Where did the time go? Sydney Film Festival’s film prize will turn ten in 2017, and to mark the occasion all nine previous winners of the prize are getting an encore screening ahead of the festival in June.
Starting on April 4, Golden Age Cinema will screen one of the nine films every Tuesday for ten weeks (2015’s winner, Arabian Nights, is an epic three-parter that will screen over two weeks).
The cash prize was started in 2007 to bring a competitive side to SFF and boost its standing on the world film festival circuit. Looking back, the winners of the Sydney Film Prize (judged by local and international film luminaries) have included some landmark movies.
Just ten years ago, Michael Fassbender wasn’t a thing, and Steve McQueen was the name of a dead American movie star. Then came Hunger, British director McQueen's debut – a searing portrayal of the Maze Prison Hunger strikes, which took out the inaugural Sydney Film Prize and launched Fassbender into international stardom.
Just nine years ago, Tom Hardy wasn’t a thing, but then came Bronson, from Dutch provocateur Nicolas Winding Refn. Refn would go on to win the prize a second time with Only God Forgives, the ultra-violent Ryan Gosling thriller set in Bangkok.
Arguably the biggest Iranian movie of all time, A Separation by Asghar Farhadi, was another worthy winner, as was the Dardenne Brothers’ social realist drama starring Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night. Offbeat winners have included the whimsical Heartbeats from Canada’s Xavier Dolan and Alps by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos (an Oscar nominee this year for Lobster).
Last year’s winner was Aquarius, from Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho, about a retired music critic who refuses to sell her apartment to rapacious developers.
Tickets to these screening are on sale from 3pm, Tuesday March 21.