Sydney Film Festival Names Competition Jury

Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood' is one of 12 films competing for the Sydney Film Prize

Four industry figures from Cananda, South Africa, South Korea and Australia will join jury president Rachel Perkins to award the $60,000 Sydney Film Prize.

SYDNEY -- The Sydney Film Festival has spread its net wide in appointing the jury for the seventh annual Sydney Film Prize with representatives from Canada, South Africa and South Korea joining president Rachel Perkins and her fellow Australian, actress Rachael Blake, on the jury.

Film critic Shelly Kraicer (Canada), producer Oh Jung-wan (South Korea) and director Khalo Matabane (South Africa), with Perkins and Blake, will award the $60,000 cash prize fro the best film in this year’s official competition, looking for the most courageous, audacious and cutting-edge film from the 12 features selected. The winning film is announced on June 15.

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“Sydney Film Festival will always be special to me,” said SFF jury president Perkins. “I screened the first movie I directed at the festival almost 20 years ago and I can still remember the terror of watching the film in front of its first real audience. Anyone who even completes a movie deserves an award in my view, as they are so challenging to deliver, let alone make great. How on earth my fellow jurors and I will decide who gets the prize is yet to be seen, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”

SFF's 2014 competition lineup includes David Michod’s The Rover, which recently premiered at Cannes, along with Black Coal, Thin Ice, the 2014 Berlinale Golden Bear winner for best film, family drama Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater and starring Ethan Hawke, and Bong Joon-ho’s apocalyptic sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer, winner of South Korea’s Blue Dragon award for best director.

“The official competition selection celebrates film that pushes the boundaries of the art form,” added SFF director Nashen Moodley. “This year's selection offers some true surprises, and I look forward to the audience reactions to these amazing films.”

The 61st Sydney Film Festival runs from June 4-15.