Psychological-horror Snowtown has won the audience award for best feature film at the BigPond Adelaide Film Festival 2011.

The film's world premiere was held at last month's festival, which is held in the city where the macarbe serial killings that inspired the film were committed.

The film's director, Justin Kurzel, said it was very emotional and nerve racking having the film played at the festival.

"This award means an enormous amount to us and I would like to thank Katrina [Sedgwick, festival director], the festival and the audiences for their incredible support," he said in a statement.

The festival was also an investor in Snowtown, which will be released by Madman Entertainment on May 19. The film explores the relationship between 16-year-old Jamie Vlassakis and serial killer John Bunting.

Senna was also voted the Best Documentary in the audience awards while The Palace was voted the Best Short. Meanwhile, Incendies won the Ten Evening News International Award for Best Feature Film and Two won  the F4 Award for Outstanding New Documentary Talent.

The festival said 30 sessions were sold out in 2011 and total audience numbers increased by 22  per cent. Total box office revenue increase by 16 per cent compared to the last festival in 2009.

BAFF chairman, Cheryl Bart, said this year’s festival had generated an overwhelming response to new Australian works. There were 48 Australian films screened at the festival among the the 150 films, including ten new Australian features.

"It’s particularly pleasing to see how many South Australian filmmakers have screened their work to acclaim and there is a strong sense of a new generation of significant talent here," she said in a statement. 

The BigPond Adelaide Film Festival paid for Brendan Swift’s return flights from Sydney to Adelaide and six nights accommodation at the Hilton Hotel.

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