Bafta Award-nominated director Jennifer Peedom at her favorite venues (including a beloved movie theater)

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a filmmaker living in Randwick with my husband, Mark (photographer), the two children Tashi and Luca, and River and our two-year-old border collie.

What about your film production?
I worked in business until I decided to throw it all in and became a competitor on the ABC TV movie series Race Around Oz in 2000. I continued to write and direct non-fiction films, among others Sherpawhich was nominated for a Bafta Award for Best Documentary in 2016. I was on Mount Everest in 2014 and made Sherpa, from the point of view of the Sherpa people, when 16 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche. Prior to that film, I had spent several years working and making documentaries in the Himalayas, including the Discovery Channel series Everest: Beyond the Limitand Miracle on Everest for ABC and National Geographic. My new movie River is a follow-up to my 2017 film mountain, a collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Narrated by Willem Dafoe, it takes a bird’s eye view of humanity’s relationship to our most precious resource over time.

What do you love about Sydney?
Rock walks and access to nature. Sydney Film Festival.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Una Mas. It’s right on the beach at Coogee (inside the pavilion). It has a fantastic selection of Spanish tapas with a fabulous Mediterranean vibe.

It’s your birthday – where and what are you doing?
Out to dinner with a few close friends.

Where to eat brunch or breakfast
I love sitting at the outdoor tables at Barzura in Coogee after going out with friends. Its corn fritters with bacon, avocado and tomato are amazing.

What are your favorite stores?
Livedin Coogee for home furnishings, Jardan for design and furniture, Ariel in Paddington for books. Most of my wardrobe comes from either Di Nuovo in Paddington or the Frock Exchange in Clovelly – both beautifully curated recycled fashion [stores].

When you want to impress someone, where do you take them?
It’s hard to walk past Iceberg’s Dining Room at Bondi for the wow factor, but Cafe Sydney at Circular Quay is wonderful for international guests. I have been to many excellent Sydney Film Festival lunches here with international filmmakers.

What is one of the city’s most underrated places / spots (why)?
Randwick Ritz, just down the road from my place. It is the best (and cheapest) cinema in Sydney with a mix of arthouse and mainstream films. They are always incredibly supportive when I have a movie in release.

What is your favorite weekend getaway?
We love walking down to Bawley Point on the south coast where my family has a cabin.

Is there an important Sydney movie?

Give a shout out to a small business that makes your city a better place:
My local cafe Gr8 Spot. They make coffee for us every day and even delivered it to our front door when we recently had to be insulated with Covid-19.

Jennifer Peedom’s latest film, River, is in theaters Thursday, March 24th. Watch the trailer here.

This is the first part of “My Sydney”, a regular column that explores the places and spaces that capture and entice Sydney’s well-known residents, both past and present.

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