Alps wins Sydney Film Festival
by Boyd van Hoeij
19/06/2012 - There was election news in the Greek film world as well this weekend as Yorgos Lanthimos’s third feature, Alps [trailer], was chosen as Best Feature at the Sydney Film Festival in Australia. The win comes with a monetary award of AUS$60,000 for the director.
Lanthimos’s film, which had its world premiere in Venice last year, was one of several European films in the Sydney competition. Other 'Old Continent' titles vying for the top prize included Berlinale winner Caesar Must Die [trailer, film focus] from the Taviani brothers, French-produced Senegalese film Today by Alain Gomis and Tabu by Portugal’s Miguel Gomes.
The two Australian films in competition also had strong European accents. The second feature of Somersault director Cate Shortland, Lore, is a German-language film starring stunning newcomer Saskia Rosendahl that is set right after the end of WWII in Germany and looks at a Nazi daughter’s coming-of-age. The film was co-produced by German outfit Rohfilm GmbH and UK-based Edge City Films.
Also set in Europe was Tony Krawitz’s Dead Europe. The film follows the Australian-born son of Greek immigrants as he travels to Europe for the first time and visits his ancestral Greece as well as Paris and Budapest. British company See-Saw Films co-produced.
International competition entries include Indian gang epic Gangs of Wasseypur; Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar from Quebec; South Korean animated entry King of Pigs, a film about school bullying and Neighbouring Sounds, a Brazilian film that premiered in the Tiger Competition in Rotterdam.
The 2012 edition was its first under new festival director Nashen Moodley, previously director of the Durban Film Festival in his native South Africa. He replaced Claire Stewart, who now heads the BFI.