Alps wins top prize at Sydney fest

MUMBAI: A Greek drama Alps has won Sydney Film Festival (SFF)?s top award. It beat out eleven other films including two Australian productions Dead Europe and Lore. The film, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos won the SFF Official Competition prize, worth $60,000.

The film is said to be about a director?s method for dealing with a relationship break-up. It won him the best Australian documentary award.

Said festival?s jury Rachel Ward, ?Following a secret club whose members are paid to act as replacements for the recently deceased, Alps melds pathos, black humour and taut menace in a film that is at once challenging and highly rewarding. A finely calibrated, absurdist study of power and identity, Alps is intelligent, uniquely emotive filmmaking from an important new voice in Greek cinema."

"I never expected such a nice wakeup call today. We are all extremely happy. I want to thank the Jury and the Festival and once again all the people who made the film possible," observed Lanthimos said from Greece.

Also in competition were films like Beasts of the Southern Wild, Caeser Must Die, The King of Pigs, Monsieur Lazhar, Neighbouring Sounds, On the Road and Today.

Director Paul Gallasch won the Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize and $10,000 for his film Killing Anna. The documentary follows the director as he deals with a break-up from his ex-girlfriend Anna by holding a funeral for her, despite her being alive.

A short film Yardbird that represented Australia recently at Cannes won Dendy?s Live Action Short Award and the $5000 prize. The film, directed by Michael Spiccia, is the story of a young teenage girl who takes matters into her own hands when a trio of teens terrorise her father?s car junkyard.

Mirrah Foulkes, writer and director of Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke won the Rouben Mamoulian Award for best direction and $5000 while the Yoram Gross Animation Award went to The Maker that is about a creature which must race against time to create the next incarnation of its kind.

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