The 63rd Annual Sydney Film Festival came to a finish on Sunday night with Brazilian-French film Aquarius, directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, awarded the prestigious annual Sydney Film Prize, taking home $63,000 in cash.
The Sydney Film Prize is awarded for the film’s ‘emotional power and resonance; audaciousness, cutting-edge, courageousness; and capacity to go beyond the usual treatment of the subject matter’.
Kleber Mendonça Filho’s film is both political and personal, “a compelling and relevant statement about contemporary Brazil, and the power of an individual standing up for what she believes,” said Jury President Simon Field.
The film was previously selected to compete at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for the highest awarded prize, the Palme D’Or.
The Brazilian-French drama about social justice unfolds across three chapters and explores the prospect of growing stronger with age.
Alongside the winning film Aquarius, the Sydney Film Prize was picked from a pool of 12 competition films which included Apprentice directed by Boo Junking, Certain Women directed by Kelly Reinchardt, The Childhood of a Leader directed by Brady Corbert, The Endless River directed by Oliver Hermanus, Goldstone directed by Ivan Sen, It’s Only the End of the World directed by Xavier Dolan, Land of Mine directed by Martin Zandvliet, Letter From War directed by Ivo M. Ferreira, Notes on Blindness directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney, Psycho Raman directed by Anurag Kashyap, and Viva directed by Paddy Breathnach.
For more details about all the nominated films, as well as the winners of the other Sydney Film Festival awards, head to sff.org.au