Seven Australian films top Sydney Film Festival Audience Awards

The Sydney Film Festival has announced the Audience Awards, the list of the audience’s top five voted features and documentaries. Winner for best narrative feature went to Sequin in a Blue Room directed by Samuel Van Grinsven and winner for best documentary went to Martha: A Picture Story directed by Selina Miles.

Coming in at second was Ben Lawrence’s Hearts and Bones while Imogen McCluskey’s micro-budget debut Suburban Wildlife came in at third spot.

“The people have spoken – and it is with great pleasure that the Festival announces Sequin in a Blue Room and Martha: A Picture Story as the winners of the 2019 Audience Award. The fact that the majority of the top-voted titles were local productions gives a great insight into our collective appetite for excellent Australian storytelling,” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said.

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Sequin in a Blue Room is a very highly-accomplished film, particularly as the debut feature of young Australian filmmaker Samuel van Grinsven,” he said. “This coming-of-age tale about a high schooler whose hook-up app obsession sends him down a dangerous path is a breath of fresh air from the independent Australian queer film scene.”

“Delving into a story beyond our own borders, Martha: A Picture Story is a wonderful Australian production about an unexpected icon of New York’s vivid graffiti scene – one of the biggest art movements in history,” he said.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Top Five
1. Sequin in a Blue Room, directed by Samuel Van Grinsven (Australia)
2. Hearts and Bones, directed by Ben Lawrence (Australia)
3. Suburban Wildlife, directed by Imogen McCluskey (Australia)
4. Never Look Away, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (Germany)
5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire, directed by Céline Sciamma (France)

The Audience Award for Best Documentary Top Five
1. Martha: A Picture Story, directed by Selina Miles (Australia)
2. The Final Quarter, directed by Ian Darling (Australia)
3. She Who Must Be Obeyed Love, directed by Erica Glynn (Australia) – also the winner of the 2019 Documentary Australia Foundation Award
4. Sanctuary, directed by Kaye Harrison (Australia)
5. Honeyland, directed by Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska (North Macedonia)

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