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Sydney Film Festival Unleashes 2010 Program

Sydney Film Festival (SFF) has unleashed the Official Program for the 2010 Festival, which runs from 2-14 June 2010.  The festival program will include winning films from international film festivals, Australian Premieres, World Premieres and much more.

Opening Night Gala
The 2010 Festival kicks off with the World Premiere of Shirley Barrett's South Solitary on Wednesday 2 June at 7.30pm. Shirley Barrett's distinctive filmmaking is underpinned by elegant storytelling and an intoxicating, playful tone.

Official Competition
The third year of SFF's Official Competition brings another line-up of courageous, audacious and cutting-edge cinema to Sydneysiders. The Official Competition is supported by the NSW Government through Events New South Wales and the winning film receives a $60,000 cash prize, the largest cash award for film in Australia. 

2010 Jury President is Australian Producer Jan Chapman whose extraordinary list of credits includes The Piano, Lantana and most recently, Bright Star. Jan will be joined by Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper.

Featured in this year's Official Competition line-up include:

  • Three films direct from 2010 Cannes Film Festival - including Cannes Closing Night film, Julie Bertucelli's Australian/French Co-Production The Tree, along with Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (screening in Cannes Official Competition) and Canadian Xavier Dolan's Heartbeats (screening in Un Certain Regard);
  • The World Premiere of Ben C Lucas's explosive debut feature Wasted on the Young;
  • Australian Premieres of films by renowned directors - including Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me, Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime, Brillante Mendoza's Lola and celebrated Iranian artist Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men;
  • Chris Morris' outrageous comedy Four Lions and Raoul Peck's searing Haitian satire Moloch Tropical;
  • Berlin Film Festival winners from Russia, How I Ended this Summer and Romania, If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle.

Closing Night
After 13 days of glamour, excitement and debate, the festival will host its Closing Night Gala on Public Holiday Monday 14 June with an Awards ceremony and the Australian Premiere of The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) and featuring superb performances from Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and Mia Wasikowska.

FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize
FOXTEL came on board last year in spectacular fashion to realise the festival's ambition to set up a new Australian Documentary Prize, by providing a $10,000 cash prize, the highest cash prize in Australia for documentary filmmaking. When the inaugural prize was split between two films - A Good Man and Contact - FOXTEL doubled the prize money on Closing Night to much applause. First-time filmmakers and established documentarians are among the nine selected finalists to be shortlisted for this year's FOXTEL Australian Documentary Prize.

The Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films
Sponsored by Dendy Cinemas for 22 years, the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films have launched and aided the careers of many Australian filmmakers. This competition is Academy Award accredited and SFF are thrilled that last year's winner of Best Live Action Miracle Fish went on to receive an Academy Award® nomination. The finalists in this year's awards will screen in sessions throughout the festival alongside the Australian Documentary Prize finalists and will be screened together in one marathon session on Sunday 13 June.

The Live Action Short Award, sponsored by Dendy Cinemas provides a $5,000 cash prize while The Yoram Gross Animation Award, sponsored by Yoram and Sandra Gross carries a $4,000 cash prize. The Rouben Mamoulian Award, also sponsored by Dendy Cinemas, carries a cash prize of $5,000 and will be presented to the Best Director from the 10 finalists.

Shortlisted films, along with Australian feature-length films screening in all sections of the festival, with a multicultural perspective are in line for the The CRC Award with a $5,000 cash prize.

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.
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