On Body and Soul, directed by Ildikó Enyedi, was awarded the 10th Sydney Film Prize at the Sydney Film Festival’s Cloing Night Gala on Sunday night, beating out a field of 12 Official Competition films.
”It was such an amazingly strong competition. It’s marvelous that such a film can move so many people, it gives me so much hope in cinema and in human communication,” Enyedi said in her acceptance speech.
The Pink House, a film about the last brothel in Western Australian mining town of Kalgoorlie by Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Claire Haywood, took home the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary $10,000 cash prize, while the $7000 cash prize for the Dendy Live Action Short Award went to Adele, directed by Mirene Igwabi, and Daniel Agdag’s Lost Property Office took out both the $7,000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director and the $5,000 Yoram Gross Animation Award.
Michael Cusack, the writer and director of stop motion animation After All, won the $5,000 Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award, while Johanna Garvin and Emily Dash, the writers of Screenability short film The Milky Pop Kid, were Highly Commended.
Finally, actor, director and writer Leah Purcell was awarded the $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award.
Summing up this year’s festival, SFF CEO Leigh Small said, “This year again, the Festival exceeded previous attendance figures – a continuing ten-year trend. There was an average of 72% capacity across all sessions with almost 185,000 attendances.”
Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley added, “2017 has been a significant year for film and filmmakers. As the world looks for ways to understand and interpret the momentous events and challenges facing humanity, filmmakers across the globe have risen to the challenge.
“From refugees and the horrors of war, to the state of the world’s oceans, this program of films – screened to Australian audiences for the first time at the 64th Sydney Film Festival – has provided an opportunity to debate and discuss some of the most pressing and contentious issues of our time.
“With a spotlight on questions of equality in race, sexuality, wealth, accessibility, and many other global conversations, these 12 days have provided a wealth of stories from diverse viewpoints and a moment in time to take stock of who, what and where we are today.
“I congratulate all the winners and all of the finalists, as well as the hundreds of filmmakers who have joined us at the Festival to present their ideas and opinions in films, talks and discussions.”