The Sydney Film Festival has revealed that award-winning Australian director Gillian Armstrong will be Jury President for its inaugural Official Competition.
The 55th Sydney Film Festival (4–22 June) will award the $60,000 Sydney Film Prize on Monday 16 June 2008 at Sydney Opera House. Sydney Film Festival is Australia‘s first film festival to have a FIAPF-accredited Official Competition.
NSW Minister Hon. Linda Burney MP announced that award-winning Australian director Gillian Armstrong will be Jury President, and will be joined by Iranian director/writer/producer Majid Majidi and Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi.
The two remaining Jury members, comprising one Australian and one international film industry figure, will be announced in the lead-up to the festival.
Sydney Film Festival Executive Director Clare Stewart, said today from Cannes, “Gillian Armstrong, Majid Majidi and Nansun Shi are world-class filmmakers who bring a compelling range of sensibilities and expertise to the Jury, and who are well placed to reward audacious, cutting-edge and courageous filmmaking.”
The Official Competition is supported by the New South Wales government, which has pledged $1.8 million over four years in September 2007. The $60,000 Sydney Film Prize is generously provided by SFF’s Principal sponsor, Hunter Hall Investment Management along with a unique award created by Australia’s Dinosaur Designs.
Chairman of Hunter Hall, Peter Hall said from Sydney today, “I am delighted that Gillian Armstrong will be the inaugural Jury President for the Sydney Film Festival Prize. Gillian was part of the first wave of Australia’s internationally successful directors and the first Australian woman to direct a fiction feature film since the 1930s.”
All Jury members will attend Sydney Film Festival in June.