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  • Vasili Papathanasopoulos

CULTURE GUIDE: SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL'S CLOSING NIGHT GALA

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Last night, the 70th Sydney Film Festival wrapped up with the announcement of this years winners and the Australian premiere of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.


Guests included Bay Of Fires' Marta Dusseldorp, Heartbreak High stars Bryn Chapman Parish, Gemma Chua-Tran and Brodie Townsend, model and artist Cai Leplaw, actors and personalities Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown, Julian Maroun, Susan Prior, Sisi Stringer, Matt Day, Jacqui Purvi, Ethan Brown, Georgia-May Davis, Cameron Robbie, Sean Keenan, Hunter Page-Lochard, Tai Hara, Barry Conrad, Harrison Green, Richard Wilkins, Michelle Bridges and more.


Moroccan filmmaker Asmae El Moudir was awarded the prestigious Sydney Film Prize for her film The Mother of All Lies, which 'melds fact, fiction and captivating figurines to reveal a hidden history of Morocco’s 1981 Bread Riots.' The $60,000 cash prize for ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous' film was selected by a prestigious international jury headed by acclaimed director Anurag Kashyap.



“I didnt expect this. I just want to call my grandmother now, who made the film with me, and my neighbours, and all the poeple in Morocco. It's 10am there now, and I want to tell them we have just won the prize of Sydney Film Festival. You are the warmest public I have met in my life. I was flying 23 hours, fighting with the jetlag, but I will sleep well now with this prize.” Moudir said of her win.


Australian filmmakers Derik Lynch and Matthew Thorne were awarded the Documentary Australia Award’s $20,000 cash prize for Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black), and Indian director Sarvnik Kaur is the recipient of the $40,000 Sustainable Future Award, the largest environmental film prize in the world, for her film Against the Tide.



Five short film prizes were awarded The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films. The AFTRS Craft Award for Best Practitioner, a $7,000 cash prize, went to Kalu Oji, Faro Musodza and Makwaya Masudi, screenwriters for What’s In a Name? The inaugural Event Cinemas Rising Talent Award, with a cash prize of $7,000, was awarded to Robyn Liu, lead actor in The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man. The $5,000 Yoram Gross Animation Award was awarded to Teacups, directed by Alec Green and Finbar Watson. The $7,000 Dendy Live Action Short Award was awarded to The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man, directed by David Ma. The $7,000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director was presented to Sophie Somerville, director of Linda 4 Eva.


Sydney Film Festival CEO Frances Wallace said, “This year’s Festival was a huge success with a great number of film fans returning to the cinemas in 2023 attending over 400 film screenings, special events and talks. This year we presented 242 incredible films from across the globe and audiences were eager to take part in the festivities with over 100 sold out sessions across the Festival.”





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