Czech director Jan Hrebejk's black comedy Cosy Dens won the popularity vote among audiences at the Sydney Film Festival's traditional home, The State Theatre, while patrons of the new Dendy Opera Quays cinema voted for Dutch family film Little Crumb, directed by Maria Peters.
The other favourites at The State were, in order of popularity, Zhang Yang's Shower from China, Majid Majidi's The Colour Of Paradise from Iran, Belgium director Frederic Fonteyne's A Pornographic Affair from France, and Paul Cox's local picture Innocence. Down the hill at the Dendy, UK director Alan Clarke had three of the top five films - and four of the top six. Clark's Made In Britain, was in second position, and The Firm, Scum and Elephant in fourth, fifth and sixth. US director Gavin O'Connor's Tumbleweeds came in third.
The festival, which ran from June 9-23, underwent some structural changes this year. For the first time patrons had the choice of one, four and 10-film tickets in addition to the usual one and two-week and day and evening subscriptions. Festival director Gayle Lake said admissions increased by about 10,000 as a result.