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Sunburnt Screens An Australian Film Odyssey

Hosted by Australia's favourite cinephile Alexei Toliopoulos at the Sydney Opera House this June, Sunburnt Screens: An Australian Cinema Odyssey presents a rollicking journey through the last 50 years of Australian cinema.

Inspired by the Sunburnt Screens podcast, highlights of the season include the world premiere of the new 4K restoration of underseen Sydney beach noir The Empty Beach (1985) starring Bryan Brown, plus a preview screening of the buzzy contemporary outback thriller Birdeater from debut directors Jack Clark and Jim Weir. Rounding out the program is a 25th anniversary screening of Two Hands (1999), a new 4K restoration of Rolf de Heer’s Cannes award-winning Ten Canoes (2006), Gillian Armstrong’s The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992) written by Helen Garner and a screening of Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Sydney Harbour-set Ozploitation extravaganza The Man from Hong Kong (1975).

Tickets for all films are $30. Purchase a ticket to two films from the season to save 15%.

Each session will feature a special introduction by Alexei Toliopoulos and is presented by Sydney Opera House and Umbrella Entertainment.

30 Jun 2024 Cinema

The Last Days of Chez Nous + Director Q&A

Gillian Armstrong’s (My Brilliant Career) acclaimed Australian drama explores love, trust and betrayal. Modern matriarch Beth (Harrow) is doing her best to raise daughter Annie (Otto) whilst enjoy the best of an easy-going marriage to Frenchman JP (Ganz).


27 Jun 2024 Cinema

Birdeater + Director Introduction

A bride-to-be is invited to join her own fiancé’s bachelor party on a remote property in the Australian outback. Uncomfortable details about their relationship are exposed and the celebration soon becomes a feral nightmare.

29 Jun 2024 Cinema

The Man from Hong Kong

Brian Trenchard-Smith’s The Man from Hong Kong finds Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu) flown into Sydney to assist the local authorities in busting an international criminal racket.

29 Jun 2024 Cinema

Ten Canoes

Direct from its Sydney Film Festival premiere, Rolf de Heer and Peter Djiggir’s cautionary tale of forbidden love is screening in a stunning new 4K restoration. The first Australian feature filmed entirely in Indigenous languages tells the story of an older man, Minygululu, who realises his younger brother, Dayindi, may try to steal away his third and youngest wife.

30 Jun 2024 Cinema

The Empty Beach

This powerful ‘beach noir’ film based on the novel by Peter Corris is screening in the World Premiere of it's 4K restoration. Set in Sydney in the 80s, this film tells the story of private investigator Cliff Hardy (Brown) who follows the trail of a missing husband and soon becomes entangled in murder, drug addiction, gangsters, fraud and a shootout on Bondi Beach. 


30 Jun 2024 Cinema

Two Hands

A beloved Sydney-set 90s crime classic, Two Hands is notable for its breakout performances from stars Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne.

A note from Alexei Toliopoulos

I’ve always felt like my mission on earth was to connect people with the films they love and, particularly, celebrate Australian cinema. Sunburnt Screens is genuinely one of the most exciting, distinguished and prestigious honours of my life to share with you special screenings of some of my most cherished films in one of the country’s most recognisable landmarks (which I think is actually a really cool place to watch a flick). Each film has been lovingly curated and cared for - ready for you to unearth or rediscover a film you’ll treasure for the rest of your life.

Alexei Toliopolous 
Writer, comedian, podcaster, film critic