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Doc.Sydney 2021

Successful First Run for Doc.Sydney Documentary Film Festival:


Tuesday 13 April 2021 marked the inaugural edition of Doc.Sydney, a new annual documentary film festival that features work from around the world by up and coming artists, showcasing innovative independent cinema that invites viewers to learn and ponder. We are pleased to announce this first edition was a success. We screened to a full house at Palace Central in Chippendale, home to new release films, international and local art-house cinema.


This year's program included eleven wonderful short documentary films hailing from the U.K, France, Germany, Russia, Canada, the U.S, and Hong Kong. We are happy to share with you today the 2021 Doc.Sydney award winners.


The award for Best Feature Documentary Film went to 'Goryanki' (Russia) by Maryam Makhieva. 'Goryanki' tells a story about several women living in the North Caucasus. The movie raises the topic of feminism, examines the context of national traditions and religion through the prism of stories of their lives. Despite everything, they found the strength and courage to become successful and outstanding people.


'Prisoner No. I' (United Kingdom) by Daniel Watt was given the prize for Best Short Documentary Film. Hanka Świderska is a hoarder and anorexic. She attributes her physical and mental illness to her father's time in Auschwitz. This short, made by her son, examines this connection and is a search for a record of Hanka's father outside the framework of his time in the concentration camp.


Best Experimental Documentary Film was awarded to 'Lumen' (Canada) by Sarah Seené. 'Lumen' (meaning light in Latin) is a sensorial film shot in Super 8 that paints a portrait of an adolescent with albinism. The hypersensitivity that this genetic condition engenders and the lack of pigmentation in her skin and eyes lend her an extraordinary aura. This film echoes a series of photographs entitled Fovea, which takes as its subject visually impaired young people.


And last but not least, Best Extreme Short Documentary Film was given to 'Grandma Kitty's Ping Pong' (United States) by Sage Bennett. A grandmother's lifelong dreams of playing ping pong with the best of the best are realised.


Doc.Sydney is part of Doc.World, a global network of Documentary Film Festivals, with festivals in Sydney, Berlin; London and Ghent, and a new upcoming festival in Boston. As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, these documentary festivals will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers.


The inaugural edition of Doc.Sydney marks the start of a promising new story. A new Call for Entries for Doc.Sydney 2022 has been launched on FilmFreeway, submit your film now:


We'd like to thank Palace Cinemas and The Bigger Screen for their amazing support.


See you next year!

Official selection:

Lumen (Canada) by Sarah Seené

American Express (Germany) by Häly Heinecker

Forgive And Not To Forgive (Hong Kong) by Elysa Wendi

Hotel Stadt Altona (Germany) by Sophia Schachtner

The Scroll Of The Prophet Isaiah (Canada) by Jake Kovnat

Good Girls Don't Get Beaten (Belarus) by Halina Adamovich

Prisoner No. I (United Kingdom) by Daniel Watt

Physical Thoughts (United States) by Anne Hollowday

Nania (France) by Nicolas Vasseur

Goryanki (Russian Federation) by Maryam Makhieva

Married People (United Kingdom) by Tyro Heath

Grandma Kitty's Ping Pong (United States) by Sage Bennett

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