The 85-year-old Australian silent film The SentimentalBloke, directed by prolific pioneer filmmaker Raymond Longford, anddirector Ondrej Trojan's Czech Republic/Austria/Slovakia period film Zelarywere the audience favourites at the Sydney Film Festival's two key venues.
The festival wrapped on Saturday June 26 and organisers saythat the 132,500 admissions represented a 9% increase on last year.
The grand State Theatre in the heart of the city is thetraditional home of the festival. The rest of the titles in the top five were,in order of popularity, Take My Eyes (director Iciar Bollain, Spain),another silent classic The Merry Widow (Erich von Stroheim, US/Germany),Ae Fond Kiss (Ken Loach, UK/Italy/Germany/Spain) and Maria Full OfGrace (Joshua Marston, US/Colombia).
The rest of the top five at The Dendy Opera Quays comprised BlindFlight (John Furse, UK), Silent Waters (Sabiha Sumar,Pakistan/France/German), The Night (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy),which was part of a restrospective of the filmmakers' work, and Bear Cub(Miguel Albaladejo, Spain).