TEDxSydney Film Finalists

Sharon Timms

What does it mean to be real? Is it simply transparency and truthfulness with those around us? Perhaps it’s more inline with our actions following what we actually believe rather than what we are conditioned to believe by society or familial influences. Many of us pride ourselves on being ‘authentic’, which is a special brand of ‘real’ – a potential buzzword that has been used to the point of meaningless. To be truly real, however, takes an inordinate amount of strength to dig deep within ourselves – the good , the bad and the confronting – to act honestly and with vulnerability.

If 2020 has taught the world anything, it’s that nothing can be expected, and that our ‘real’ is not the same as anyone else’s. Being real challenges and shapes our belief systems, just as much as the exploration of the unreal has the ability to transform and transport to new places of thought and action. And therein lies this year’s TEDxSydney Film Program theme! With an extraordinary number of talented entries, the finalists chosen were from across a broad range of realities covering art, history, humanity, climate change, environmental disaster and hope. 

The overarching question for film makers and audiences alike – what is real and truthful in today’s world, and how do we find it amid the noise?



Dispute – Robert Grieves

Is climate change caused by humans? An astounding 97% of scientists say that it is – but what if the 3% who don’t believe are right and global warming is just hot air? Are the changes being asked in the name of climate change too much? Can we even afford to risk asking ourselves that? Dispute is a 3 minute animation that looks at the positives of serious societal change, regardless which side wins the debate.


Never the Same Day Again – Adrian Hobbs

Made in conjunction with an online exhibition of drawings, Never The Same Day Again has rooted intent as an encapsulation of the rollercoaster of emotions about 2020 – the good and the bad – and how the unexpected is, and has become the new norm.


Beyond the Roadblocks – Andrew Flakelar

Filmed and photographed over the worst days of the historic natural disaster by a volunteer firefighter, Beyond the Roadblocks is an immersive cinematic experience, taking the audience to the frontlines of the Black Summer bushfire crisis. The film moves beyond the media footage exposing a harrowing view into the challenges faced by our firefighters. This is a view of the bushfire crisis unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.


Painting by Numbers – Radheya Jagaveda & Matt Hearne

Painting By Numbers is a brief exploration of art, of history, and of the legacy of humanity told through seven classical paintings in relation to each of the Seven Deadly Sins. These artworks are modernised and paint an all-too-familiar picture of the destruction we have and are continuing to cause in the natural environment – and how we’re destroying ourselves in the process. Climate change, global warming, deforestation, habitat destruction, pollution…time is ticking. It is 100 seconds to midnight.


End of the World – Michaela Skovranova

The film speaks to our current challenges and realities of the devastating impacts of climate change. Working within the theme of “REAL” the films challenge is to portray the impacts of climate at the end of the Earth – Antarctica. A place which feels so out of reach of humanity yet deeply impacted by our everyday actions. 

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