Press release from Sydney Film Festival

Sydney Film Festival 2011 is calling for entries to its Australian competitive sections: the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films; FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize; and the Yoram Gross Animation Award.

The deadline for entries is 16 February 2011 and entry details are available at

‘Each year we showcase the best in Australian short and documentary production through these competitive sections, playing a vital role in raising the profile of local talent both in Australia and internationally’, said Festival Director Clare Stewart.

The 2011 Sydney Film Festival will take place from Wednesday 8 June through Sunday 19 June 2011.

The full program for the 58th Sydney Film Festival, 8 – 19 June 2011, will be announced in early May 2011.

DENDY Awards for Australian Short Films The Sydney Film Festival will celebrate 41 years of presenting its Australian short film competition,
making it the oldest short film competition in Australia.

The awards in this category are:

  • Best Live Action Short Film ($5000 sponsored by Dendy Cinemas)
  • Yoram Gross Award for Best Animated Short Film ($4000 sponsored by Yoram and Sandra Gross)
  • Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director Overall ($5000 sponsored by Dendy Cinemas)

The winners of the Best Live Action Short Film and the Yoram Gross Animation Award are eligible for Academy Award® submission.

The Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director Overall was awarded for the first time in 2010.

Previously this award was for best overall film and was first presented in 1974 by Hollywood director Rouben Mamoulian (Cleopatra, Laura and Becky Sharp, amongst many others).

Dendy Cinemas (at times in collaboration with Dendy Films) have sponsored the Awards since 1989.

Yoram and Sandra Gross have sponsored the Yoram Gross Animation Award since 1987.

‘The Dendy Awards are a great avenue for local Australian filmmakers to showcase their work, and the quality of films always impresses us.

The Academy Award accreditation and cash prize are both great incentives – we can’t wait to see what gets created this year’, said Nick Hayes, National Operations Manager, Dendy Cinemas.

The 2010 Dendy Awards Prize winners have gone onto great acclaim:

  • The Kiss dir/scr Ashlee Page (Best Fiction) has since been nominated for an AFI Award and selected for the Pusan International Film Festival.
  • Deeper than Yesterday dir Ariel Kleiman (Best Director) has since won the Golden Hugo Award for Best Short Film at the Chicago International Film Festival and Best Student Director at the Australian Directors’ Guild Awards, and has been nominated for the AFI Award for Best Short Fiction Film. Director Ariel Kleiman has been nominated for a Rising Talent Award at the IF Awards.
  • The Lost Thing, dir Shaun Tan & Andrew Ruhemann (Yoram Gross Animation Award), has also won awards at the Palm Springs International ShortFest and has been nominated for the AFI Award for Best Short Animation and an IF Award.

FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize

Australian documentaries of any length can compete for the FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize of $10,000.

The 2010 winner The Snowman (directed by Juliet Lamont, produced by Dylan Blowen and Rachel Landers) has been nominated for the AFI Award for Best Feature Length Documentary.

In its inaugural year of 2009, the jury awarded two winners – Martin Butler and Bentley Dean’s Contact and Safina Uberoi’s A Good Man – and both films went on to be selected for the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, as were two other finalists in the category. Contact has also been nomintated this year for AFI Award for Best Feature Length Documentary.

The films competing for the $10,000 prize are always diverse and dynamic, with productions by first-time filmmakers as well as established documentarians.

‘FOXTEL is delighted to continue its association with the Sydney Film Festival for a third year and we are very proud to be sponsoring the FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize in 2011’, said Malcolm Smith, Office of the CEO, FOXTEL.

Sydney Film Festival (SFF) screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animations across the city at the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays and the Art Gallery of NSW.

The festival is a major event on the New South Wales cultural calendar and is one of the world’s longest running film festivals.

In 2008, SFF introduced the Official Competition, a FIAPF-accredited competition for ‘new directions in film’, which rewards courageous and audacious filmmaking. The Official Competition is supported by Events NSW and offers a $60,000 cash prize.

For more information and other 2010 award winners visit

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