• Still from 'Arabian Nights'. (Arabian Nights film)Source: Arabian Nights film
The Sydney Film Festival has wrapped up by awarding the Sydney Film Prize to Miguel Gomes' six-hour epic 'Arabian Nights'.
Reuters, SBS Movies

15 Jun 2015 - 4:28 PM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2015 - 4:28 PM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) The three part, six-hour film, which uses fiction to retell true stories, examines Portugal's social and financial woes through the perspective of a contemporary Scheherazade figure.

It had its premiere in the Directors Fortnight section of Cannes last month.

The Sydney competition jury, head by producer Liz Watts, said that its decision was unanimous. Other jurors included Japanese program consultant Hiromi Aihara, Australian screenwriter Andrew Bovell, Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang, and the Austrian Film Commission's Martin Schweighofer comprised the full Festival jury.

The jury described Arabian Nights as "a film of ambition and political vision which confronts, frustrates, and spellbinds - and ultimately reminds us that cinema continues to be a powerful vehicle to examine the human condition." The prize is worth $62,000.

Arabian Nights was in official competition for the Sydney Film Prize with 12 movies in the festival.

The closing night gala featured the world premiere screening of Neil Armfield's Holding the Man, and was held at the State Theatre.

Journalist Michael Ware and two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag were awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, a $10,000 cash prize, for Only the Dead; with a special mention going to The Lost Aviator, directed by Andrew Lancaster.

The Event Cinema Australian Short Screenplay Award was awarded to Bluey, written and directed by Darlene Johnson, who received an $5,000 cash prize.

Read reviews and interviews from the 2015 Sydney Film Festival

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