Sydney Film Festival has revealed the films that have won The World Movies Channel Audience Awards for 2007, and the results are a reflection of the diverse program that was on offer this year. Awards were presented in the categories of Best Feature Film, Documentary and Short Film at the State Theatre and at the three satellite venues (GU George Street Cinemas, Dendy Opera Quays and the Metro Theatre). As the people’s choice awards for the festival, the results were decided by audiences who had the opportunity to vote after each screening throughout the 16-day event. A rating system ensured that all films were treated equally, irrespective of the size of the audience.
Winner of the Best Feature Film at the State Theatre was the Australian comedy Lucky Miles directed by Michael James Rowland, who commented: ‘To receive the people’s choice award is a real honour for me especially considering the high calibre of films featured in this year’s festival. I am so appreciative that people are able to resonate with the humour and pace of the film.’
The winner of the Best Feature Film at the satellite venues was the Dutch film Winky’s Horse, which was part of the new KIDS’ FILMS strand. Winky’s Horse was screened in Dutch, with English subtitles and a live translation was provided by actor Alice Ansara.
Best Documentary at the State Theatre went to Shut Up and Sing, directed by Barbara Kopple. Screening as part of the festival’s SOUNDS ON SCREEN strand, the film follows the Dixie Chicks after their famous anti-Bush statement in 2003 when they became the target of American media criticism and death threats.
The winner of Best Documentary at the satellite venues was the Australian film Searching for Sandeep, directed by Poppy Stockwell. On hearing that her film had won the Documentary award, Poppy Stockwell commented: ‘That’s unbelievably exciting, what an honour. I could definitely feel the love in the cinema, it felt like everyone was really connecting with the film and the characters. I don’t think the audience wanted the film to end. I suppose this award translates those feelings into a cool Dinosaur Designs trophy! Thanks to everyone who was there.’
Best Short at the State Theatre went to Phoenix Dance, which screened as part of the festival’s new ACCESSIBLE CINEMA strand. Best Short at the satellite venues went to Nash Edgerton’s Spider.
Sydney Film Festival Executive Director Clare Stewart comments: ‘I’m delighted that the winners of The World Movies Channel Audience Awards reflect the diversity of this year’s program. I’m delighted that the winners of the World Movies Channel Audience Awards reflect the diversity of this year’s festival. The audience response to this year’s program has been fantastic, with passionate discussions and debate inspired by screenings at all our venues. As audiences huddled in foyers and bars from the inclement weather, the buzz was palpable, and it’s translated into great voting results.
The Sydney Film Festival ran 8-24 June and screened feature films, documentaries, short films and animation across the city at the State Theatre, GU George Street Cinemas, Metro Theatre and Dendy Opera Quays. For further information on the festival, visit www.sydneyfilmfestival.org
[release from Gallus & Co]