'Heartbeat' wins Sydney Film Festival

21-year-old director Dolan's film also won prize at Cannes

SYDNEY -- Youth beat out experience at the Sydney Film Festival Monday as 21-year-old, French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s “Heartbeat” won the AUS$60,000 ($51,000) Sydney Film Prize, in the festival’s official competition. 

Winning the prize here, Dolan’s bisexual romantic triangle went one better than the Regards Jeunes Award the film won in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival this year.

“With a witty and insightful script and strikingly playful use of cinematic language, the jury found 'Heartbeats' to be a boldly truthful and compassionate observation of one of the great crippling foibles of human nature – the hopeless crush,” jury president Jan Chapman said. 

The jury also gave honorable mentions to Australian feature “Wasted on The Young” from first-time director Ben C. Lucas, and Berlin Film Festival’s winner for outstanding artistic achievement, “How I Ended This Summer."

A total of 12 features screened in competition during the festival's 12 days including Cannes Palme D’or winner “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” Australian- French co production “The Tree,” U.K. black comedy “Four Lions” and Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime."  

“In its third year the official competition has further elevated the profile of bold, risk-taking filmmaking and the festival is very grateful to the jury for their dynamism and care in determining the winner of the prize this year," festival director Clare Stewart said.
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