Australian actors and film makers recite original poem ‘Stories’ in support of the Sydney Film Festival

A group of Australian actors and filmmakers have come together in support of the Sydney Film Festival, calling upon Australians to help ‘keep the stories alive’.

The campaign film sees actors including Nicole Kidman, Rose Byrne and Hugo Weaving reciting a poem written by M&C Saatchi group creative director Andy Flemming titled ‘Stories’.

The poem advocates for the importance of telling diverse stories in these difficult times.

Flemming said writing the poem was a ‘privilege’.

“Stories are one of the fundamental reasons for us being us. From stories calved onto Egyptian tombs, embroidered into tapestries or shot on 35mm, they share knowledge, history and humanity,” Flemming said.

“We live in an age where many of our stories are picked for us by a computer algorithm, so film festivals are critical for how we see the world.

“As a film lover, it was a privilege to write these words – and made it even more exciting to hear some of the world’s greatest talent delivering them.”

The campaign also features Gillian Armstrong, Marta Dusseldorp, Nash Edgerton, Damon Herriman, Ewen Leslie, Heather Mitchell, Daniel Monks, Sam Neill, Miranda Tapsell, Jack Thompson, Lynette Wallworth, Rachel Ward and David Wenham.

The Sydney Film Festival was cancelled back in March, but will take place virtually in June. The organisation has also partnered with international film festivals and SBS On Demand to find new ways to keep Australian audiences connected with film.

Sydney Film Festival CEO, Leigh Small, said: “Sydney Film Festival is thrilled to have sparked such a moment of creative reflection from some of Australia’s most talented filmmakers and storytellers.”

All talent and and expertise behind the campaign were donated to the Sydney Film Festival.

Alongside M&C Saatchi, the campaign was produced by Finch.

‘Stories’ by Andy Flemming

Once upon a time
there was the story.
A glorious tale told to flame danced faces
In deserts and castles and faraway places.
The story remembered by past generations
And carried through battles between furious nations.

It cares not for decorum.
It hears no decrees.
It refuses commandments
It won’t stand for these
calls for silence.
Because it has to be heard.

The endless protector
The fearless collector
The flickering projector
The keeper of the sound
and the absurd.

Stories tell us who we are.
Who we can be.
They let us see
life from eyes not our own.
From the near,
from the far.

From journeys through thunder.
We can go over and under
The silver topped mountains,
The impossible plains.
We can pull back the curtain
And break all the chains.

Because stories can break our hearts.

Make us laugh in the dark.
Make us see through the lies.
Draw a vast question mark.
Over the great and the good.
And make us wonder if we should
Change things for the better.

The world has stories to tell.
And they need to be told.
Without stories, we’re left in the darkness.
We’re out in the cold.

We can’t move without growing.
We can’t think without knowing.
We don’t know what’s coming.
So we need stories to keep going.


Creative Agency  M&C Saatchi
Chief Creative Officer: Cam Blackley
Executive Creative Director: Mandie van der Merwe
Executive Creative Director: Avish Gordhan
Group Creative Director Andy Flemming
Writer: Andy Flemming
Art Director: Rosita Rawnsley-Mason
Account Director: Charlotte O’Brien
Strategist: Alexi Hall

Production Company: FINCH
Director: Kyra Bartley
Executive Producer: Loren Bradley
Editor: Jack Hutchings, The Editors
Post Production: Atticus
Sound Mix: Abigail Sie, Song Zu
Composer: Adrian Sergovich, Song Zu

Sydney Film Festival CEO: Leigh Small
Sydney Film Festival Philanthropy Manager: Georgia Shepherd


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