Ruben Guthrie to open 2015 Sydney Film Festival

Ruben GuthrieThe Sydney Film Festival has announced the World Premiere screening of Ruben Guthrie – an Australian film about a hard-partying Sydney ad man who seeks to start a new chapter in his life, as the Opening Night Film at the State Theatre at on Wednesday 3 June.

Ruben Guthrie is the directorial debut of award-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor Brendan Cowell. He adapted it from his own critically acclaimed Belvoir St Theatre production. The film, produced by Kath Shelper, was shot on location all over Sydney; and the cast is a gathering of some of the best Australian actors, including Patrick Brammall, Alex Dimitriades, Abbey Lee, Harriet Dyer, Jeremy Sims, Brenton Thwaites, Aaron Bertram, Robyn Nevin and Jack Thompson.

“I am beyond excited to have my first film Ruben Guthrie open the Sydney Film Festival 2015,” says Brendan Cowell. “To screen this very Sydney story to a packed house at the State Theatre is a dream come true, and I can’t wait for audiences to enjoy this comic tale of love, loss, and liquor.”

Life is good for ad man Ruben Guthrie – he leads a party boy lifestyle, has a model fiancée and lives in a house on the water. He’s at the top of his game, until some drunken skylarking lands Ruben at the bottom of his infinity pool, lucky to be alive.

His mum hits the panic button, and then his fiancée leaves him, but not before issuing him one final challenge: If Ruben can do one year without a drink, she’ll give him another chance… Ruben Guthrie is the story of one man not only battling the bottle, but the city that won’t let him put it down.

“We are very proud to open this year’s Festival with the World Premiere of this bold new Australian film,” says Festival Director Nashen Moodley. “It is a marvellous directorial debut for Brendan Cowell – hard-hitting, touching and surprisingly funny, an intensely human film that represents the best of Australian screen production.”

“I’m thrilled to see Ruben Guthrie open the Festival,” says NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant. “The NSW screen industry is full of remarkable talent and creativity and the team behind this film are among the best in the State.”

Last week, Sydney Film Festival announced 27 new films to be featured in this year’s June event, plus an Ingmar Bergman retrospective curated by David Stratton. Also revealed were a new screening venue, Dendy Newtown, and an expanded family-film program. The full program of 200+ films will be launched on Wednesday 6 May.

In addition to film-only tickets are now available, with a strictly limited number of Film and Party tickets also available. Film and Party tickets include entry to the Opening Night Film and the exclusive afterparty at KEYSTONE’s Cargo Bar. Tickets to the as-yet-unannounced Closing Night Film are also on sale.

The 62nd Sydney Film Festival runs Wednesday 3 June to Sunday 14 June 2015. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Patrick Brammall as Ruben Guthrie (supplied)