Kerry Fox and Mark Herbert join SFF jury
Sydney Film Festival has confirmed New Zealand actor Kerry Fox and British producer Mark Herbert for the Official Competition jury in 2011. They take their places alongside SFF 2011’s Jury President, legendary Chinese director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine, The Emperor and the Assassin, Together) whose new film Sacrifice will have its Australian Premiere at the festival. The final two jury members will be announced prior to the festival which opens Wednesday 8 June.
The jury will award the Sydney Film Prize, Australia’s richest cash award for film – AUD $60,000, to one of the films competing in the 2011 Official Competition. The twelve film line-up was announced last week at the festival’s program launch, alongside the unveiling of new Official Competition Sponsor, iShares.
Festival Director, Clare Stewart said: “I am delighted that Kerry Fox and Mark Herbert have accepted our invitation to join the Official Competition jury as they both embrace the values at the core of our Official Competition. Kerry is a brilliant actor and has always been courageous in her choice of roles and her capacity to bring emotional authenticity to each of her characters. As producer and CEO of Warp Films, Mark Herbert has continually backed and delivered daring, cutting-edge films.”
Kerry Fox is one of New Zealand’s most internationally respected and awarded actors. Kerry’s body of work includes award-winning performances in Jane Campion’s An Angel at My Table; Gillian Armstrong’s The Last Days of Chez Nous; and Patrice Chereau’s Intimacy.
She has also starred in Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave, Michael Winterbottom’s Welcome to Sarajevo, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Country Life, The Gathering, The Hanging Garden, Storm and most recently Bright Star directed by SFF Patron Jane Campion.
Kerry stars as Oriel Lamb in the groundbreaking television mini-series Cloudstreet, based on the novel by Tim Winton, which premieres on Showcase this Sunday 22 May. She attended the festival last year for the restoration screening of Gillian Armstrong’s The Last Days of Chez Nous while in Australia for the shooting of Cloudstreet.
“I am thrilled to be taking part in this year’s SFF Jury. It was at this festival that I first saw An Angel at My Table screened, and what a wonderful response we received from the festival's film literate and loving buffs. I feel privileged to be able to offer something in return while getting the chance to see courageous films.”
Mark Herbert is the CEO of Warp Films and the producer of BAFTA winning feature films This is England (directed by Shane Meadows) and Four Lions (directed by Chris Morris) which screened in SFF’s Official Competition last year.
Mark produced Shane Meadow’s television series This is England ’86 which has its Australian Premiere this year in SFF’s TV Marathons program. He is also Executive Producer on Paddy Considine’s Sundance-winning directorial debut Tyrannosaur and Ben Wheatley’s Kill List both of which have their Australian Premieres in SFF’s Push Me to the Edge and Freak Me Out programs respectively.
Mark Herbert and Warp Managing Director Robin Gutch established Warp Australia with Anna McLeish in 2008. Snowtown directed by Justin Kurzel is their debut Australian film and is selected for Critics’ Week at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2006 Mark and Robin set up their low budget slate – Warp X. Amongst his many other credits, Mark was also producer on the first Warp X productions Donkey Punch and A Complete History of My Sexual Failures which had their Australian premieres at SFF 2008.
Speaking from Cannes Film Festival today, Mark Herbert said “Warp has had great success with launching films at Sydney but due to filming commitments I've never been able to be there in June. So this year I made sure we were wrapped in time to go and it was music to my ears when I was asked to be on the jury. I'm looking forward to seeing examples of bold and innovative filmmaking which is what Sydney Film Festival is famous for.”