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SXSW Sydney to premiere The Wiggles’ new documentary

A new documentary about The Wiggles will premier at SXSW Sydney.

A new documentary about The Wiggles will premier at SXSW Sydney. Photo: Getty

The Wiggles will be front and centre at this year’s SXSW Sydney Screen Festival, with the premiere of a documentary on the band.

SXSW, also known as South by Southwest, was founded in Austin, Texas, in 1987.

Sydney’s SXSW event will be the first to take place outside of Austin, with people coming from all around the world to Sydney.

The week-long event will showcase the “world’s most awe-inspiring thinkers, creators and innovators”, the NSW government said.

It was announced on Monday that the first-ever SXSW Sydney Screen Festival will serve as the premiere for the Australian Amazon Original documentary Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles.

The film is the improbable story of The Wiggles, four friends who record a one-off album of children’s music in the early ‘90s and change the global music industry forever,” a SXSW Sydney press release said.

“Recognisable by their blue, red, yellow and purple skivvies, Anthony Field, Murray Cook, Greg Page and Jeff Fatt became an unlikely music phenomenon equipped with early childhood teaching fundamentals and a dose of self-belief.”

The documentary will hone in on the success The Wiggles enjoyed after being rejected by several industry producers.

Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles is directed by Sally Aitken, an Emmy Award-nominated director, and is produced by SAM Content, Augusto, and Frog Productions for Amazon Studios.

The documentary will feature decades worth of personal archival footage and “intimate access” to The Wiggles’ shows.

It’s the story of a life of music, friendship, joy and the enduring power of the child in all of us,” the press release said.

The Wiggles will perform at the premiere and will do a Q+A.

SXSW Sydney Screen Festival

The SXSW Sydney Screen Festival will run for the entire duration of the festival, which is on from October 15 to 22 this year.

Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles won’t be the only film being screened at the festival.

Several projects will be shown throughout the week, all of which align with “the broader event’s themes of Music, Games and Tech and Innovation”.

Also screening:

  • Anita: A film about Rolling Stones muse Anita Pallenberg.
  • Cypher: A fictional pseudo music documentary about the artist Tierra Whack. 
  • Gagaland: A rags-to-riches, boy-meets-girl story, set against a viral Chinese dance craze flooding streets and social media feeds.
  • Jamojaya: Indonesian rap star Brian Imanuel (Rich Brian) stars as an up-and-coming musician. 
  • Knit’s Island: ‘DayZ’ is survivalist fiction in the form a videogame. Knit’s Island documents some of the 963 hours the directors spent in there in an at times unsettling blurring of the real and the virtual.

  • Plastic: Teenagers Juna and Ibuki set out to find the psychedelic rock band Exne Kedy.

  • The Last Year of Darkness: Bass-heavy and neon-coloured portrait of alternative Chinese youth. 

  • Tokyo Uber Blues : An in-debt graduate film student turns to Uber driving to make ends meet.

  • You’ll Never Find Me: A lonely mobile home resident has an unexpected visitor on the night of a relentless thunderstorm. 

Huge line-up

SXSW is best known for its conferences and festivals that celebrate technology, film, television, music, education and culture.

Over the course of the week, there will be more than 1000 events and networking sessions and 700 speaking events

Speakers include:

  • Paul Tollett, the CEO and co-founder of Coachella
  • Tan France, the fashion expert from Queer Eye
  • Cal Henderson, the co-founder of Slack
  • Amy Webb, a futurist and expert in AI
  • Que Minh Luu, Netflix ANZ director of content
  • Layne Beachley, world surfing champion
  • Mel Silva, Google Australia MD

There will also be more than 300 panels and sessions touching on topics surrounding technology and culture, and more than 400 live music acts from all over the world.

Wristbands for the festival will go on sale on Friday, August 25, while various badges are already on sale, with prices set to increase as the event draws closer.

Topics: Film, Sydney
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