The 65th Sydney Film Festival announced its award winners at the Closing Night Gala at the State Theatre earlier this month, with filmmaker Marcelo Martinessi taking home the prestigious Sydney Film Prize for his film The Heiress, selected from pool of 12 Official Competition films.
The film was awarded the $60,000 cash prize for the audacious, cutting-edge and courageous qualities the film encompassed. Martinessi commented on the award, stating “For me, this first experience in Sydney was beautiful, and was a great discovery of people, places, and stories.”
Sydney filmmaker Ben Lawrence was awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary’s $10,000 cash prize for Ghosthunter, a film about a Westren Sydney security guard who doubles as a part time ghost hunter searching fo r his absent father.
The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films along with the $7000 cash prize for the Dendy Live Action Short Award was given to Second Best, and directed by Alyssa McClelland.
The Mamoulian Award for Best Director and $7000 cash prize was given to Tom Noakes’ Nursery Rhymes, with Special Mention going to Alison James’ Judas Collar.
The Yoram Gross Animation Award and $5000 cash prize was awarded to Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe’s Lost and Found, with Larissa Behrendt’s Barbara receiving a Special Mention.
The Event Cinema Australian Short Screenplay Award went to Indigenous filmmaker Tyson Mowarin, director and writer of the short film Undiscovered Country. Renée Marie Petropoulos , Lucy Knox, Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett all received Special Mentions for their work on Tangle and Knots, An Act of Love and Yulubidyi- Until the End respectively.
Finally, the UNESCO Sydney City of Film Award and $10,000 prize went to indigenous filmmaker Warwick Thornton, who had previously worked on We Don’t Need a Map, which happened to be the 2017 Sydney Film Festival’s closing night film.
Congratulation to all those who took home an award, and to those that were nominated. For more information and full list of winners, you can click right here.