Arts & Entertainment

Sydney Film Festival Award Winners Announced

Close by Lukas Dhont

At the closing ceremony of the 69th Sydney Film Festival tonight a range of award winners were announced.

Taking out the top gong was Close by Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont, a stunningly beautiful examination of boyhood friendship, the prestigious Sydney Film Prize. The winner of the $60,000 cash prize for ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous’ film was selected by a prestigious international jury headed by David Wenham.

“I want to express my incredible gratitude for the recognition that our film Close received at this year’s Sydney Film Festival,” said Dhont. “Thank you to the festival for expressing its love for the film, the jury for choosing it among all these outstanding pieces, and its first Australian audience for opening hearts and spirits to a film that comes from deep within. We wanted to make a film about friendship and connection after a moment in time where we all understood its necessity and power. I decided to use cinema as my way to connect to the world. And tonight I feel incredibly close and connected to all of you. All my love, Lukas.”

Documentary Award

Australian filmmaker Luke Cornish was presented with the Documentary Australia Award’s $10,000 cash prize for Keep Stepping, about two remarkable female performers training for Australia’s biggest street dance competition.

Short Film Award

The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films saw the inaugural AFTRS Craft Award (a $7,000 cash prize)
presented to the character artists behind Donkey; Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM; Carolyn Kenta; Imuna
Kenta; Elizabeth Dunn; Stacia Yvonne Lewis; Atipalku Intjalki; Lynette Lewis; and Cynthia Burke.

Animation Award

The $5,000 Yoram Gross Animation Award was also awarded to Donkey, directed by Jonathan Daw and Tjunkaya Tapaya OAM.

Best Director Award

Both the $7,000 Dendy Live Action Short Award and $7,000 Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director were presented to Luisa Martiri and Tanya Modini for The Moths Will Eat Them Up.

Sustainable Future Award

The 2022 recipient of the $10,000 Sustainable Future Award, made possible by a syndicate of passionate climate activists led by Award sponsor Amanda Maple-Brown, is Australian documentary Delikado directed by Karl Malakunas, which reveals the tribulations of environmental crusaders on the Filipino island of Palawan.

Filmmaker and performer Kylie Bracknell was awarded the 2022 Deutsche Bank Fellowship for First Nations Film Creatives. The Fellowship provides a $20,000 grant to an Australian First Nations film creative to further develop their skills through international placement or other professional development.

The $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award, bestowed by Create NSW to a trail-blazing NSW-based screen practitioner, was presented to film composer Caitlin Yeo.

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