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Official Competition

In 2022 the Official Competition celebrates 13 years of awarding the prestigious Sydney Film Prize to each year’s most “audacious, cutting-edge and courageous” film.

The Official Competition celebrates that rare but thrilling film that truly moves the art form forward. Innovative, provocative or controversial, they broaden our understanding of the world and say important things in original ways.

Sydney Film Prize winners to date: There is No Evil (2021), Parasite (2019), The Heiresses (2018), On Body and Soul (2017), Aquarius (2016), Arabian Nights (2015), Two Days, One Night (2014), Only God Forgives (2013), Alps (2012), A Separation (2011), Heartbeats (2010) and Bronson (2009).

The Sydney Film Prize is presented at SFF’s Closing Night awards ceremony at the State Theatre.

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Mostofa Sarwar Farooki is a Bangladeshi writer, director and producer with a number of critically acclaimed films to his credit. His films have represented Bangladesh at the Oscars three times. His feature Television was the closing film of Busan 2012. “A key exemplar of Bangladeshi new wave cinema movement,” Farooki’s films have won international awards at Busan, Moscow, Dubai, Vesoul, Fukuoka, Kolkata and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. He has served on international juries at Busan, Tallinn, the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the East End Film Fest London, South Asian Film Festival Singapore and the Kolkata International Film Festival.

Semih Kaplanoğlu is an acclaimed writer-director-producer whose debut feature Away from Home (2001) was awarded Best Director in Singapore IFF. Since then, he has been an independent producer at Kaplan Film. His ‘Yusuf Trilogy’ films premiered in Cannes, Venice and Berlinale between 2007 and 2010 and earned many international awards. His 2010 film Honey won the Berlinale Golden Bear and Grain (2017) received Best Film Award in 30th Tokyo Film Festival. In 2018, he began work on his ‘Commitment Trilogy’ with Commitment Aslı (2019) being his first digital film. Commitment Hasan premiered in Cannes Un Certain Regard 2021.

Jen Peedom is a BAFTA-nominated Australian writer and director, known for her gripping portraits of people in extreme circumstances. Her credits include Living the End, Solo, Sherpa and Mountain. Her films have played at many leading international festivals including Telluride, Toronto, IDFA, San Sebastian and London, winning awards including the Grierson Award for Best Documentary at the BFI London Film Festival, multiple audience awards, an AFI Award, AACTA Awards, the Australian Film Critics Circle Award and multiple Directors’ Guild Awards. Mountain and Sherpa have become two of the highest-grossing Australian documentaries of all time.

Yuka Sakano has held the role of Executive Director at the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, Tokyo since 2020 and has overseen its coordination between major international film festivals and Japanese filmmakers and producers since 1998. As the Institute houses an extensive collection of film archives and serves as the foremost resource on Japanese film, Sakano also cooperates with film archival and cultural organisations overseas in preparing Japanese film retrospectives and has served on various international juries.

David Wenham is one of Australia’s most respected film, television and stage actors. His feature film credits include Lion, Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Getting Square, Oranges and Sunshine, Moulin Rouge!, Goldstone, The Proposition and Molokai. David wrote and directed his debut feature film, Ellipsis in 2017. His acting accolades include AFI Best Actor awards, Film Critics Circle of Australia awards and Best Actor nominations at the AFI Awards for Molokai, The Bank, Better than Sex and The Boys.

 

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

PARKROYAL is proud to be the official home away from home for SFF’s Jury Members.

Mostofa Sarwar Farooki 
Semih Kaplanoğlu
Jennifer Peedom
Yuka Sakano
David Wenham
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