60th Sydney Film Festival Announces Winners of the 2013 Festival Awards
In addition to the 2013 SFF Official Competition winner revealed earlier today – Only God Forgives directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm – SFF tonight announced the winners of the 2013 Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize and the 2013 Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films. Included in the Dendy Awards are the Dendy Live Action Short Award, the Rouben Mamoulian Award and the Yoram Gross Animation Award. The Foxtel and Dendy awards were announced at SFF’s Closing Night ceremony at the State Theatre.
The FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize, now in its fifth year, awards a generous cash prize of $10,000. Out of a shortlist of 10 finalists, the prize was awarded to Buckskin, directed by Dylan McDonald. The film documents the work of Adelaide resident Jack Buckskin, who is on a mission to renew a once-extinct language and to inspire a new generation to connect with the land and culture of his ancestors. Buckskin is also part of SFF’s Screen: Black program of films from indigenous filmmakers, presented with the support of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department.
“The jury was unanimously impressed by McDonald’s beautiful and wholly engaging film that tells the inspiring story of Vincent ‘Jack’ Buckskin. This film exhibits a truly fine talent,” said the 2013 Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize jury.
“Foxtel is very proud of our continued partnership with the Sydney Film Festival. This year’s 10 finalists in the 2013 Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize have shown a broad array of inspiring stories. We are so pleased to celebrate and showcase their talent,” said Mariska Deane, Head of Programming – Factual Channels for Foxtel Networks Australia.
The Foxtel jury also gave a special mention to Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls. Directed by Juliet Lamont, who won the Foxtel Prize in 2010 with The Snowman, the film is an innovative and beautifully crafted glimpse into the emerging careers of young female pop stars in Myanmar.
The Jury also highly commended Big Name No Blanket. Steven McGregor’s finely constructed documentary honours the Warumpi Band, its legendary front man, the late George Rrurrambu, and his creative relationship with the inspired songwriter Neil Murray.
The Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize jury for 2013 comprised multiple award-winning director and producer Ned Lander; the Australian documentary filmmaker Sascha Ettinger Epstein; and Mariska Dean, Head of Programming – Factual Channels for Foxtel Networks Australia.
Sydney Film Festival’s Australian short-film awards were first presented in 1970, and the festival has been showcasing the best local short-film productions in competition ever since. These celebrated awards have launched and aided the careers of many Australian filmmakers.
The Dendy Live Action Short Award, sponsored by Dendy Cinemas since 1989, provides a $5000 cash prize to the best Australian live-action short film. Winners are Academy Award®-eligible.
“The high standard of the Dendy Award finalist continues to impress each year. Quality short films are a brilliant launching pad into the broader film industry and this year’s filmmakers are no exception,” said Nick Hayes, Head of Theatrical Operations at Dendy ICON.
The 2013 winner of the Dendy Award for Best Live Action Short is Perception, directed by Miranda Nation and produced by Lyn Norfor. The film is the story of the death of Crystal – a mother, daughter, lover, stripper and survivor – who grasps at life and finally faces herself, without deception.
“The Dendy Live Action Short Award goes to a powerful film that is so assured on every level, from its editing and cinematography, to its knockout central performance that was brave and bold, yet nuanced and so real. The jury really looks forward to this director’s future work – she’s someone to watch,” said the 2013 Dendy Awards judges.
The 2013 Dendy Awards were judged by Jason Ryle, Executive Director at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts; Sylvia Wilczynski, producer of the SFF 2013 Official Competition film The Rocket; and Mirrah Foulkes, Australian actress, filmmaker and winner of the SFF 2012 Rouben Mamoulian Award.
The jury also acknowledged two standout performances in the Dendy live-action finalists: Maia Thomas, the lead in Perception, whose performance they described as “excellent”; and Ed Oxenbold of All God’s Creatures for “a tender and honest performance by a young actor with beautiful comic timing and a wisdom beyond his years.”
The Rouben Mamoulian Award, also sponsored by Dendy Cinemas, and named after the Hollywood director who first presented the award in 1974, provides a $5000 cash prize to the best director in the Dendy Awards competition.
The 2013 winner of the Rouben Mamoulian Award is David Lyons, director of Record. “The Rouben Mamoulian Award goes to the director of an impeccably constructed film, with an assured directorial vision. Incredible performances have been drawn from the cast to tell a deeply touching story about love and memory. Every member of the jury cried watching this film!”
The Yoram Gross Animation Award, sponsored by Yoram and Sandra Gross, provides a $4,000 cash prize for the Best Australian Animated Short film. Winners are Academy Award-eligible.
The 2013 winner is Butterflies, directed by Isabel Peppard, produced by Warwick Burton.
“This intriguing film transported us to a strange yet familiar world, with terrific characters and an original and accomplished animation style. It is atmospheric, and at times very unsettling, but ultimately moving and inspiring,” said 2013 Dendy Awards judges.
The winners of the 2013 Foxtel Movie Channels Audience Awards will be announced Wednesday 19 June.
Sydney Film Festival celebrates its 60th anniversary this 5-16 June bringing a packed program of screenings and special events to even more venues across Sydney. For tickets and full up-to-date program information please visit www.sff.org.au.