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Sydney celebrates end of festival

Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul (pictured, top), took Sydney Film Festival’s (SFF) top prize at Sunday night’s closing gala. The winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear in February is a tale of an unconventional romance between two co-workers who discover that each night they have exactly the same dreams.

NZ participation in this year’s festival included a couple of films yet to screen here. Gaylene Preston’s My Year With Helen and Florian Habicht’s Spookers played Sydney. Preston’s latest film had its world premiere at SFF, with Preston and the film’s subject, former Prime Minister Helen Clark, in attendance. Preston and Habicht’s films will both play here in the NZIFF, which opens in Auckland next month.

Already seen here in cinemas, Roger Donaldson’s McLaren and Tusi Tamasese’s One Thousand Ropes also travelled to Sydney. Tamasese’s film is one of two Kiwi features now heading for China to play the Shanghai International Film Festival, which opened on the weekend as Sydney closed.

A pair of Kiwi shorts were also selected for SFF: Alyx Duncan’s Drumming is Like Thunder and Roseanne Liang’s NZ’s Best contender Do No Harm.

Picking up on the recent trend for film festivals to screen TV shows, Sydney gave an outing to season 2 of Cleverman, made with a fair amount of NZ personnel and their skills.



The Sydney Film Festival ran 7 – 18 June. The festival hands out a number of gongs, most of them reserved for local titles. The 2017 winners were:

10th Anniversary of the Official Competition and Sydney Film Prize
On Body and Soul, dir. Ildikó Enyedi

Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary
The Pink House, dir. Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Claire Haywood

Dendy Awards
Dendy Live Action Short Award
: Adele, dir. Mirene Igwabi
Highly Commended: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, dir. Sunday Emerson Gullifer
Rouben Mamoulian Award: Lost Property Office, dir. Daniel Agdag
Yoram Gross Animation Award: Lost Property Office, dir. Daniel Agdag

Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award
Michael Cusack, After All
Highly Commended: Johanna Garvin and Emily Dash, The Milky Pop Kid

The Sydney, Unesco City of Film Award 
Leah Purcell

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