SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2009 – WINNERS
BRONSON WINS $60,000 PRIZE – FOXTEL DOUBLES DOCO PRIZE
CASH TO $20,000
Nicholas Winding Refn’s high-octane cabaret, Bronson, with Tom Hardy in a
career-defining performance as Britain’s most notorious criminal Charles
Bronson, has won the $60,000 cash and the Sydney Film Prize trophy at this
year’s Sydney Film Festival. And Foxtel doubles its cash commitment to $20,000
for the joint winners of the inaugural documentary prize, Contact and A Good
“The film that has been selected by the jury of the Sydney Film Prize as best
demonstrating the competition’s criteria of emotional power and resonance,
audacity, cutting-edge, courage and going beyond the usual treatment of its
subject matter is Bronson,” said Rolf de Heer, Jury President, announcing the
winner at the closing night ceremony on Sunday June 14, prior to the screening
of Lone Scherfig’s An Education. (Lone Scherfig’s highly entertaining film,
based on a memoir adapted by Nick Hornby, has plenty to say and some great
Bronson is underscored by an explosive soundtrack and with the heightened use of
visual and sound design, Refn and Brock Norman Brock’s audacious script delivers
a daring biography.
“In its second year the Official Competition has further elevated the profile of
bold, risk-taking filmmaking and the festival is very grateful to the jury for
"bold, risk-taking filmmaking"
dynamism and care in determining the winner of the prize this year”, said
Festival Director Clare Stewart.
According to Hunter Hall Investment Management’s board member Jack Lowenstein,
“This is Hunter Hall’s fourth year of association with the Sydney Film Festival
and the second year we have funded the Sydney Film Prize. This prize is about
audacious, cutting edge and courageous filmmaking and we are delighted to share
in this vision as we feel there is significant shared territory between how
these filmmakers approach their subject and how we apply these values at Hunter
Hall to the global sharemarket.”
“The response of the people of Sydney to the 2009 Festival has been
overwhelmingly positive, “ said CEO Mark Sarfarty. “A shorter festival (12 days)
has clearly struck the right chord with the audience, with a total of 85 sellout
sessions including seven sell-outs at the State Theatre representing an increase
of 35% on 2008.”
INAUGURAL DOCUMENTARY PRIZE
In an unexpected outcome, the first FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize has been
awarded to two separate films. When the documentary prize jury led by eminent TV
journalist George Negus, announced that Contact and A Good Man were films of
equally high caliber, FOXTEL CEO Kim Williams rose to the occasion by doubling
the prize money with $10,000 going to each film.
Contact is written, directed and produced by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler – in
1964 Yuwali was 17 when her first contact with whitefellas was filmed. Now 62
she tells the story behind this extraordinary footage. A Good Man, directed by
Safina Uberoi and produced by Himman Dhamija, Safina Uberoi and Jenny Day, tells
of a struggling Australian farmer, his wife who is quadriplegic, and their plans
to open a brothel.
“Contact and A Good Man are both representative of the finest storytelling in
Australian documentary filmmaking. Apart from being equally engaging films these
documentaries were so very different from one another that the judges were
unable to decide on a sole winner. One was a compelling indigenous story of
national significance the other a human story of huge heart told with candour
and humour. Together, Contact and A Good Man embody the amazing new breadth of
subject matter and style of Australian documentary making” said the jury.
“FOXTEL is delighted to sponsor this inaugural Australian Documentary prize and
to have the opportunity to celebrate fine documentary filmmaking as part of the
Sydney Film Festival” said Malcolm Smith of FOXTEL in announcing the cash
DENDY SHORTS AWARDS
Winner of the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Overall Short is The Ground
Beneath directed by Rene Hernandez and produced by Kristina Ceyton.
Winner of the 2009 Dendy Award Best Live Action Short is Miracle Fish directed
by Luke Doolan and produced by Drew Bailey.
Winner of the 2009 Yoram Gross Animation Award is The Cat Piano directed by
Eddie White and Ari Gibson and produced by Jessica Brentnall.
“Yoram and I were delighted with the quality of all the films and were so
impressed with the variety and originality of styles presented, a showcase of
the best in Australian animation worthy of international acclaim. We are
thrilled to support the emergence of great talent in our Australian animation
industry and congratulate this year’s winner of the Yoram Gross Animation Award”
said Sandra Gross, Yoram Gross Films.
“The Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award is in its inaugural year and we are
delighted to have such a deserving winner Michela Ledwidge. The jury has
acknowledged Michela who is an Australian film-maker and pioneer in digital
storytelling influenced by the video game MOD paradigm and live performance. Her
work has been presented internationally and is regularly cited in film and media
studies courses” said the jury.
“Michaela Ledwidge, like Peter was, is an artist whose work in film and new
media embodies a visionary spirit and a determination to create high quality
works for the screen. Michaela is working on the cutting edge and we hope this
award will encourage and support her in completing her groundbreaking re-mixable
project Sanctuary” said the jury on presenting the award.
Winner of the 2009 CRC Award is Missing Water directed and produced by Khoa Do,
sponsored by the Community Relations Commission For a multicultural NSW.
After handing out close to $100,000 in prize money, the Festival also offered a
platform for NSW Premier Nathan Rees to announce an extra $5 million in
production funding money to the state’s screen agency, Screen NSW (officially
renamed from NSW Film & TV Office).
Published June 15, 2009
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A Good Man
Khoa Do and Minister for Citizenship Virginia Judge
The 12 Official Competition films:
Rachel Ward’s Beautiful Kate and Khoa Do’s Missing Water; Tsai Ming-liang’s Face
(Visages); Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric; Sebastián Silvia’s The Maid (La Nana);
Steve Jacobs’ Disgrace; Peter Brosens and Jessica Hope’s Antiplano; Nicholas
Winding Refn’s Bronson; Gustave de Kervern and Benoit Delépine’s Louise-Michel;
Alexey German Jr’s Paper Soldier (Bumazhnyy Soldat); Henry Selick’s Coraline,
and Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience.
Jury President Rolf de Heer, German director Oliver Hirschbiegel, Canadian
director/producer Ted Kotcheff, Australian actress Miranda Otto and Danish
director Lone Scherfig.