Sydney film fest 'more concentrated'

Organizers shorten the program this year

SYDNEY -- It might be one of the longest-running festivals in the world, but this year's 56th Sydney Film Festival will be shorter by a week than previous editions.

The 65th annual fest has been cut to 12 days, unspooling June 3-14.

Organizers said Monday that a shorter program will bring the festival in line with other major festivals worldwide.

"A 12-day film festival is a common and global standard with Cannes, Toronto, Berlin and Sundance film festivals all running for 10-12 days," SFF president Virginia Gordon said. "The experience of our audience is integral to the success of the SFF, and we believe the 12-day festival will heighten the sense of event and festival for all audiences. We expect high audience engagement in 2009 with a more concentrated event."

A 12-day event means that films that compete in the festival's official competition will premiere on each night of the festival.
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