PUBLISHED03 Jul 2020

Supporting Australian Documentary at Sydney Film Festival 2020


10 Australian documentaries competed for the prestigious Documentary Australia Foundation award for Best Australian Documentary in this years virtual festival!

The 67th Sydney Film Festival was one like no other –  a virtual edition that brought world-class cinema right into the comfort of our homes.

Allowing audiences to explore films from around the world as the festival gave voice to women in film in Europe and showcased Australian short films and documentaries.

Documentary Australia Foundation was proud to be able to once more support the Award for Best Australian Documentary – a $10,000 prize recognising  excellence in documentary production. 

This year audiences were able to –  10 Australian documentaries, including 8 World Premiers, as they compete for this prestigious award.

As our Arts industry continues to feel the shockwaves of these unprecedented times, it is a privilege to be able to continue our support of local creatives and the screen industry.

We believe by showcasing excellent documentaries, we can ensure  audiences remain connected to our art from, whilst creating a deeper appreciation for documentary storytelling.

The Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary was awarded to Descent from filmmaker Nays Baghai.

Best Australian Documentary Award Winner


Descent Documentary Thrilling, punishing, and beyond treacherous; freediving in freezing water is not for the faint of heart, but for Kiki Bosch, it was a life saver.  
Watch Trailer



Accepting the award, Nays Baghaisaid: “Wow! I cannot describe how honoured, grateful and ecstatic I feel having received this amazing award. Just being nominated was already a huge honour for me, and I would like to say thank you so much to the Sydney Film Festival team and judges, as well as everyone who was a part of this film. That includes my friends and family, and I owe a lot to their support and encouragement.”


Best Australian Documentary Nominees


A Hundred Years of Unhappiness
A rural Vietnamese family prepares for their daughter’s marriage – an arrangement based on finances, not affection – in this remarkably poignant, observational documentary. Watch Trailer



The Leadership
In 2016, a collection of international women scientists set sail for Antarctica under the guidance of Australian leadership expert  Fabian Dattner; what transpired is both inspiring and revelatory. Watch Trailer



A lonely housewife’s plan to end it all takes an unexpected turn when her last hurrah begins a radical journey of sexual exploration, personal re-invention and feminist porn.
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Our Law

At Western Australia’s first Indigenous-run police station, two officers learn language and culture to help them police one of the most remote beats in the world.
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The Plastic House

After her parents’ death, a young Cambodian-Australian woman begins working in their greenhouse. A meditative, experimental take on memory and healing.
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Rosemary’s Way

A powerful, inspirational story from Western Sydney following a group of migrant women and their remarkable champion, Rosemary Kariuki.
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The Skin of Others
A compelling portrait of an extraordinary figure, Aboriginal WWI soldier Douglas Grant, featuring acclaimed Indigenous actor Balang Tom E. Lewis (in his final performance).
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The Weather Diaries
Sydney filmmaker Kathy Drayton muses on what the future holds for her musician daughter amidst the threats of climate change and mass extinction.
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Women of Steel
A rousing documentary, many years in the making, that follows a group of determined  local women in  their  14-year  fight for the right to work in  Wollongong’s steel industry.
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For more information  please visit the Sydney Film Festival website here.

To view previous winners of the Documentary Australia Foundations Award for Best Australia Documentary click here.