Sydney Festival: Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled,’ Raoul Peck’s ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Line Up for Competition

Ben Rothstein/Focus Features
'The Beguiled'

Michael Haneke’s ‘Happy End’ and Aki Kaurismaki’s ‘The Other Side of Hope’ are amongst the 12 films competing for the 10th Sydney Film Prize.

Hot on the heels of their upcoming world premieres at Cannes, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled and Michael Haneke’s Happy End will compete for the Sydney Film Festival’s top prize. 

Festival director Nashen Moodley announced the full lineup Wednesday for the10th-anniversary edition of the SFF, with Coppola's and Haneke's films up against local hopes: Warwick Thornton’s documentary, We Don’t Need a Map — the opening night film — and celebrated Australian theater director Benedict Andrews’ debut feature Una, starring Ben Mendelsohn. All are competing for the $44,000 (AUS$60,000) Sydney Film Prize.

Also screening in Competition are new works from acclaimed directors, Alain Gomis (Felicite), Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro), Nana & Simon (My Happy Family), Ildiko Enyedi (On Body and Soul), Aki Kaurismaki (The Other Side of Hope) and Amat Escalante (The Untamed). Debut features from groundbreaking Afghan woman director Shahrbanoo Sadat (Wolf and Sheep) and Singapore’s Kirsten Tan (Pop Aye) round out the 12 competition titles.

The Sydney Film Prize jury for 2017 includes Australian producer Rosemary Blight, Nepali director Deepak Rauniyar, Canadian film maker Ann Marie Fleming, Australian critic Margaret Pomeranz and Korean production and distribution executive Kini S. Kim.

The winner of the Sydney Film Prize will be announced June 18, the festival’s closing night. Korean master Bong Joon-ho’s Okja will be the closing night film, one of 15 big-ticket features that will have their world or Australian premieres in Special Presentations at the venerable State Theatre.

French comedy, Madame, from writer-director Amanda Sthers and starring Toni Colette and Harvey Keitel, has its world premiere as per the Special Presentations lineup. Also screening in Special Presentations are local Muslim-centric comedy Ali’s Wedding, David Lowery's A Ghost Story, Terence Malick’s Song to Song and pay TV company Foxtel’s latest foray into feature film production, Australia Day, starring Bryan Brown.

British veteran Vanessa Redgrave will be a guest of the festival, introducing her directorial debut, Sea Sorrow, while Sundance breakout Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$ will also screen.

In addition, the second season of ABCTV and Sundance TV drama Cleverman will premiere in the Box Sets section of the festival.

In total, 288 films from 59 countries will make up the 65th edition of the Sydney Film Festival, which runs June 7-18.

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