Sydney Film Festival Award Winners Announced At Closing Night Gala

14 Jun 2015

The 62nd Sydney Film Festival tonight awarded Arabian Nights, directed by Miguel Gomes, the prestigious Sydney Film Prize, out of a selection of 12 Official Competition films.

The $62,000 cash prize was awarded at the Festival’s Closing Night Gala awards ceremony and event: the world premiere screening of Neil Armfield’s Holding the Man, held at the State Theatre.

Journalist Michael Ware and two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag were awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, a $10,000 cash prize, for Only the Dead; with a special mention going to The Lost Aviator directed by Andrew Lancaster.

The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films were announced; awarding A Single Body directed and written by Sotiris Dounoukos the Dendy Live Action Short Award; Grace Under Water directed and produced by Anthony Lawrence the Yoram Gross Animation Award; and Brooke Goldfinch for Red Rover the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director. 

The Event Cinema Australian Short Screenplay Award was awarded to Bluey, written and directed by Darlene Johnson, who received a $5,000 cash prize, with a special mention to Ryan Griffen for You Turn.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said, “The NSW Government has been proud to support the Sydney Film Festival. This year's festival opened and closed with feature films produced in NSW and enthralled audiences with more than 250 films over 12 days, reinforcing Sydney’s role as a global creative hub.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, “This year’s Sydney Film Festival was another hugely enjoyable triumph. With more than 300 screenings of the best local and international cinema, we’ve seen the world through the eyes of some of the most exciting directors, screenwriters and cinematographers.”

Sydney Film Festival CEO Leigh Small said, “Our Closing Night Gala marks the end of another successful 12-day Festival, and the eighth consecutive year of growth in attendance.This year we welcomed over 176,000 people to screenings, events and talks.”

“Sydney Film Festival is also delighted to announce that Nashen Moodley will continue as Festival Director for another four year term,” she said. 

Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said: “The Festival has been bolstered by a strong line-up of Australian films. From the world premieres of Australian feature films Ruben Guthrie, Holding the Man, The Daughter, Last Cab to Darwin and Riz; to important Australian documentaries including Sherpa, Gayby Baby, Tyke Elephant Outlaw and Freedom Stories; to great examples of new and dynamic Australian short film, such as the Screen: Black program of 13 new Indigenous Australian films, and the Dendy Shorts including Academy Award winner Adam Elliot’s new claymation Ernie Biscuit.”

“Other highlights included hosting Academy Award winning documentarian Alex Gibney to sell out sessions of his new film Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief at the State Theatre, and two premieres of Gibney’s other most recent films Steve Jobs: the Man in the Machine, and Mr Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown.”

“Staging the southern hemisphere’s first ever premiere of a film on a ship – Princess Cruises Sun Princess, with Gillian Armstrong’s Women He’s Undressed; and an almost instantaneous sell out of Amy - the new Amy Winehouse biopic at Dendy Newtown, have also contributed to an incredible year for the Festival,” he said.  

“Closing the Festival with the much anticipated world premiere of Neil Armfield’s Holding the Man to a sold out audience at the State Theatre; with stars Ryan Corr, Craig Stott, Sarah Snook and Camilla Ah Kin attending the screening alongside the director and producer Kylie du Fresne; has been a great moment for the Festival and the Australian film industry,” he said.