Sundance Film Festival

Surprise leader of Sydney Film Festival 2017: Hungary’s On Body And Soul

A quirky Hungarian intrigue about two slaughterhouse workers who tumble in adore has surprisingly won the $60,000 Sydney Film Festival competition.  

While the racially-charged American documentary I Am Not Your Negro was widely considered the approaching winner, the jury went for Hungarian writer-director Ildiko Enyedi’s​ On Body And Soul.

She became the first lady executive to win in the 10-year story of the competition for “courageous, brazen and slicing edge” cinema.

The farcical film, centring on two people who work in an abattoir outside Budapest and share the same dreams at night, has formerly won the tip esteem at the Berlin Film Festival. 

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Jury boss Margaret Pomeranz​ called On Body And Soul “graceful, totalled and profoundly compassionate”. 

“It’s a film that shows us that even in this in this divided universe we are capable of pity the same dreams; that among the distortion of a slaughterhouse, kindness, pliability can be found,” she said.

Accepting the award, Enyedi sheepishly certified she had spent the day “in deep melancholy” desiring she had not won.

“It was such an amazing, amazing, clever competition,” she said. “It’s noble that such a film can pierce so many people. It gives me so much wish in cinema and in tellurian communication.”

The festival announced the awards before the shutting night screening of the South Korean comic thriller Okja on Sunday. 

The $10,000 esteem for best Australian documentary went to Sascha Ettinger Epstein’s​ The Pink House, about a famous Kalgoorlie brothel that is underneath hazard from inexpensive internet rivals. 

The jury praised the executive for “a deeply personal and intimate” film, handling a theme that could have been voyeuristic with “affection and grace”.

A gay Epstein was astounded to win, saying: “It’s such a weird, dim film, we just can’t trust it appealed to anybody.”

After hardly flourishing a financial predicament that led to it being scaled back in 2009, the festival has now increasing sheet sales for the eighth year in a row. 

Chief executive Leigh Small pronounced paid assemblage was approaching to be 185,000 – up 6 per cent on last year – after the festival added an additional cinema in the Randwick Ritz and more sessions at Dendy Newtown. 

While assemblage at giveaway events was “slightly down”, Small pronounced that was due to the miss of a video art eventuality at CarriageWorks this year. 

But a pull to move more filmmakers to speak about their work at the festival has proven renouned with audiences. 

“Our goal is common experience,” Small said. 

Director Nashen Moodley’s​ sixth festival was quite clever for documentaries, led by Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, a peppery take on competition in America, and Laura Poitras’ Risk, a divulgence look at Julian Assange​.

Among many sharp-witted “only at the festival” practice were world premieres for David Wenham’s walk-around-Sydney initial play Ellipsis and Kriv Stenders’ cocktail documentary The Go-Betweens: Right Here

But shutting weekend was dominated by two actresses at very different stages of their careers – little-known Australian Danielle Macdonald and acclaimed English maestro Vanessa Redgrave.

Macdonald, 26, stars as an determined New Jersey rapper in the American film Patti Cake$, a full-throttle blast of musical, comic and thespian appetite that lived up to the hype from the Sundance Film Festival.

The Clareville-raised singer is exceptional, bringing heart, regard and rapping skill, in a severe role. 

While artless and almost bashful responding questions on stage, Macdonald told the State Theatre assembly she had been expel in two new cinema – the comic play Dumplin’, personification an doubtful beauty manifestation competitor conflicting Jennifer Aniston, then Skin, about the emancipation of an infamous white supremacist played by Jamie Bell.  

Redgrave, 80, was given a station acclaim when she introduced Sea Sorrow, a deeply personal and elegant take on the interloper predicament in Europe that is her entrance as a director. 

Showing she has mislaid nothing of her fire, the longtime domestic romantic pronounced it was “hugely, hugely urgent” that governments around the universe approve with general laws and assistance refugees, generally children.

“The Australian supervision is illegal, not the refugees,” Redgrave said. “So is every singular government, including the British government, in Europe.”

In other awards, Indigenous actor, author and executive Leah Purcell won the $10,000 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film prize for her trailblazing work that includes the strike play The Drover’s Wife.

In the Dendy brief film awards, Daniel Agdag’s​ Lost Property Office won both best animation and the Rouben Mamoulian​ award for best director. 

Best live-action short went to Mirene Igwabi’s​ Adele, with Michael Cusack’s After All winning best screenplay. 

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