Nicolas Winding Refn’s violent biopic Bronson was awarded the $48,000 (A$60,000) Sydney Film Prize at the close of the Sydney Film Festival last night (June 14).
Jury president Rolf de Heer said the film best demonstrated the competition’s criteria of emotional power and resonance, audacity, cutting edge filmmaking and courage.
Local filmmaker Khoa Do won the Community Relations Commission Award for his feature Missing Water, a Vietnamese refugee story that was also in competition.
Contact, directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, and A Good Man, directed by Safina Uberoi, were the joint winners of the first Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize.
A Good Man tells of the relationship between a farmer and his quadriplegic wife, while Contact recounts an indigenous woman’s first encounter with white people. She was a teenager when first filmed in the desert and is now 62 years of age. Both documentaries are 80 minutes in length.
The Sydney Film Festival opened on June 3 with competition title Looking For Eric and ran for 12 days. The festival was considerably shorter than usual and, as a result, there were many more sell-out sessions than usual, as a proportion of the total sessions.
In the short film awards, The Ground Beneath, directed by Rene Hernandez, won the major prize; Luke Doolan’s Miracle Fish won in the live-action category, and Eddie White and Ari Gibson’s The Cat Piano won in the animation category.
Michela Ledwidge won the inaugural Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award. Audience awards will be announced in a few days.