Last night saw the end of the 61st Sydney Film Festival, with the festival’s prestigious awards handed out at the Closing Night Gala at the State Theatre.
Of the 12 films competing in the Official Competition, the Sydney Film Prize was awarded to the French film Two Days, One Night, directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. The film stars Marion Cotillard as a woman who has one weekend to convince her co-workers to give up their annual bonuses so that she can keep her job. Other films competing for the award included Aussie dramas The Rover and Fell, British thriller Locke, and Richard Linklater’s critically acclaimed Boyhood.
The inaugural Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary was given to the moving 35 Letters, written and directed by Janine Hosking, with special mention going to Lynette Wallworth’s Tender. 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, which was written and directed by Matthew Bate and Gideon Obarzanek. The Yoram Gross Animation Award was awarded to Phantom Limb, which was 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 was awarded to Welcome to Iron Knob, which was written and directed by Dave Wade. Special mention also went to Matt Durrant for his short film Pocket Money.
The festival was hugely successful this year. SFF CEO Leigh Small said, “Our Closing Night Gala marks the end of another successful 12-day Festival, and the seventh consecutive year of growth in attendance. This year we welcomed over 156,000 people to screenings, events and talks.”
Here are all the winners:
Sydney Film Prize: Two Days, One Night
Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary: 35 Letters
Dendy Live Action Short Award: I Want to Dance Better at Parties
Yoram Gross Animation Award: Phantom Limb
Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director: Eddy Bell – Grey Bull
Event Cinema Australian Short Screenplay Award: Dave Wade – Welcome to Iron Knob