In 2017 SFF celebrates ten years of the Official Competition, the festival’s top competitive award. Each year, a dozen of the most innovative and audacious new films are selected to compete for the Sydney Film Prize, awarded by a jury of five Australian and international filmmakers and industry professionals.
The Official Competition was created to celebrate that rare but thrilling kind of film that truly moves the art form forward. Provocative, controversial or cutting edge, these films broaden our understanding of the world and say important things in original ways.
In 2016, the $63,000 Sydney Film Prize went to Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho for his second film Aquarius. In previous years, the Sydney Film Prize went to: Arabian Nights (2015); Two Days, One Night (2014); Only God Forgives (2013); Alps (2012); A Separation (2011), which went on to win an Academy Award; Heartbeats (2010); Bronson (2009); and Hunger (2008).
The Official Competition was established in 2008 and is endorsed by Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films (the regulating organisation for international film festivals).