The Sydney Film Festival has been and gone for another year. A total of 157 films from 51 countries were shown in 225 sessions over 12 days. The weather was unusually cold and wet, but that did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of film lovers in Sydney. Big crowds and long queues were seen at every screening venue, and one could hear people talking and discussing films literally everywhere.
Under the leadership of new Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, this year's Festival has closed on a record-breaking note, becoming the most highly attended Sydney Film Festival to date. Remarkably, almost half of the sessions were over 90% full. The wonderful program of films that people really wanted to see clearly played an important part in this. The newly launched Festival Hub (managed by Mathieu Ravier), where filmgoers could relax and see live performances, was also a success with over 8,000 visits. Plus the publicity team (headed by Sophie Hodges) had done a great job promoting the Festival. The result of all of the organizers' hard work was that a lot of people wanted to be a part of the Festival.
A number of prizes were awarded during the Festival, and the Official Competition winners were:
- Official Competition Winner: Alps
- Australian Documentary Prize: Killing Anna
- Best Live Action Short: Yardbird
- Best Australian Live Action Short: Dumpy Goes to the Big Smoke
- Best Australian Animated Short: The Maker
The Audience Award winners were:
- Best Narrative Feature: Monsieur Lazhar
- Best Documentary: Death of a Japanese Salesman
And my personal favorites were:
- Favorite Narrative Feature: Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Favorite Documentary: Woody Allen: A Documentary
- Favorite Director: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Favorite Screenplay: Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
- Favorite Quote: "The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. Have one piece bust, even the smallest piece, the entire universe will get busted...I see everything that made me, flying around in invisible pieces. I see that I'm a little piece of a big, big universe." - Hushpuppy, Beasts of the Southern Wild
It has been over a week since the 2012 Sydney Film Festival officially closed, but I am still missing all the great films and wonderful festival buzz. At the same time, I am already eagerly anticipating next year's Festival. It will be the 60th anniversary of the great event, which means Mr Moodley and his team will almost certainly be putting in extra efforts to make it an absolutely spectacular and unforgettable event. So it looks to be another dazzling Sydney Film Festival in 2013!
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