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Asia-Pacific’s largest creative industries festival kicks off at ICC Sydney

Media Release

16 October 2023

ICC Sydney Convention Centre ready for the opening night of the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival.

SXSW Sydney®, the Asia Pacific region’s largest innovation, culture, gaming, music and screen event has launched overnight at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), managed by ASM Global. The precinct welcomed thousands of patrons to the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival’s Opening Night film premiere of The Royal Hotel, followed by a welcome party in Tumbalong Park, ahead of an extraordinary line-up of events planned across the venue.

ICC Sydney Convention Centre ready for the opening night of the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival.

As the anchor venue for the inaugural SXSW Sydney to be held from 15-22 October 2023, ICC Sydney is home to the SXSW Sydney Conference, featuring over 400 presentations, panels, workshops and mentor sessions with inspiring thinkers and transformative leaders across multiple content pillars. Keynote presentations will feature speakers Nicole Kidman, Chance The Rapper, AI expert Amy Webb, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker and games luminaries Amy and Mike Morhaime. The SXSW Sydney Tech & Innovation Expo will showcase innovative and emerging tech, entertainment and games companies from across the Asia Pacific region, alongside the SXSW Sydney Pitch competition for startups and the SXSW Sydney Games Festival – including the world’s longest running major Esports tournament – the Intel® Extreme Masters, an internationally-renowned gamers’ mecca.

Building on its reputation as the venue of choice for global film industry premieres, the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival’s program of film, TV, digital, XR and social content showcases screen culture’s diversity in the Asia Pacific and beyond within ICC Sydney’s iconic Darling Harbour Theatre. Two stand-out conference sessions were recently added into the line-up by Australians in Film and Screen Australia, firstly – ‘A Spotlight on Blossom Films’ scheduled for 19 October 2023 will feature Australian Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman and her producing partner Per Saari. Secondly, Australian Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann, will be personally premiering Faraway Downs, his re-imagined extended version of his 2008 epic ‘Australia’ starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Bryan Brown and Brandon Walters on the closing night of the SXSW Sydney Screen Festival 21 October.

New South Wales Special Minister of State, Minister for Roads, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy, and Minister for Jobs and Tourism, The Hon. John Graham said: “Straight from Austin, Texas to Sydney, our city will be the centre of the music, screen, gaming and tech world this week as we welcome locals and visitors to enjoy the inaugural SXSW Sydney. I’m very pleased that people attending SXSW will have the chance to see Sydney at its best after dark, soaking up music, ideas, and culture. It’s the first time this event is being held outside of its Texas origins.

“SXSW Sydney will be a game-changing event for NSW. It is just the beginning of an unrivalled cultural events calendar over the coming months showcasing Sydney’s local talent, creativity, culture and natural beauty that draws people in from across the country and around the world.”

ICC Sydney CEO and Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC), Geoff Donaghy said SXSW Sydney is an unmissable event at the venue that will build Sydney’s cultural capital.

“We are thrilled to welcome SXSW Sydney to ICC Sydney and kick start the pivotal event that brings together thousands of film, culture, innovation and gaming enthusiasts from around the world to our powerhouse destination.

“Delivering extraordinary experiences for the diversity of SXSW Sydney visitors is just the beginning and we look forward to activating our Legacy Program’s Creative Industries stream as we connect attendees to Australia’s emerging and established creative talent,” Mr Donaghy said.

Since its inception in 1987, South by Southwest (SXSW®) has been held in Austin, Texas and has been a convergence of film, music, education, and culture, a global destination for creative people to connect, collaborate and think outside the box. SXSW® has expanded into Sydney for the first time this month offering new thrilling experiences for visitors.

The SXSW Sydney 2023 program including events presented at the anchor venue ICC Sydney can be found here:

To find out more about ICC Sydney visit or to share your ICC Sydney experiences on your social channels, tag @ICCSyd and use our hash tag #MoreThanAVenue.

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