As well as presenting the best filmmaking from around the world, Sydney Film Festival celebrates the remarkable talents of emerging and esteemed filmmakers with the presentation of nine illustrious awards – and a record-breaking prize pool of more than $160,000.
The Official Competition and Sydney Film Prize
The Sydney Film Prize is awarded to the most “audacious, cutting-edge and courageous” film in the Official Competition line-up. The competition is endorsed by FIAPF, the regulating body for international film festivals, and is judged by a jury of filmmakers and industry professionals, who award a $60,000 cash prize to the winning filmmaker.
Documentary Australia Award for Australian Documentary
Supported by Documentary Australia, this prize acknowledges excellence in Australian documentary production. As well as receiving a $20,000 cash prize, the winning film becomes Academy Award eligible.
Sustainable Future Award
The Sustainable Future Award, with a cash prize of $40,000, is now the largest environmental film prize in the world. It is made possible through philanthropic support from a syndicate of passionate climate activists. The award recognises a narrative or documentary film of any length that deepens our knowledge and awareness of the impact of the global climate emergency.
All the films shortlisted for the Sustainable Future Award are noted with a green leaf icon:
Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films
SFF’s prestigious Australian Short Film Awards were established in 1970 and have been sponsored by Dendy Cinemas since 1989.
The Dendy Live Action Short Award, sponsored by Dendy Cinemas, provides a $7,000 cash prize to the best Australian short film. Winners are Academy Award eligible.
The Rouben Mamoulian Award, sponsored by Dendy Cinemas and named after the director who first presented the award in 1974, provides a $7,000 cash prize to the best direction of an Australian short film.
The Yoram Gross Animation Award, sponsored by Sandra and Guy Gross in memory of the late Yoram Gross, provides a $5,000 cash prize to the best Australian animated short film. Winners are Academy Award eligible.
The AFTRS Craft Award, sponsored by the Australian Film Television and Radio School, provides a $7,000 cash prize for demonstrated excellence by a craft practitioner in an Australian short film.
The Event Cinemas Rising Talent Award recognises an emerging short filmmaker with a cash prize of $7,000. Open to film creatives, directors and screenwriters who have had no more than five short film credits.
Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award
Chris Godfrey is this year’s recipient of the Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award, which recognises a trailblazing NSW-based practitioner whose work stands for innovation, imagination and high impact, with a $10,000 cash prize awarded by Screen NSW.
GIO Audience Awards
The GIO Audience Awards are SFF’s people’s choice awards, reflecting the most popular films at the Festival as voted by you, the audience. The GIO Audience Awards for Best International Narrative Feature, Best International Documentary, Best Australian Narrative Feature and Best Australian Documentary are announced after the Festival.
Rate the films you see at the Festival and you could win the chance to host your own private screening for 50 friends of an audience award winning films, courtesy of GIO, or other fantastic prizes from Crumpler, SFF cinema venues and restaurant partners. Vote now.
All Sydney Film Festival Award winners are presented with the Festival’s signature mesmeric swirl award, designed and handmade in Sydney by SFF’s partners Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs.
Official Jury Partner
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney is proud to be the official home away from home for SFF’s Awards Juries.