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  • Writer's pictureKris Meester

Sydney World Film Festival Award Winners Of Fourteenth Edition Announced

June 6, 2023 - Yesterday marked the closing night of another great and well-attended edition of the Sydney World Film Festival. The festival would like to thank all of our guests for coming out and enjoying four evenings of independent international and local cinema, hosted by film industry veteran John Samaha. The official selection featured 42 wonderful independent films, carefully selected out of over fifteen hundred submissions from all over the world. (This year's new online section, the OFF ON Selection, remains available for streaming until 11 June, more info on the website:

Sydney World Film Festival is pleased to share with you today the 2023 edition award winners, chosen by the jury panel:

Best Narrative Feature Film: A PERFECT DAY FOR CARIBOU (USA) BY JEFF RUTHERFORD. “An estranged father and son named Herman and Nate spend a perilous day together in the high desert looking for family and stumbling through their heartaches”

Best Narrative Short Film: DISUSED (SWEDEN) BY SUSANNE WALSTRÖM, ESTER HOLMÉN. “A young woman suffers a sudden loss. Isolated from the outside world in a barren desert landscape, she processes her experience to understand and accept her feelings.”

Best Documentary Feature Film: SILENT BEAUTY (USA) BY JASMIN MARA LÓPEZ. “A personal documentary that follows the director as she works to heal from child sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her grandfather almost thirty years ago. In the process of sharing her own trauma with her large family, Jasmin learns that generations of children in her family were victims of the same abuse. A film about confronting and accepting difficult truths while finding beauty in the process.”

Best Documentary Short Film: THE PLEASURE IN PAIN (UK) BY CURTIS BLAIR. “An arthouse documentary short following key figures of the London kink scene on an exploration into BDSM and the notorious fetish event Klub Verboten. The film touches upon themes of psychology, neurodiversity, trauma, LGBTQ+ rights and black representation.”

Best Animated Film: SECANT (USA) BY TIMOTHY DAVID ORME. “Animated music video for Lanier Sammons.”

Best Experimental Film: THE DREAM MACHINE (FRANCE) BY MICHAEL WILLIAM WEST. “A woman experiments with a Dream Machine, hoping to escape trouble. Within the light and dark of the machine, violent emotions awaken.”

Best Music Video: UTE (POLAND) BY MACIEJ PISAREK. “Desert, voices, mystery... Music video from a debut, independent album "Now The Grass Grows Through My Skin" by Anchey.”

Best Super Short Film: TO DO (UK) BY SAUL PANKHURST. “A reflection on the Self Improvement Industry, explored through the filmmaker’s attempts to participate in a guided pseudo-mindfulness exercise.”

Best Australian Film: AMISSA ANIMA (AUSTRALIA) BY TATIANA DOROSHENKO. “Four boys survive on the seedy night streets of St Kilda’s red-light district in Australia in the 1980’s (based on true events).”

Congratulations to all!

The Sydney World Film Festival team would also like to thank Palace Cinemas and Tarkovski Agency for their amazing continued support.

A new Call for Entries for Sydney World Film Festival 2024 has been launched on FilmFreeway, submit your film now:


The Sydney World Film Festival was launched in 2015 as an online film festival. The online environment and the technology that made it possible was critical to the success of myriad filmmakers whose works would probably never have been screened at conventional festivals. Having a film selected at the festival was about industry prestige since the format only allowed private screenings for an international jury. In 2018, this distinguished festival entered a new era with its first brick-and-mortar event. Free and open to the public for the first time, this allowed filmmakers to witness the impact of their films on a live audience.

Inspired by the grand screening rooms of the past and born of today’s interconnected world, SWFF has succeeded in finding its unique voice within the already bustling film festival scene in Australia's largest city. It attracts young independent filmmakers not only for its selection of films, but also for its networking opportunities.

The festival discovers, supports and develops new talent in filmmaking, providing a platform for emerging and established filmmakers from around the world. Recognising the important role independent films have in the history of filmmaking, storytelling, and culture, SWFF wants to help empower the next generation of artists. Sydney World Film Festival is an annual event showcasing independent films with an edge.


Source: Sydney World Film Festival, 05/06/2023

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