Rolf de Heer is SFF Jury President
[Press Release by next step media]
Sydney Film Festival today announced that Rolf de Heer will take the helm as Jury President for the Sydney Film Festival’s Official Competition in June 2009. Sydney Film Festival!s FIAPF-accredited Official Competition, supported by the New South Wales Government through Events NSW, awards a prize for "new directions in film".
Twelve films screen in competition, as red carpet gala premieres, selected for their "emotional power and resonance". A jury of two Australian and three international industry figures, led by de Heer, will award the Sydney Film Prize at the SFF in June 2009. The winning film will be awarded a cash prize of $60,000 AUD, the largest cash prize for film in Australia, provided by the SFF’s Prize partner Hunter Hall Investment Management.
“We are delighted to welcome Rolf de Heer as our 2009 Jury President. Rolf is a highly respected filmmaker whose body of work perfectly encapsulates the values – audacious, courageous and cutting-edge – championed by the Sydney Film Prize”, Festival President Virginia Gordon said.
Film festivals and awards have played a vital role in de Heer’s career. His impressive body of work has gained substantial international recognition, from his 1993 prizes in Venice for Bad Boy Bubby to the Cannes-winning Ten Canoes. Among de Heer!s other films to have garnered prestige and accolades are The Quiet Room, The Tracker and Alexandra’s Project.
“The significance of the award, and the prize money, is in what they allow you to do afterwards, the time and the freedom they give you with your next film. You can be more audacious, or cutting-edge, because you’re allowed to be, you!re encouraged to and have gained the confidence to be so,” said de Heer today.
Sydney Film Festival was the first international festival de Heer attended, and his film Ten Canoes opened the SFF in 2006. The 2008 inaugural Official Competition engaged audiences, achieved critical acclaim and increased film industry participation by 62%. New South Wales Assistant Arts Minister Virginia Judge welcomed the appointment as a coup for Sydney and its international film festival.
“Rolf de Heer typifies the independent spirit of the festival as someone who has taken risks with his projects but also reached an audience,” Ms Judge said. “We are honoured to have someone of such international standing to chair the jury and help attract the world!s best filmmakers to our festival and the Official Competition.”