Press release from The Lantern Group

The coveted principal prize at Cannes Film Festival – the Palme d'Or – has been awarded to Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by the Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The film’s Australian premiere in Sydney Film Festival’s Official Competition, on Wednesday 9 June 6.30pm at the State Theatre will be the first festival screening in the world following it’s win at Cannes.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, the lead actress of the Cannes closing film, The Tree which also screens in SFF Official Competition, presented the award to Apichatpong Weerasethakul last night. He declared: “This Palme is very important for the history of Thailand and the Thai people.” He thanked, “the spirits and ghosts of Thailand” who allowed him to be where he was today, as well as his parents, who, 30 years ago took him to a small cinema.

Australian short film director Ariel Kleiman’s Deeper Than Yesterday was awarded Kodak Discovery Award for Best Short Film at Critics’ Week in Cannes. Deeper Than Yesterday is one of seven films in the running for Best Live Action Short Film in SFF’s Dendy Awards for Australian Short films and screens Friday 11 June 7pm at Event Cinemas George Street.

“We congratulate the creative teams behind Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Deeper Than Yesterday on their success at Cannes” said SFF Festival Director Clare Stewart, speaking from Sydney today. “Their respective wins in Cannes mean that the contest in SFF’s Official Competition and Dendy Awards for Australian Short films just got a whole lot hotter!”

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Suffering from kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has retreated to the countryside accompanied by relatives and his care-giver. At dinner one night, during the course of ordinary conversation, the ghost of his dead wife appears and his long-lost son returns as a monkey spirit.
Screens: Wednesday 9 June 6.30pm; Thursday 10 June 10am The State Theatre

Deeper Than Yesterday – This original drama focuses on a group of submariners who’ve been underwater for months and whose humanity is beginning to fracture.
Screens: Friday 11 June 7pm with Cane Toads: The Conquest and Sunday 13 June 4.15pm in Dendy Awards Finalists, both at Event Cinemas George Street.

SFF Official Competition
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 Sydney Film Prize offers Australia’s richest cash prize for film of $60,000, and now enters its third year, cementing its prestigious position on the international film festival stage.

The festival’s Official Competition partner is the NSW Government through Events NSW.

The 2010 Official Competition Jury will be lead by Australian producer Jan Chapman, who will be joined on the jury by Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper and visionary directors Shirley Barrett (director of Opening Night film South Solitary) and Yonfan (director of Prince of Tears). The final jury member will be announced prior to the festival.

A Sydney Film Prize luncheon will be hosted at the Wharf Restaurant, Walsh Bay and the winning film will be presented with the Dinosaur Design’s trophy for the Sydney Film Prize on Closing Night (Public Holiday Monday 14 June).

Official Competition Films

• Four Lions, Dir Christopher Morris – Australian Premiere
• Heartbeats, Dir-Scr Xavier Dolan – Australian Premiere / Un Certain Regard, Cannes 2010
• How I Ended This Summer, Dir-Scr Alexej Popogrebski – Australian Premiere / Winner Best Actor (shared) Outstanding Artistic Achievement (camera), Berlin Film Festival 2010
• If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle, Dir Florin Serban – Australian Premiere / Winner Grand Jury Prize, Berlin Film Festival 2010
• The Killer Inside Me, Dir Michael Winterbottom – Australian Premiere
• Life During Wartime, Dir-Scr Todd Solondz – Australian Premiere / Winner, Best Screenplay, Venice 2009
• Lola, Dir Brillante Mendoza – Australian Premiere / Winner Best Film Dubai and Miami International Film Festivals
• Moloch Tropical, Dir- Prod Raoul Peck – Australian Premiere
• The Tree, Dir-Scr Julie Bertucelli – Australian Premiere / Closing Night Film, Cannes 2010
• Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Dir-Scr Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Australian Premiere / Official Competition, Cannes 2010
• Wasted on the Young, Dir-Scr Ben C. Lucas – World Premiere
• Women Without Men, Dir Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari – Australian Premiere / Winner, Best Director, Venice 2009

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.

The nominees are:
Live Action:
1. Bad Language – Dir-Scr-Prod: Viron Papadopoulos
2. Deeper Than Yesterday – Dir-Scr: Ariel Kleiman
3. Glenn Owen Dodds – Dir: Frazer Bailey
4. The Kiss – Dir-Scr: Ashlee Page
5. A Parachute Falling in Siberia – Dir: Ian Meadows
6. Pop – Dir-Scr: Tobias Anderson
7. Suburbia – Dir-Scr: Antonio Oreña-Barlin
1. The Adjustable Cosmos – Dir Adam Duncan
2. The Lost Thing – Dir Shaun Tan, Andrew Ruhemann
3. How to Lose Weight in 60 Seconds – Dir Dave Carter


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