’Mother of All Lies’ wins top prize – Variety


The Mother of All Lies, a docu-drama exploring the secrets of Morocco’s 1981 bread riots, was named best film at the Sydney Film Festival on Sunday.

The jury, headed by Anurag Kashyap, called the film directed by Azme El Moudir „bold, sophisticated and audacious”. It offered a cash prize of A$60,000 ($41,100) ahead of the Australian premiere screening of „Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” at the State Theatre.

The film, which uses puppet-like figures, recently premiered at Un Certain Regard in Cannes, where it won the category’s Best Director prize. „Combining evidence from public materials that rarely exist with private family memory, the film reconstructs the history of the state, family and individual on three different levels,” said actor Mia Wasikowska (Australia), a judge for film curator Kashyap. Journalist Dorothy Wenner (Germany), writer and director Larissa Behrendt (Australia) and filmmaker Visakesa Chandrasekharam (Australia – Sri Lanka).

The biggest prize pool in Sydney Film Festival history was shared by Australian filmmakers Derrick Lynch and Matthew Thorne, who were awarded the $20,000 cash prize for the Documentary Australia Awards for „Marunga Tjalatjunu” (aka „Dipped in Black”). , on a road trip to his country roots (Abdulla), memories of his childhood return.

The recipient of the 2022 A$40,000 Sustainable Future Award, the world’s largest environmental film prize, is Indian director Sarvnik Kaur for “Against the Tide,” an intimate documentary about two fishermen from Mumbai’s tribal Koli community confronting the impact. A changing environment.

Short films also received five awards. AFTRS Craft Award for Best Trainer (A$7,000 cash prize) “What’s In a Name?” The screenplay was credited to writers Kalu Oji, Faro Musotza and Makwaya Masudi. The inaugural Cinemas Rising Talent Award was presented to Robin Liu, lead actor of „The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man” with a cash prize of A$7,000.

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The A$5,000 Yoram Gross Animation Award went to „Teacups” directed by Alec Green and Finbar Watson. The A$7,000 Dandy Live Action Short Award was awarded to „The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man” directed by David Ma. The A$7,000 Reuben Mamoulian Award for Best Director went to Sophie Somerville, director of „Linda 4 Eva”.

“This year’s festival was a resounding success with more than 400 film screenings, special events and talks, with many film fans returning to theaters in 2023. This year we presented an incredible 242 films from around the world, and with over 100 sold-out sessions, audiences were eager to attend the festivals,” said Sydney Film Festival CEO Francis Wallace.

The festival, which ran from June 7 to 18, will now hit the road. As part of a traveling film festival until October 2023, selections will be screened in seven locations in New South Wales, including Newcastle, Orange, Port Macquarie and Chatel.

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