GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE CELEBRATED IN WINNER’S ROSTER AT 2021 SYDNEY SCIENCE FICTION FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS NIGHT.

Beniamino Cantena’s debut feature VERA DE VERDAD and hometown favourite Jonathan Adam’s charming short DAILY DRIVER have taken Best Film honours in their respective categories in The 2021 Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival, held last night at the Actors Centre Australia.

The films led an eclectic roster of winners selected from the 21 features and 78 short films made eligible as part of the festival's first ever foray into ‘hybrid programming’. The 4-day live event wrapped Sunday 14th, while the online program will run via the Xerb streaming platform until Thursday 25th.

An Italian/Chilean co-production that comes to Sydney via festival placements in Torino, Trieste, Brussels and Chuncheon, Vera De Verdad tells a deeply moving story of soul transference and shared destiny and stars Marcelo Alonso and Maria Gastini (both nominated in their respective lead acting categories).

The Best Film category is named in honour of the late production designer Ron Cobb, whose conceptual artistry is central to the iconic status of such works as Star Wars, Conan the Barbarian, Alien, Aliens, The Abyss, Total Recall and the TV series Firefly. Cobb married an Australian woman and lived in Sydney from the 1970s until his passing in September, 2020.

Other feature film winners included Ben Tedesco, crowned Best Actor for his self-directed performance in the lockdown time-loop drama NO TOMORROW; Peruvian actress Haydeé Cáceres for her wordless but wondrous lead turn in Aldo Salvini’s MOON HEART; and, exciting multi-hyphenate Carlson Young for her unique vision as director of the festival’s Opening Night film, THE BLAZING WORLD.

Also in contention for Director and Actor trophies, Daily Driver took top short film honours but ceded other categories to U.K. filmmaker Ryan Andrews (Best Director for HIRAETH) and French leading man Denis Hubleur (Best Actor for CAUSA SUI). Melbourne-based Jessica Tanner earned Best Actress for her blistering turn as the shell-shocked victim of cyclical domestic abuse in Andrew Jaksch’s controversy-courting drama TODAY.

The Audience Award winners were Eddie Arya’s RISEN, an ambitious alien invasion epic that filmed in Sydney and Canada over a four year period, and Spanish effects master Jorge Corpi’s CGI short-film thrill-ride, ELLIPSIS.

The 2021 Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival ‘Virtual Festival Experience’ will continue until November 25 here: https://xerb.tv/channel/sydneysciencefictionfilmfestival/virtual-events

The full list of award nominees and winners are:

BEST ACTOR in a SHORT FILM
Ryan Shrime, ORBITAL CHRISTMAS
(WINNER) Denis Hubleur, CAUSA SUI
Eric Whitten, PRISONER #1616
David Lee Huynh, SOLITARY
Andrew Scott, COGNITION
Callum McManis, DAILY DRIVER

BEST ACTRESS SHORT FILM
Akiva Pacey, GIRL ON THE MOON
Liz Cha, MARY’S ROOM
(WINNER) Jessica Tanner, TODAY
Olivia Ross, HIRAETH
Irene Fernández, FAITH
Lauren Grimson, MAYA

BEST ACTOR FEATURE FILM
Marcelo Alonso, VERA DE VERDAD
Tony Brockman, A GUIDE TO DATING AT THE END OF THE WORLD
(WINNER) Ben Tedesco, NO TOMORROW
Richard Rennie, CLAW
Tom England, REPEAT
Wang Ziyi, ANNULAR ECLIPSE

BEST ACTRESS FEATURE FILM
Kerith Atkinson, A GUIDE TO DATING AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Chynna Walker, CLAW
Carlson Young, THE BLAZING WORLD
Lois Temel, LIGHTSHIPS
(WINNER) Haydeé Cáceres, MOON HEART
Marta Gastini, VERA DE VERDAD

BEST DIRECTOR SHORT FILM
Camille Hollet-French, FREYA
Jonathan Adams, DAILY DRIVER
Carol Butrón, FAITH
(WINNER) Ryan Andrews, HIRAETH
Andrew Jaksch, TODAY
Oliver Crawford, EVOLUTIONARY

BEST DIRECTOR FEATURE FILM
Kelsey Egan, GLASSHOUSE
Aldo Salvini, MOON HEART
Eddie Arya, RISEN
Zhang Chi, ANNULAR ECLIPSE
(WINNER) Carlson Young, THE BLAZING WORLD
Beniamino Catena, VERA DE VERDAD

BEST SHORT FILM
MAYA
(WINNER) DAILY DRIVER (Producers: Jonathan Adams, Andrew Boland)
HIRAETH
FREYA
REMOTE VIEWING
EINSTEIN TELESCOPE

THE RON COBB AWARD - BEST FEATURE FILM
(WINNER) VERA DE VERDAD
MOON HEART
RISEN
ANNULAR ECLIPSE
GLASSHOUSE
THE BLAZING WORLD

AUDIENCE AWARD
Feature Film - RISEN (Producer: Eddie Arya)
Short Film - ELLIPSIS (Producer: Jorge Corpi)

The Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival patron and the organisation's Board Members will preside over the following three honours:

THE RON COBB BEST FEATURE FILM: The feature (over 40 mins) that best exemplifies the vision, values and ambitions of the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival. Named in honour of the late Ron Cobb, an adopted son of Sydney and iconic conceptual artist on such films as Dark Star, Alien, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Conan the Barbarian and The Abyss.

THE ADAM LEE MEMORIAL AWARD: Awarded to a figure in the science fiction/fantasy community who has exhibited a dedication to their life’s work and served the genre and its fanbase with the enthusiasm and passion. Adam Lee was a Melbourne film archivist and genre fan who passed away in July 2021.

BEST SHORT FILM: The short (under 40 mins) that best exemplifies the vision, values and ambitions of the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival.

BEST ACTOR (Feature Film) and BEST ACTOR (Short Film)

BEST ACTRESS (Feature Film) and BEST ACTRESS (Short Film)

BEST DIRECTOR (Feature Film) and BEST DIRECTOR (Short Film)

BEST ADVERTISEMENT/COMMERCIAL (Short Film)

BEST GAMING SHOWREEL.

SSFFF AUDIENCE AWARD: The most popular feature film as voted upon by Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival audiences.

Terms and Conditions:

1. All filmmakers/applicants or entity submitting a film to the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival (hereafter known as “SSFFF”), accept and agree to comply with the following Terms and Conditions. The person submitting a film to SSFFF is hereafter known as ‘You’ or ‘Your’.

2. We welcome films from any country in the world. If the film is in any other language other than English, the submission requires embedded English subtitles.

3. We only accept films that have been produced during and after 2020.

4. All submission fees are non-refundable. Please do not ask for a full fee waiver. Waivers are only offered to films invited to screen by SSFFF.

5. How to submit:
• Complete and submit Your online submission form.
• Pay relevant submission fee
You will receive confirmation of Your successful registration

6. Student and Young Filmmaker category entrants must be registered in a recognised film school, university, college, high school, middle school or elementary school with proof of ID from the institution to qualify for the relevant fees. You must supply the following:
• Your Student ID
• Name of school, college or university
• Name of Your Course
• Lecture or teacher
• Email of lecturer or teacher

7. FAN FILMS: SSFFF will accept fan films to this festival. You must have all permissions from the copyright holder and/or franchise holder and/or intellectual property owner and reveal those for the SSFFF upon request.

8. Filmmakers submitting must supply:
• Production credits/contact details
• 5 (five) photos for promotional purposes, (min. resolution 1024 x 576 pixels)
• Press Kit for promotional use by SSFFF
• Film Poster
• A trailer and/or scene clips from the film (ProRes 422 Full HD; 1920x1080 or higher).

9. A .DCP file on a formatted hard drive of the full film must be supplied for the SSFFF screening, unless an alternate format is otherwise agreed upon by SSFFF.

10. Once a film is accepted by SSFFF and programmed, it cannot be withdrawn from the festival line-up, other than at the discretion of the SSFFF.

11. The SSFFF undertake to make every effort to adhere to the published schedule program. However, SSFFF reserves the right to alter this schedule and venue at any time for any reason. SSFFF does not accept any liability for any costs claimed to arise as a result of a change in the scheduling.

12. Awards may be presented during the SSFFF, at the discretion of the organisers and the Jury Panel (where applicable).

13. By submitting a film, You grant us the right to screen Your film at one or more SSFFF event, copy and/or reproduce, modify, adapt and any part thereof, up to one (1) minute of the film submission. We may also use Your submission and any other promotional material/photo’s and/or information submitted by You to communicate it to the public in all media, including via our website and publicity materials, or to advertise and promote SSFFF event(s), its products and services, or all, and to showcase Your film.

14. You own the copyright to Your film as its author and represent and warrant that You have (and will continue to have during the duration of SSFFF and thereafter) all necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions we need to use Your film and You will provide evidence of such on our reasonable request.

15. We accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities or injury incurred or suffered by any person as a result of submitting a film to SSFFF and its curation and all related events.

16. You indemnify and hold harmless SSFFF from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening materials entered.

17. By submitting, You agree that you have read and understood these terms & conditions of entry.

18. The SSFFF reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify or otherwise alter these 'Terms and Conditions' at any time. Unless otherwise indicated, amendments will become effective immediately.

For further information contact SIMON FOSTER, Festival Director.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Fantastic festival! Thank you for allowing my film to be involved!

    November 2021
  • Tony Olsen

    There are three things you can count on with the Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival, and it’s director Simon Foster, in particular: great communication, administrative efficiency, but most importantly – a genuine passion for the genre!

    The crew of kiwi fantasy short ‘HOT WOOL’ are thrilled our Australian Premiere was streamed with the award-winning Peruvian feature film ‘El Corazon de la Luna’.

    We predict exponential festival growth and influence in seasons to come. Thank you, Simon.

    November 2021
  • Keith Barnfather

    What I call a "proper" film festival - run by people who really love their art. Proud to be included.

    November 2021
  • ryan Andrews

    Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival was at the top of our list for experience. From communication, marketing to the event Simon the festivals organise was A class. The festival program was quality Sci-fi and we felt part of something during the whole process. I think SSFFF is going to grow into something really special.

    November 2021
  • Jude The IV

    A great festival for upcoming directors. The staff were incredible and quite nice!

    November 2021