SFF unveils 2010 program
By Brendan Swift
Shirley Barrett's romantic feature South Solitary is set to open next month's Sydney Film Festival, which will screen more than 150 films over 12 days.
The film, starring Miranda Otto and Barry Otto, will be one of eight new Australian feature films on display, alongside nine new local documentaries and 12 short films.
Julie Bertucelli's Australian-French co-production The Tree and Ben C Lucas' tale of troubled youth, Wasted on the Young, are both in the official competition, which offers the winner a $60,000 cash prize. Other local feature films at the festival include: The Waiting City, Red Hill, and The Loved Ones.
The other films in competition – led by Jury President and producer Jan Chapman – include: Four Lions; Heartbeats; How I Ended This Summer; If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle; The Killer Inside Me; Life During Wartime; Lola; Moloch Tropical; Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives; and Women Without Men.
NSW Arts Minister Virginia Judge said the State government was investing $2.91 million over three years into the event, which is Australia’s oldest continuous film festival.
"An exciting section of films will be showcased including the much anticipated Australian premieres of Roman Polanski’s The Ghost, Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett in The Runaways and Gerard Depardieu in Mammuth," she said.
Among the festivals guests will be actor Jonah Hill, who stars in the festival's Australian premiere of Cyrus, as well as Four Lions writer-director Chris Morris.
The finalists in the FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize are: Cane Toads: The Conquest, Drive, Eye, Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia, Mind, New Beijing: Reinventing a City, The Snowman, Strange Birds in Paradise – A West Papua Story, and Three Boys Dreaming.
The nominees for the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films are: Bad Language, Deeper Than Yesterday, Glenn Owen Dodds, The Kiss, A Parachute Falling in Siberia, Pop, Suburbia, The Adjustable Cosmos, The Lost Thing, and How to Lose Weight in 60 Seconds.
The festival will close with family drama-comedy The Kids are All Right, starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, and Mia Wasikowska.
The festival will be held at the State Theatre, George Street Event Cinemas, Dendy Opera Quays and the Art Gallery of NSW between June 2 – 14.
Miranda Otto in South Solitary