Yorgos Lanthimos’s “Alps” earned top honors at the fifth Sydney Film Festival’s official competition on Sunday. The award, which comes with a A$60,000 cash prize, was announced by jury president Rachel Ward.
“‘Alps’ melds pathos, black humor and taut menace in a film that is at once challenging and highly rewarding,” said the actress and director. “A finely calibrated, absurdist study of power and identity, ‘Alps’ is intelligent, uniquely emotive filmmaking from an important new voice in Greek cinema.”
The film follows a four-member group -- a nurse, a paramedic, a rhythmic gymnast and her coach -- who get paid to act as replacements of the recently deceased. The movie’s script, penned by Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, also earned the award for Best Screenplay at the 68th Venice Film Festival last year.
A previous Lanthimos film, “Dogtooth,” had been the recipient of the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009.
Meanwhile, Nikos Dayandas’s documentary “Sayome” recently won the URTI International Grand Prix for Author’s Documentary - Arman Trophy.
The distinction was announced in Monaco on June 11, and was bestowed within the framework of the Monte Carlo Television Festival. “Sayome” was singled out from among 255 documentaries by an international jury presided over by French director Claude Lelouch.