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Adelaide Film Festival award winners announced

Film

Fast and furious Palestinian car racing documentary Speed Sisters and Brazilian rodeo circuit feature film Neon Bull have scooped the top awards at the 2015 Adelaide Film Festival.

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The awards, announced this morning ahead of the festival’s closing weekend, come with $25,000 (Best International Feature) and $10,000 (Best Documentary) in prize money.

Foxtel Movies International Feature Jury president Christian Jeune said director and screenwriter Gabriel Mascaro’s Neon Bull, about a cowboy in Brazil’s macho rodeo circuit who dreams of designing exotic fashions, was surprising and moving with its “carnality and poeticism”.

“This work allows us into a place where both animal and human bodies are used to examine what it feels like to be alive and also to be trapped.”

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Canadian director Amber Fares’ Speed Sisters follows an all-women driving team in the midst of the male-dominated Palestinian street car-racing scene – where tear gas and rubber bullets are among the challenges faced.

The judges of the Flinders University Documentary Award said Fares defined “the spirit of true independent filmmaking” for her commitment to telling the story over seven years.

They chose Speed Sisters from a shortlist of 10 documentaries screening during the festival. The others were: Heart of a Dog, He Named Me Malala, Remembering the Man, Ice and the Sky, Brand: A Second Coming, I Am Belfast, The Pearl Button, The Propaganda Game and Sherpa.

The 10 films vying for Best Feature were: Carol, Freeheld, Looking for Grace, Gold Coast, Lamb, Neon Bull, Office, 316, Father and Tanna.

The Adelaide Film Festival closes on Sunday, but additional screenings have been added next week for four films on the program: Highly Strung, Carol, A Month of Sundays and Girl AsleepSpeed Sisters screens again at 4.45pm on Saturday at Palace Nova Eastend.

Audiences have also had the opportunity to vote for their favourite short film, feature and documentary during the 11-day festival, with the winners of the Audience Awards to be announced on Monday.

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