SFF announces doco prize finalists

SFF 2010Press Release from the Lantern Group

Sydney Film Festival 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.


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.


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.


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.

The 57th Sydney Film Festival runs from Wednesday 2 June – Monday 14 June 2010.

For more information visit sff.org.au