Sydney Film Festival Announces FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize

[press release]SFF 2010

Sydney Film Festival today announced the finalists of the 2010 FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize the biggest cash prize for a documentary in Australia.

Now in its second year, first-time filmmakers and established documentarians are among the nine selected finalists to be shortlisted for this prestigious prize. Entrants are invited to submit Australian-produced documentaries of any length and one winner will be awarded $10,000. This year’s line-up of films looks at our home, our neighbours and our history.

The competing films will screen over ten days at the festival, paired with finalists from the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, and feature guest introductions and question and answer sessions following each screening.

The finalists are:

Cane Toads: The Conquest

Dir-Prod-Scr Mark Lewis| Australia | 84 mins | Radio Pictures
Twenty-five years after his successful film about Australia’s greatest environmental catastrophe, Mark Lewis revisits the cane toad story as they continue their journey across Australia.

Drive

Dir-Prod Bronwyn Purvis, Telen Rodwell | Australia | 55 mins | Big hART Inc.
Drive looks at young men and the impact of their love of speed on family and community. The film was produced in collaboration with young men from the northwest coast of Tasmania.

Eye

Dir Andy Canny, Donna McCrum | Prod Polly Staniford, Tony Ayres, Michael McMahon | Australia | 54 mins | Big and Little Films
Award-winning indigenous photographer Bindi Cole travels from Melbourne to the far north of Australia to document the beautiful transgender ‘Sistagirls’ of the Tiwi Islands.

Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia

Dir-Prod-Scr John Hughes | Prod Andrea Foxworthy| Australia | 90 mins | Early Works
Director John Hughes’ latestwork recalls the founding of the nation of Indonesia and the impact of a small film on Australia’s relations with its northern neighbour, as well as on Australia’s documentary filmmaking culture.

Mind

Dir Emma Crimmings | Prod Polly Staniford, Tony Ayres, Michael McMahon | Australia | 27 mins | Big and Little Films
An exploration of the nature of identity: from an early age, award-winning writer Tom Cho thought he was different and knew he didn’t match his mother’s expectations of a good daughter.

New Beijing: Reinventing a City

Dir-Prod Georgia Wallace-Crabbe| Prod Gregory Miller | Australia | 52 mins | Film Projects
A fascinating record of the changing face of Beijing – the demolition of the old and the construction of the new; the shift from hutongs to Birds Nest.

The Snowman

Dir Juliet Lamont | Prod Rachel Landers, Dylan Blowen | Australia | 79 Mins | Pony Films
A poignant story about the filmmaker’s search for the truth behind her father’s mental collapse; thirty years ago he took a job in Antarctica and returned home a changed man.

Strange Birds in Paradise – A West Papuan Story

Dir Charlie Hill-Smith| Prod Jamie Nicolai, John Cherry | Australia | 75 mins | The House of Red Monkey
Director Charlie Hill-Smith takes a journey through the culture and complex history of West Papua, jamming with exiled musicians in musicologist Dave Bridie’s Melbourne studio.

Three Boys Dreaming

Dir- Prod Michael Cordell | Australia | 80 mins | Cordell Jigsaw Productions

In 2005, Australia’s best young indigenous AFL players attended a Melbourne talent camp. Filmmaker Michael Cordell follows three boys over three years, as they struggle to keep their dreams alive.

About Sydney Film Festival

The 57th Sydney Film Festival is a proud partner of the NSW Government through the departments of Industry & Investment NSW and Communities NSW, the Federal Government through Screen Australia, and the City of Sydney. The festival’s Official Competition partner is the NSW Government through Events NSW.

Sydney Film Festival screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animations across the city at the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, the Art Gallery of NSW and Sydney Opera House. Sydney Film Festival is a key cultural event on the New South Wales Master Events 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 the NSW Government through Events NSW and offers a $60,000 cash prize. In 2010, Jan Chapman, multi-award winning Australian producer (Bright Star, The Piano, Lantana) will take her place as Jury President. She will be joined by Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper and three additional jury members (to be announced) who will determine the winning film.

The 57th Sydney Film Festival runs from Wednesday 2 June – Monday 14 June 2010.
For more information visit sff.org.au.