Out of a selection of 12 films in Official Competition, the Sydney Film Prize was awarded to Two Days, One Night directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
Of the nine official competition films I saw, Boyhood was my favourite, however I was quite pleased that Two Days, One Night one the prize. It’s a terribly effecting and relevant film about the dire economic situation facing an increasing number of people, particularly in Europe. Marion Cotillard was incredibly good and the direction was extremely sharp. Bravo the Darenne brothers!
The inaugural Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary was awarded to the brave and confronting 35 Letters, directed and written by Janine Hosking. Special mention went to Tender directed by Lynette Wallworth.
The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films were also announced, with the Dendy Live Action Short Award going to I Want to Dance Better at Parties, directed and written by Matthew Bate and Gideon Obarzanek. The Yoram Gross Animation Award went to Phantom Limb, directed, written and produced by Alex Grigg. The Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director was awarded to Eddy Bell for Grey Bull.
The Event Cinema Australian Short Screenplay Award, also new this year, was awarded to Welcome to Iron Knob directed and written by Dave Wade. Special mention also went to Matt Durrant for his short film Pocket Money.
A huge congratulations to Festival Director Nashen Moodley and the whole team at the Sydney Film Festival for another spectacular event. The quality of films screened was quite outstanding and the festival experience was elevated by the Festival Hub and other events linked to the festival. The volunteers also deserve a massive shout out – thanks guys and gals!
We plan to publish several more festival reviews, so be sure to visit An Online Universe regularly over the next couple of weeks.