American Essentials Film Festival giveaway

Every year Australian audiences are treated to some of the most unique and acclaimed independent cinema direct from the US indie film festival scene. This May the American Essentials Film Festival returns to Palace Cinemas with a particularly strong line-up, with 22 fresh, enlightening, transporting and distinctly independent American films.

The quintessentially Brooklyn, millennial rom-com, The Boy Downstairs (pictured above), from debut director Sophie Brooks and starring Zosia Mamet (Girls) opens the festival in Sydney at Palace Central on May 8. More here (including details for other cities) and the evening includes drinks, a New York style bite and live music. 

Gotti is another eagerly awaited highlight, with John Travolta as a mafia boss in what’s said to be a big career comeback for the actor, who stars in it with his real-life wife Kelly Preston. Other critical favourites include a new film from Lyn Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister) called Outside In and starring Jay Duplass as an ex-con struggling to adjust to life in a small town; and multi-award winner American Folk, in which popular US folk singers Joe Purdy and Amber Rubath portray musicians getting to know each other on a cross-country road trip in the days after 9/11.

This year there’s also a fascinating retrospective program called Postcards From LA, with 5 classics that honour the spirit of that great city.

The festival is presented by Palace Cinemas and screens in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. In Sydney this time, all films will be at Palace Central – where the festival runs from May 8 – 20. Head to the festival website for more information and bookings.

Thanks to Palace Cinemas and the festival organisers we have 5 double festival passes to give away. To enter just email us at and tell the name of just one American film you’ve enjoyed recently. We’ll be able to tell if you’ll appreciate indie fare on offer here! Winners will get their passes in the mail, so do remember to include a postal address. Competition closes at midday Friday 4th May.

* Passes are valid for all sessions except opening night and special events. They are valid with “No Free Tickets” listings.


By entering Ciao Magazine’s competitions you grant permission for us to retain your details and contact you from time to time with other awesome offers and giveaways that may be of interest. Ciao Magazine will not disclose any personal information you’ve shared with us with any third party unless necessary to book in your prize. Thanks for your entry!