The Sydney Film School, Australia, was established in August 2004 by a group of founding partners including Mark Allen, John Buckmaster, Ben Ferris, Phillip Handy, Leslie Oliver, Uracha Oliver, John Saunders, Joe Skrzynski, Emile Sherman and Willie Weinstein. It was officially launched on 3 February 2005 by the Premier of the State of NSW and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Bob Carr. As of February, 2012, seventy-eight Sydney Film School produced films had screened at one-hundred-and-six international film festivals worldwide with thirty-four first place wins
The Founding Director is Ben Ferris (2004+).
Sydney Film School runs two courses: The Diploma of Screen & Media and The Advanced Diploma of Screen & Media.
Some of the accolades afforded to Sydney Film School graduates for their work include:
Best Student Documentary Film at Antenna Film Festival: "Ol' Blue Eyes", Matt Cooney
Finalist at Bondi Short Film Festival: "Letters Home", Neilesh Verma
Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Pitch Competition winner: "Lotus Sonny", Gary Sofarelli
Opening Night screening; Best Australian Animation & Best Australian Composer at World of Women WOW Film Festival, 2012: "Camera Obscura", Marta Maia
Best Comedy Feature & Best Supporting Actress at the American Independent Filmmaker Showcase: "Sick", Nick Danger
Best Direction in a Student Film at 2012 Australian Directors Guild Awards: "The Room", Epiphany Morgan
Best Drama at Blue Mountain Film Festival and Audience Award at Sandfly Film Festival: "The Good Neighbour", James Crisp
At the end of each semester, the school organises the Sydney Film School Festival at the Chauvel Cinema in Paddington to display the students' work.
Previous guest keynote speakers at the Sydney Film School Festival awards ceremony have included: George Miller (July 2005), Tom Zubrycki (July 2006), Phillip Noyce (December 2006), Paul Keating - Former Prime Minister of Australia (July 2007), Gillian Armstrong (December 2007), Bob Connolly (July 2008), Phillip Hearnshaw (December 2008), Bruce Beresford (December 2009), Ray Lawrence (July 2010), Virginia Judge (December 2010), Gretel Killeen (July 2011), Wayne Blair (July 2012), John Duigan (December 2012) and David Jowsey (July 2013)
During Paul Keating's keynote address at the Sydney Film School Festival in July 2007, Paul Keating made headlines by drawing comparisons between then Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard and Adolf Hitler.