Laos-set drama, which is Australia’s submission for the Foreign Language Oscar, beat Gravity to the top prize.

The Rocket, from Australian director Kim Mordaunt, picked up the Audience Award at the 27th Leeds International Film Festival, which ended yesterday.

The film is about a boy who is believed to bring bad luck to everyone around him and leads his family and two new friends through Laos to find a new home. Distributed by Eureka! Entertainment, it debuted at Berlin in February, where it picked up a hat-trick of awards including Best Debut Film, and also won three prizes at Tribeca, including the Audience Award.

The Rocket was voted by Leeds audiences as overall favourite from 139 feature films. The two that were closest in the voting to The Rocket are both music documentaries, Filmage: The Story of Descendents / ALL and Revenge of the Mekons.

The top ten winners in the LIFF27 Audience Award for Best Film are:

  1. The Rocket
  2. Filmage: The Story of Descendents / ALL
  3. Revenge of the Mekons
  4. Final Cut, Ladies & Gentlemen
  5. Ghost Graduation
  6. Mistaken for Strangers
  7. Brothers Hypnotic
  8. We are the Best!
  9. Gravity
  10. Sign Painters.

The festival ran for 16 days and included 318 films over 261 screenings, and an audience of 35,000.

Shorts winners

Leeds’ International Short Film Competition was won by Xavier Legrand’s Just Before Losing Everything of which the jury was “impressed by the tense and immediately affecting atmosphere”.

The jury, judging the Louis le Prince International Short Film Competition and World Animation Award consisted of Sarah Acton (UK), Adam Batty (UK), Rimante Daugelaite (Lithuania), Ülo PIkkov (Estonia) and Tom Van Avermaet (Belgium).

Full list of winners 

Just Before Losing Everything (Avant que de tout perdre)
Dir. Xavier Legrand, France

Special Mentions
Room 606 (Zimmer 606)
Dir. Peter Volkart, Switzerland

We’re Flying (Wir Fliegen)
Dir. Ulrike Kofler, Austria/ Germany) 

World Animation Award 2013

Guilt (Kalte)
Dir. Reda Bartkute, Lithuania

Special Mentions
Rabbit and Deer (Nyuszi és Őz)
Dir. Péter Vácz, Hungary

In the air is Christopher Gray
Dir. Felix Massie, UK

British Short Film Competition 2013
Sea View, Dir. Jane Linfoot

Special Mentions
L’Assenza, Dir. Jonathan Romney
Getting On, Dir. Ewan Stewart

 Yorkshire Short Film Competition 2013
Oh Messy Life, Dir. Jonathan Harrold

Special Mention
Ratzilla, Dir. Rad Miller

Silver Méliès Short Film Competition 2013 
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)
Dir. Tom van Avermaet, Belgium / France, 2012

Special Mentions
Shell Shocked
Dir. Dominic Brunt, UK, 2013

Raw Meat (La Carne Cruda)
Dir. Samuel Lema, Spain, 2013