big picture. The passion of the organizers is paired with an enthusiastic, sophisticated audience. Thank you for the selection and the award. Highly recommend it.
    Greetings from Türkiye. 🎬🥳😇🙏

    September 2023
  • Simone Atallah

    I don't think I've met anyone whose love and excitement for film is as big as Festival Director Simon Foster's, and it shines through every aspect of the festival experience. I was ridiculously excited when Return Chute was chosen to screen with The Last Starfighter, and I had a fantastic time at the Sydney event. Simon goes to great lengths to support and promote filmmakers constantly, not just during the festival, which is awesome for filmmakers and film lovers.

    September 2023
  • John Barnard

    Thoughtfully programmed and run with care. SSFFF understands that film programming is a partnership between the festival and filmmaker, where everyone can equally benefit. Wintertide benefitted from great promotion and handling throughout the event, and even afterwards. Programming clearly cares about the films. Highly recommended for genre films.

    September 2023
  • Although I couldn't attend in person Simon and the team made me feel like I was there. An amazing festival with great people behind it and a real love for sci-fi and movies. Thank you for selecting my short, I hope to be back soon with a new project!

    September 2023
    Response from festival:

    Always welcome, mate! You made a great film. We'll be watching all you do closely.
    Simon Foster
    Festival Director

  • Simon Foster and his team taks it really out! A well programmed fest for the sci-fi, great hospitality and an entrance in networking for Australia and the international industry in Sydney. Thank you so much for having us with the world prmeiere of "Exit Pangea". It was an honor to be there and to meet new colleagues, making new friends and seing so much talented work. Will come back for sure!

    September 2023
    Response from festival:

    Presenting your amazing first feature was a true honour for us. And watching how you proactively connected with the local industry was inspiring. One of the festival's key aims is to build an international sci-fi community of filmmakers and fans and you did more to bring that goal a step closer than anyone this year. We found a lot of good parking spots together.
    Simon Foster
    Festival Director