Chapman announced SFF jury president

Press release from The Lantern Group

Sydney Film Festival announced today that Jan Chapman, one of Australia’s preeminent Producers, has been selected as the Official Competition Jury President for the June 2010 festival. Sundance Film Festival Director, John Cooper, will also join the jury, which comprises two Australian and three international film industry leaders.

The FIAPF-accredited SFF Official Competition for ‘new directions in film’ rewards ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous’ filmmaking and is proudly supported by Events NSW.

“The NSW Government through Events NSW is thrilled to support the Sydney Film Festival Jury Prize. The prize builds on the international reputation of the festival. It’s important the Chair of the Jury has international stature and respect and the announcement of Jan Chapman could not be more fitting for this prestigious film award,” said NSW Minister for the Arts, Virginia Judge.

Jan Chapman’s film credits range across some of Australia’s best-loved films including the Academy Award® winning The Piano, AFI Award winners Lantana, Somersault and The Last Days of Chez Nous, Love Serenade and most recently Bright Star. Her appointment as the third Sydney Film Festival Jury President will see her presiding over the $60,000 Sydney Film Prize, Australia’s richest cash award for film.

“The Sydney Film Festival was where I first saw films which transported me and inspired me to want to tell stories, and the inclusion of an Official Competition is a development in standing for the Festival. With selection criteria of ‘audacious, cutting-edge and courageous filmmaking’, it must attract work that has emotional power that goes beyond the usual treatment of a subject. I can't wait to see them,” says Jan Chapman.

John Cooper, Director of Sundance Film Festival, will be joining Chapman as Jury member. With expertise at recognising cutting-edge filmmakers for Sundance, one of the world’s leading hotbeds of film discovery,
Cooper will contribute a finely tuned critical eye to the Official Competition judging.

"I have never been to Australia before and I am very excited. Sundance has a long history of presenting Australian films from shorts, to docs to features and this year our World Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize went to Animal Kingdom. I'm hunting for new talent and I rely on Australia year after year to make us look good!" says John Cooper.

“I am thrilled that Jan and John – two champions of bold, risk-taking cinema – will bring their considerable combined expertise to preside over our 2010 Official Competition line-up”, says SFF Festival Director, Clare Stewart. “I look forward to revealing the twelve competing films next week”.

The Jury will comprise a total of five members, each of whom will attend SFF in June to view all twelve Competition films and assess their merits based on the selection criteria. The winner will be announced at the Festival’s Closing Night Gala on Monday 14 June.

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 Events NSW.

The full program for the 57th Sydney Film Festival, 2-14 June 2010, will be announced on Wednesday 5 May 2010. The program guide will be included in The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday 7 May.

Jan Chapman AO – Producer
Jan has produced some of Australia's most critically successful and popular films – including AFI Best Film winner Lantana and the Academy Award® winning The Piano – and supported and nurtured the careers of some of our most talented filmmakers.

She studied at Sydney University before becoming involved in the Sydney Filmmakers Co-Op. She began her producing career at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and has since formed successful creative relationships with writers and directors including Jane Campion (Bright Star, Holy Smoke, The Piano, Two Friends), Cate Shortland (Somersault), Ray Lawrence (Lantana), Gillian Armstrong (The Last Days of Chez Nous), and Shirley Barrett (Love Serenade and Walk the Talk). Her films have won many awards including co-recipient of the Palme d’Or at Cannes (The Piano, 1993), Academy Awards® (The Piano, 1994), Camera d’Or at Cannes (Love Serenade 1996), over 35 Australian Film Institute Awards, and have had numerous screenings and honours across the globe at the worlds top film festivals including Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Cannes.

In 2002 Jan received an honorary Masters Degree in Film from the Australian Film Television & Radio School. She is also the recipient of the Centenary Medal and was awarded the Order of Australia in 2004. She has previously been honoured for her outstanding contribution to the Australian film industry as recipient of the Living Legend Award from Inside Film (2006), the Chauvel Award (2002), and the Raymond Longford Award from the Australian Film Institute (1997). In February 2009 she received the Don Dunstan Award from the Adelaide Film Festival.

John Cooper – Director Sundance Film Festival
John Cooper is currently the Director of the Sundance Film Festival. He has been a member of the Sundance Film Festival programming staff since 1989 and has served as the Director of Creative Development for Sundance Institute. 2010 was his first year as Festival Director after serving as the Director of Programming of the Sundance Film Festival since 2003.

As Festival Director Cooper overseas the creative direction of the festival and has final decision on all films and events. In recent years he took the lead in developing the Institute's online presence, overseeing design and developing groundbreaking experiments in the digital realm of content production and distribution, which have garnered two Webby Awards. He has also worked extensively with past Sundance Institute ventures such as the Sundance Institute at BAM, Global Shorts Project in Barcelona and the Sundance Film Festival in Tokyo.

About Sydney Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animations across the city at the State Theatre, George Street Event Cinemas, Dendy Opera Quays, the Art Gallery of NSW, and Sydney Opera House. The festival is a major event on the New South Wales cultural 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 Events NSW and offers a $60,000 cash prize. In 2009, celebrated Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer was Jury President with Oliver Hirschbiegel, Ted Kotcheff, Miranda Otto and Lone Scherfig as jury members.

The 57th Sydney Film Festival runs from Wednesday 2 June – Monday 14 June 2010.
For more information and other award winners visit