Coralie Fargeat’s ‘The Substance’ to close Sydney Film Festival

Margaret Qualley in 'The Substance'

Body horror film The Substance, starring Demi Moore and Dennis Quaid, will close this year’s Sydney Film Festival (SFF), following its premiere at Cannes, where it won Best Screenplay.

Written and directed by Coralie Fargerat, the US/UK/France production follows Elizabeth Sparkle, played by Moore, a fading celebrity who decides to use a black market cell-replicating substance that temporarily creates a younger, better version of herself (Margaret Qualley). All that is needed for both to co-exist is careful maintenance of the equilibrium – time has to be shared equally: Elisabeth gets one week, then Sue gets one. But when the balance is disrespected, the repercussions are both grave and irreversible.

The screening will complete the official Closing Night Gala and Award Ceremony on June 16, with a prize pool of $200,000 awarded to filmmakers.

“We are thrilled to close this year’s Sydney Film Festival with the Australian Premiere of The Substance,” SFF director Nashen Moodley said.

“Coralie Fargeat’s film, featuring an outstanding performance by Demi Moore, promises to leave a lasting impression.”

The announcement follows the release of the full program, which features 197 films from 69 countries including 28 World Premieres and 133 Australian Premieres. Of these, there are 92 narrative feature films and 54 documentaries.

The 71st edition will open with a screening of Paul Clarke’s Midnight Oil: The Hardest Line on Wednesday, June 5, at the State Theatre.

Find out more information here.